Tuesday, June 08, 2021

US v. Holiday, No. 20-50157 (5-27-21)(M. Smith w/Ikuta & Steele). “Bad search but harmless” is the bottom line for the 9th. The defendant was convicted of 7 bank robberies and three attempts; the police had him on video. In an unrelated incident, police received notice that a man was hitting a child in a blue Jaguar.  The car was registered to the defendant’s home. The police went there, and pushed open the door (a search, as conceded by the government). They caught sight of the defendant and his wife. The body cam also filmed his shoes – which matched the shoes of the robber. The 9th rejected the government’s contention it was an emergency exception. Under the test in US v. Snipe, 515 F.3d 947 (9th Cir. 2008), the gov’t’s acts must be (1) objectively reasonable for an immediate need to help; and (2) manner and scope was reasonable to meet the need. Further, DV cases do not create a per se exigent emergency. Here, the police had reason to think the child was not in the home, and the emergency was taking place in the Jaguar, not the home. The bad search was harmless, though, because of the other independent evidence (flight video, clothing, DNA). The 9th also rejected other issues, such as admission of the chase video, the length of sentence, a contention that a Hobbs robbery was not a COV (barred by precedent).

The decision is here:



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