State v. Hamlett

This case involves two improper searches. The first was a warrantless search of a car, and the second was a search of a hotel room pursuant to a warrant granted by a judge who lacked authority to issue the warrant. As we argued in our prior amicus brief in State v. Ornette Terry, the driving documents exception to the warrant requirement is constitutionally suspect at best. However, even if the Court finds that the driving documents exception to the warrant requirement is constitutional, the officers in this case were unjustified in conducting a warrantless search under the exception. The search of the hotel room was also improper, because police sought a warrant from an improper judge in violation of a judicial assignment order. Both searches were therefore improper, and the evidence obtained as fruit of both searches should be suppressed.

Status

The Supreme Court has yet to set a date for argument.

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