Law School Case Brief
United States v. Gorman - 314 F.3d 1105 (9th Cir. 2002)
For search and seizure purposes, the "reason to believe," standard of Underwood embodies the same standard of reasonableness inherent in probable cause.
On October 19, 2001, Clarence Kenneth Gorman (Gorman) entered a conditional guilty plea, pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(a)(2), to possession of a counterfeit postal key, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1704. Gorman appealed the two issues he reserved for review: the District Court's denial of his motion to suppress certain evidence and the denial of his motion to dismiss based on the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3161. Gorman argued that the District Court erred by not suppressing evidence police officers seized upon entering a third-party residence pursuant to an arrest warrant for Gorman. In addition, Gorman argued that his Speedy Trial Act rights were violated as over 90 days ran on the Speedy Trial clock and, therefore, the district court erred by not dismissing the indictment.
Were Gorman’s rights violated by: (i) denying his motion to suppress certain evidence obtained by entering a third-party residence; and by (ii) denying his motion to dismiss based on the Speedy Trial Act?
Yes, for his motion to suppress. No, for his motion to dismiss.
The Court initially held that the district court erred in denying Gorman’s motion to suppress because the district court improperly interpreted the "reason to believe" standard for entering a third-party residence on an arrest warrant to mean reasonable suspicion, rather than the proper interpretation of the "reason to believe" standard to mean probable cause. The Court then held that, because Gorman’s motion to exclude evidence was pending until defendant entered a conditional guilty plea, that time was excluded from the Speedy Trial Act (SPA) calculation, and, thus, there was no SPA violation.
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