Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Reddick

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

December 21, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
STANLEY REDDICK, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION TO SUPPRESS

          Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge

         Defendant Stanley Reddick has moved to suppress evidence that law enforcement agents searched and seized from two bedrooms that he occupied at a single-family house in Hartford, Connecticut. Reddick contends that the search warrant for the whole house violated the “particularity” requirement of the Fourth Amendment-the requirement that a search warrant must describe with particularity the places to be searched. According to Reddick, the warrant did not comply with the particularity requirement, because law enforcement officers knew or should have known that the house was a multi-occupancy or multi-unit building for which law enforcement officers were required to obtain a probable cause warrant as to each occupancy unit to be searched. I conclude that the house did not contain separate residential units within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment and that the warrant affidavit established clear probable cause for the search of the entire house. Accordingly, I will deny the motion to suppress.

         Background

         On April 28, 2017, Special Agent Griffin T. Farley of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives applied for and obtained a federal search warrant for 18 Ashford Street in Hartford, Connecticut. The search warrant described the premises to be searched as follows:

18 Ashford Street, Hartford, Connecticut, which is located on the north side of Ashford Street, near the intersection of Main Street. The Search Location is a two-story, single family colonial structure with green clapboard siding and a white front door covered by a white overhang. Above the mailbox to the right side of the front door the residence is clearly marked with the number “18.” The Search Location has a second entrance on the right side of the residence that is accessed via the driveway that is also on the right side. Additionally, there is a free standing, two-bay garage behind the residence at the rear of the driveway.

         The affidavit in support of the search warrant established probable cause to believe that Reddick was a crack cocaine dealer and that he kept his crack cocaine at the house at 18 Ashford Street where he was seen multiple times. The affidavit described two of Reddick's crack cocaine sales on April 21 and April 25, 2017.[1] For both sales Reddick left 18 Ashford Street to meet a confidential witness at a nearby gas station where he negotiated a deal to sell crack cocaine. Reddick then returned to 18 Ashford Street to retrieve the crack cocaine and drove back again to the gas station to deliver the crack cocaine, before returning once more to 18 Ashford Street with the money from the crack cocaine sale. Each time Reddick was observed going in and out of the front door of the house at 18 Ashford Street.

         At the suppression hearing Agent Farley testified that 18 Ashford Street was in a residential neighborhood of average style residential homes. When drafting the search warrant affidavit, he relied in part on an “Unofficial Property Record Card” from the City of Hartford's assessor's office. Govt. Exh. #16. This card includes a photograph (below) of the front of the home as well as an assessment of the property for the fiscal year 2016. It describes the house as a “ONE FAMILY” structure of 1, 533 square feet with four bedrooms, one full bathroom, and one half-bathroom. Ibid.

         (Image Omitted)

         Law enforcement agents executed the search warrant on May 3, 2017. Upon arrival they learned that several people lived in the house, including Reddick who used two of the bedrooms on the second floor. The interior was not demarcated or subdivided in a manner to suggest that there were distinct apartment units or that any members of the house did not have access to any of the common areas of the house such as the kitchen and bathrooms.

         Reddick and his girlfriend were found in one of the second-floor bedrooms at the time of the search, and his bedroom door was locked from the inside. Besides the fact that the bedroom door was locked from the inside, there was no indication outside the door that Reddick's bedroom constituted a separate apartment unit. A piece of mail was found with Reddick's name and the typed address of “18 Ashford Street, ” and there was no other indication of multiple addresses at this location (e.g., “18A” or “18B” Ashford Street).

         The agents searched the entire house and seized items of evidence, including narcotics from the area of the two bedrooms on the second floor that were used by Reddick. At trial the Government intends to introduce only items of evidence that were seized from the two bedrooms that were used by Reddick and not to introduce any physical evidence from elsewhere in the house.

         Discussion

         The Fourth Amendment protects the right of the people to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizure, and it further provides that a search warrant must describe with particularity the places to be searched. U.S. Const. amend. IV. As the Second Circuit has explained, the particularity requirement of the Fourth Amendment has three components: that a warrant identify the specific offense for which the police have probable cause, that the warrant describe the place to be searched, and that the warrant specify the items to be seized. See United States v. Galpin, 720 F.3d 436, 445-46 (2d Cir. 2013).

         This case involves the particularity requirement with respect to the place to be searched. The usual rule is that if the Government has probable cause to search the apartment of a suspect who lives in a multi-unit apartment building, the Government is not at liberty, absent further probable cause, to search the apartments of everyone else who lives in the building. That is because “the general requirement [is] that the search of a multiple-occupancy building must be supported by probable cause to believe ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.