Monday, March 03, 2014

Defendant subject to a protection order that barred him from residence lacked standing to challenge search of the residence and his belongings within residence

In United States v. Cortez-Dutrieville, Docket No. 13-2266, the Third Circuit found that a defendant's "wrongful" presence in a residence vitiated any expectation of privacy in the residence and, therefore, defendant lacked standing to pursue a motion to suppress evidence recovered during a search of the residence. 

After a package of heroin was intercepted from the mail by US Customs and Border Protection Officers, law enforcement agents arranged a controlled delivery of the package to the home of Portia Newell. Newell was the mother of defendant Antoine Cortez-Dutrieville's ("Dutrieville") child. The agents also obtained an anticipatory search warrant for the residence. During the search of the home, agents discovered Dutrieville, whom they took into custody, as well as the heroin, digital scales and other drug paraphernalia. At the time of the controlled delivery, Dutrieville was staying in the residence with Newell's consent, but was the subject of a Protection From Abuse Order (the "protection order") which, among other things, "completely evicted and excluded" him from Newell's residence. 

Dutrieville moved to suppress the evidence obtained during the search. The District Court denied the motion, holding that Dutrieville lacked a legitimate expectation of privacy in the residence and his belongings within the residence because he was subject to a protection order that barred him from the home. The Third Circuit affirmed, finding that because Dutrieville's presence in the home was "wrongful," he lacked a legitimate expectation of privacy in the home and anything he brought with him to the home during his unlawful visit, including his overnight bag. For these reasons, the Court held that Dutrieville lacked standing to challenge the search of the home and his overnight bag and affirmed the District Court's order denying the motion to suppress.

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