Posts tagged "Suters"

Commonwealth v. Suters (and two companion cases) (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-145-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   15-P-622                                        Appeals Court 15-P-623 15-P-624   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MONIQUE L. SUTERS (and two companion cases[1]).     Nos. 15-P-622, 15-P-623, & 15-P-624.   Berkshire.     May 9, 2016. – October 7, 2016.   Present:  Agnes, Massing, & Kinder, JJ.     Search and Seizure, Probable cause, Fruits of illegal search, Consent, Emergency.  Evidence, Result of illegal search.  Constitutional Law, Search and seizure, Probable cause.  Probable Cause.       Complaints received and sworn to in the Northern Berkshire Division of the District Court Department on January 10 and June 12, 2014.   Pretrial motions to suppress evidence were heard by Michael J. Ripps, J.   An application for leave to prosecute an interlocutory appeal was allowed by Francis X. Spina, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk, and the appeal was reported by him to the Appeals Court.     Joseph A. Pieropan, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. James F. Petersen for the defendants.     AGNES, J.  In this case we consider the applicability of the attenuation exception to the exclusionary rule.  Under this exception, evidence that would not have been obtained by the police but for an unlawful search or seizure is nonetheless admissible because the connection between the unlawful police conduct and the evidence seized is separated by an independent act by the defendant that is sufficient to dissipate the taint of the initial unlawful search or seizure.  See Commonwealth v. Martin, 457 Mass. 14, 22-23 (2010).[2] The cases come to us by interlocutory appeals from the allowance of the defendants’ motions to suppress evidence of unlawful amounts of raw marijuana and related paraphernalia discovered in the basement of the defendants’ home.  For the reasons that follow, we agree with the motion judge that the initial entry by the police into the defendants’ home without a warrant was justified based on voluntary consent by an occupant, as well as the emergency exception.  We also conclude, contrary to the judge’s ruling below, that the police were justified in entering a basement room, where a large quantity of marijuana was observed, to effect the arrest of one of the defendants for assault and battery on a police officer.  Because the exclusionary rule should not be applied in such circumstances, we reverse. Background.  We summarize the facts as found by the motion judge, supplemented with uncontroverted testimony […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 7, 2016 at 11:49 pm

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