Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – June 4, 2015

Bureau of Narcotics v.  Bobby Canada and Beverly Turman – forfeiture – surprising no one, the Court affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to this forfeiture case involving almost $300,000.  MBN obtained a search warrant allowing them to search the property  of “Bobby Ray Canada, and Beverly Turman, person, and persons unknown” anywhere in the State of Mississippi.  MBN ended up searching an apartment in Crenshaw, MS. and seizing $293,720.00) in U.S. Currency and a Taurus Brasil rifle, SN MF791580.   During the forfeiture proceedings, the trial court granted summary judgment for Canada and Turman based on a finding that the warrant was invalid.  On appeal, MBN argues the warrant is valid and, even if it is defective, the search was done in good faith.  It also argued that the warrant incorporated the affidavit setting forth the underlying facts and circumstances.  But since the Bureau failed to include that affidavit in the record, this argument is problematic.  But notwithstanding this hurdle,  Nevertheless, “the warrant is void and unenforceable on its face.”

As for the good faith exception:

In determining whether the facts of a case justify application of the good faith exception, the Leon Court stated: “Finally, depending on the circumstances of the particular case, a warrant may be so facially deficient—i.e., in failing to particularize the place to be searched or the things to be seized—that the executing officers cannot reasonably presume it to be valid.” Id. at 923 (emphasis added). In the instant case, section one of the warrant is completely blank. A warrant with a blank section cannot even rise to the level of “failing to particularize” a place. It is clearly, facially defective, and the whole premise of the good faith exception would be negated if we were to find the exception applies. Thus, we hold that the good faith exception does not apply, and the instant issue is, therefore, moot.

In Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance v. Bill Weisenberger – the court, which has already suspended Weisenberger from his justice court judge position, declines to so so without pay.

The Court grants cert. in Michael Anderson v. State which raises the issue of a flight instruction given in a self defense case.

Here’s the cert. petition

The COA opinion

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