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People v. McCabe Case Brief


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This is a case study I had to do for my Business Law class.

People v. McCabe, 144 Cal.App.3d 827 (1983)

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People v. McCabe Case Brief

  1. 1. Davila Jonathan Davila Professor Golden BUSL 18 TTH 9:45-11:10 16 September 2010 Case Brief I. Case Title and Citation: People v. McCabe, 144 Cal.App.3d 827 (1983) II. Statement of Facts: Catherine McCabe was charged with possession of cocaine. She pleaded not guilty. Her suppression of evidence was denied and she pleaded guilty to the lesser included offense of possession of cocaine. Court placed her on probation on the condition in which she must serve 12 days in the county jail and that she pays a $1,000 fine. The police obtained a search warrant for the seizure of cocaine, marijuana and other narcotics on 838 Rorke Way in Palo Alto. The police found the appellant’s purse on a table and opened the purse where they found the bindles of cocaine. The appellant argues that the search of her purse was unlawful, because the police had no right to search a visitors belongings. The police may rely on a search warrant to search anywhere and anything they believe something might be concealed. III. Issue Presented: 1. Did the Police lawfully seize the cocaine from appellant’s purse where they had a search warrant to search the home in which appellant was visiting? 1
  2. 2. Davila IV. Short Answer: 1. Yes, the police did lawfully seize the cocaine from the appellant’s purse, because they had a search warrant to search the home and that gave them the right to search the belongings of anyone who was in the house at the time of the search. V. Reasoning: Although the police have a search warrant to search the house, they may still lawfully search the personal belongings of a resident of the premises where the personal belongings may hold goods that are illegal to possess at anytime. The court gave the order to the police that during the execution of the search warrant, they may lawfully search personal belongings under specified conditions of non-residents who are found on the premises at the time of the search. When the police know that the personal belongings found on the property belong to a non-resident, the police may use the authority of the search warrant to conduct a search of personal belongings that belong to a non-resident if someone conceals an illegal substance prior to the execution of the search warrant. The search of the purse was lawful only if the police had no knowledge that the purse was the property of a non-resident. VI. Conclusion 1. The Police in Lawfully executing a search warrant may seize personal belonging when they suspect that the person is trying to conceal something that could get them in trouble with the law. Police will always be able to use a search warrant as a way of being able to search personal belongings that they believe may hold illegal substances. 2