Illinois v. Gates
Illinois v. Gates
Police get a tip from an anonymous informant stating with some particularity that the Gates’ were selling drugs
The police investigate and gather information based on the informants tip and eventually search the Gates’ car and home, finding marijuana and other contraband
The lower Illinois courts said that the veracity prong of the Spinelli analysis was not satisfied and thus, probable cause was not established
Supreme Court ends up abandoning the Spinelli test and adopts a new test, the “totality of the circumstances test”
Totality of the Circumstances Test(Magistrates given great deference):
The task of the issuing magistrate is simply to make a practical, common sense decision whether, given all the circumstances set forth in the affidavit before him, including the “veracity” and “basis of knowledge” of persons supplying hearsay information, there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place
The duty of a reviewing court is simply to ensure that the magistrate had a substantial basis for concluding that probable cause existed
The court is saying that a strong showing in one prong of the Spinelli test can make up for a week showing in another
Professor Howe says this is stupid because is you don’t have one then you don’t have the other
Illinois v. Gates
-Tip= Anonymous letter saying Ds had been selling/trafficking drugs. Letter stated dates and amount of drugs and how they were going to get them (going to FL to buy drugs and husband would fly down there to meet his wife and drive back to IL with the drugs).
-Not enough to pass Spinelli test just on this. Police did investigation corroborating the letter. Found that the Gates do live in Bloomingdale, that Lance boarded a plane to FLA from Chicago on the date stated, that Lance went inside a room in the hotel and found out the wife was renting the room, that the next day they left to go back to Chicago in a Mercury with IL plates registered to a Hornet owned by Gates.
-Get warrant based on probable cause for the house and the car. They find 350 pounds of pot and some weapons
-IL cts suppressed the evidence saying there was no PC (basically because cops jumped the gun and got a warrant before the Gates had arrived home).
SC reverses based on “the totality of the circumstances”
-SC says there is an adequate basis of knowledgeSelf-verifying tip based on detail of letter (inside information); Veracity is met by corroboration b/c of police investigation
-Howe says Justice White was wrong saying this would pass Spinelli
-Totality of circumstancesSpinelli’s test is adopted as factors. No longer have to satisfy the two prongs independently.
-Common sense approach. To determine PC Magistrate must now ask,
“fair probability under the totality of the circumstances.”
(2)On ReviewMust find that the issuing magistrate had a “substantial basis” for concluding that probable cause existed
-No de novo review”determination of probable cause should be paid great deference by reviewing cts.”
WON’T APPLY GATES ON AN EXAM- its too mushy
-What if a cop says I have reason to believe there are drugs in this location? Veracity is strong but what about basis of knowledge? Ct says this will not be good enough.
-If a informant is typically credible then they don’t need too much basis of knowledge. Why is this different from the cop scenario above?
-A strong showing of one of the Spinelli prongs can make up for a lack of showing in the other
-Spinelli is still important b/c states say Gates is a wrong opinion and that under their state Constitutions, Spinelli is the std.
-On the final see which state you are in and you have to argue.*******
-Relation of this to the Leon caseLeon said reasonably mistake exception to exclusionary rule in a warrant situation (reasonable mistake by police will not result in suppression). Leon was a year after Gates.
We should never get to Leon or reasonable mistake b/c it should still pass Gates as being close enough, with enough to get substantial basis to PC and no error.
*Leon didn’t matter after Gates except that it set a precedent that might be applied to non-warrant cases in the future
-Diff. b/t probable cause to search and probable cause to arrest For Search: Must convince magistrate that crime was committed and that evidence of it is in a certain place. For Arrest: Don’t have to show the potential arrestee was, is, or will be in a particular place (can arrest anywhere).
-Sometimes you don’t need a warrantPC requirement in the warrant clause still applies even in a non-warrant case.
-In warrant situations, what is in the presentation to the magistrate at the time the warrant was issued is what is important (not what is in the officer’s head or what is learned later)