447 U.S. 727 (1980), 78-1729, United States v. Payner

Docket NºNo. 78-1729
Citation447 U.S. 727, 100 S.Ct. 2439, 65 L.Ed.2d 468
Party NameUnited States v. Payner
Case DateJune 23, 1980
CourtUnited States Supreme Court

Page 727

447 U.S. 727 (1980)

100 S.Ct. 2439, 65 L.Ed.2d 468

United States

v.

Payner

No. 78-1729

United States Supreme Court

June 23, 1980

Argued February 20, 1980

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT

Syllabus

At respondent's nonjury trial for falsifying a federal income tax return by denying that he maintained a foreign bank account, respondent moved to suppress a loan guarantee agreement in which he [100 S.Ct. 2442] pledged the funds in the bank account as security. The District Court found respondent guilty on the basis of all the evidence, but then (1) found that the Government had discovered the guarantee agreement as the result of a flagrantly illegal search of a bank officer's briefcase, (2) suppressed all the Government's evidence except for respondent's tax return and related testimony, and (3) set aside the conviction for failure to demonstrate knowing falsification. The court held, inter alia, that, although the illegal search did not violate respondent's Fourth Amendment rights, the inherent supervisory power of the federal courts required it to exclude evidence tainted by the illegal search. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held:

1. Respondent lacks standing under the Fourth Amendment to suppress the documents illegally seized from the bank officer. A defendant's Fourth Amendment rights are violated only when the challenged conduct invaded his legitimate expectation of privacy, rather than that of a third party, and respondent possessed no privacy interest in the documents seized in this case. Cf. Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128; United States v. Miller, 425 U.S. 435. Pp. 731-733.

2. The supervisory power of the federal courts does not authorize a court to suppress otherwise admissible evidence on the ground that it was seized unlawfully from a third party not before the court. Under the Fourth Amendment, the interest in deterring illegal searches does not justify the exclusion of tainted evidence at the instance of a party who was not the victim of the challenged practices. And the values assigned to the competing interests of deterring illegal searches and of furnishing the trier of fact with all relevant evidence do not change because a court has elected to analyze the question under the supervisory power, instead of the Fourth Amendment. Such power does not extend so far as to confer on the judiciary discretionary power to disregard

Page 728

the considered limitations of the law it is charged with enforcing.

Pp. 733-737.

590 F.2d 206, reversed.

POWELL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and STEWART, WHITE, REHNQUIST, and STEVENS, JJ., joined. BURGER, C.J., filed a concurring opinion, post, p. 737. MARSHALL, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BRENNAN and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined, post, p. 738.

POWELL, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE POWELL delivered the opinion of the Court.

The question is whether the District Court properly suppressed the fruits of an unlawful search that did not invade the respondent's Fourth Amendment rights.

I

Respondent Jack Payner was indicted in September, 1976, on a charge of falsifying his 1972 federal income tax return in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001.1 The indictment alleged that respondent denied maintaining a foreign bank account at a time when he knew that he had such an account at the Castle Bank and Trust Company of Nassau, Bahama Islands. The Government's case rested heavily on a loan guarantee agreement dated April 28, 1972, in which respondent pledged

Page 729

the funds in his Castle Bank account as security for a $100,000 loan.

Respondent waived his right to jury trial and moved to suppress the guarantee agreement. With the consent of the parties, the United States District Court for the Northern [100 S.Ct. 2440] District of Ohio took evidence on the motion at a hearing consolidated with the trial on the merits. The court found respondent guilty as charged on the basis of all the evidence. The court also found, however, that the Government discovered [100 S.Ct. 2443] the guarantee agreement by exploiting a flagrantly illegal search that occurred on January 15, 1973. The court therefore suppressed "all evidence introduced in the case by the Government with the exception of Jack Payner's 1972 tax return . . . and the related testimony." 434 F.Supp. 113, 136 (1977). As the tax return alone was insufficient to demonstrate knowing falsification, the District Court set aside respondent's conviction.2

The events leading up to the 1973 search are not in dispute. In 1965, the Internal Revenue Service launched an investigation into the financial activities of American citizens in the Bahamas. The project, known as "Operation Trade Winds," was headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. Suspicion focused on the Castle Bank in 1972, when investigators learned that a suspected narcotics trafficker had an account there. Special Agent Richard Jaffe of the Jacksonville office asked Norman Casper, a private investigator and occasional informant, to learn what he could about the Castle Bank and its depositors. To that end, Casper cultivated his friendship with Castle

Page 730

Bank vice-president Michael Wolstencroft. Casper introduced Wolstencroft to Sybol Kennedy, a private investigator and former employee. When Casper discovered that the banker intended to spend a few days in Miami in January, 1973, he devised a scheme to gain access to the bank records he knew Wolstencroft would be carrying in his briefcase. Agent Jaffe approved the basic outline of the plan.

Wolstencroft arrived in Miami on January 15 and went directly to Kennedy's apartment. At about 7:30 p.m., the two left for dinner at a Key Biscayne restaurant. Shortly thereafter, Casper entered the apartment using a key supplied by Kennedy. He removed the briefcase and delivered it to Jaffe. While the agent supervised the copying of approximately 400 documents taken from the briefcase, a "lookout" observed Kennedy and Wolstencroft at dinner. The observer notified Casper when the pair left the restaurant, and the briefcase was replaced. The documents photographed that evening included papers evidencing a close working relationship between the Castle Bank and the Bank of Perrine, Fla. Subpoenas issued to the Bank of Perrine ultimately uncovered the loan guarantee agreement at issue in this case.

The District Court found that the United States, acting through Jaffe, "knowingly and willfully participated in the unlawful seizure of Michael Wolstencroft's briefcase. . . ." Id. at 120. According to that court,

the Government affirmatively counsels its agents that the Fourth Amendment standing limitation permits them to purposefully conduct an unconstitutional search and seizure of one individual in order to obtain evidence against third parties. . . .

Id. at 132-133. The District Court also found that the documents seized from Wolstencroft provided the leads that ultimately led to the discovery of the critical loan guarantee agreement. Id. at 123.3 Although the search did not impinge upon the

Page 731

respondent's Fourth Amendment [100 S.Ct. 2444] rights, the District Court believed that the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and the inherent supervisory power of the federal courts required it to exclude evidence tainted by the Government's "knowing and purposeful bad faith hostility to any person's fundamental constitutional rights." Id. at 129; see id. at 133, 134-135.

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed in a brief order endorsing the District Court's use of its supervisory power. 590 F.2d 206 (1979) (per curiam). The Court of Appeals did not decide the due process question. We granted certiorari, 444 U.S. 822 (1979), and we nov reverse.

II

This Court discussed the doctrine of "standing to invoke the [Fourth Amendment] exclusionary rule" in some detail last Term. Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 138 (1978). We reaffirmed the established rule that a court may not exclude evidence under the Fourth Amendment unless it finds that an unlawful search or seizure violated the defendant's own constitutional rights. Id. at 133-140. See, e.g., Brown v. United States, 411 U.S. 223, 229-230 (1973); Alderman v. United States, 394 U.S. 165, 171-172 (1969); Simmons v. United States, 390 U.S. 377, 389 (1968). And the defendant's Fourth Amendment rights are violated only when the challenged conduct invaded his legitimate expectation of privacy, rather than that of a third party. Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. at 143; id. at 149-152 (POWELL, J., concurring); Combs v. United States, 408 U.S. 224, 227 (1972); Mancusi v. DeForte, 392 U.S. 364, 368 (1968).

The foregoing authorities establish, as the District Court recognized, that respondent lacks standing under the Fourth

Page 732

Amendment to suppress the documents illegally seized from Wolstencroft. 434 F.Supp. at 126. The Court of Appeals did not disturb the District Court's conclusion that "Jack Payner possessed no privacy interest in the Castle Bank documents that were seized from Wolstencroft." Ibid.; see 590 F.2d at 207. Nor do we. United States v. Miller, 425 U.S. 435 (197), established that a depositor has no expectation of privacy, and thus no "protectable Fourth Amendment interest" in copies of checks and deposit slips retained by his bank. Id. at 437; see id. at 442. Nothing in the record supports a contrary conclusion in this case.4

Page 733

The District Court and the Court of Appeals believed, however, that a federal court should use its supervisory power to suppress evidence tainted by gross illegalities that did not infringe the defendant's constitutional rights. The United States contends that this approach -- as applied in this case -- upsets the careful balance of interests embodied in the Fourth Amendment decisions of this Court. In the Government's view, such an extension of the supervisory power would enable...

To continue reading

Request your trial
672 practice notes
  • 634 F.Supp. 1414 (D.Md. 1986), Crim. B-84-00101, United States v. Omni Intern. Corp.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 4th Circuit United States District Court (Maryland)
    • May 15, 1986
    ...proceedings. See United States v. Hasting, 461 U.S. 499, 505, 103 S.Ct. 1974, 1978, 76 L.Ed.2d 96 (1983); United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727, 734-36, 735 n. 8, 100 S.Ct. 2439, 2445, 2446 n. 8, 65 L.Ed.2d 468 reh'g denied, 448 U.S. 911, 101 S.Ct. 25, 65 L.Ed.2d 1172 (1980); McNabb v. Unit......
  • 635 F.2d 47 (2nd Cir. 1980), 79-1271, United States v. Sanchez
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • September 9, 1980
    ...conduct invade his legitimate expectation of privacy rather than that of a third party. United States v. Payner, --- U.S. ----, ----, 100 S.Ct. 2439, 2444, 65 L.Ed.2d 468 (1980) (emphasis in original). A defendant Page 64 can demonstrate that his own legitimate expectation of privacy has be......
  • 712 F.2d 1566 (2nd Cir. 1983), 1163, Daye v. Attorney General of State of N.Y.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • June 27, 1983
    ...these New York cases, the trial judge was Justice Roberts, the same judge who presided over Daye's trial. [2] In United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727, 100 S.Ct. 2439, 65 L.Ed.2d 468 (1980), the Supreme Court noted that separation-of-power considerations limited the federal judiciary's supe......
  • 735 F.2d 809 (5th Cir. 1984), 83-2710, United States v. Maldonado
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • June 18, 1984
    ...the search of Alvarado or the consequent discovery on Alvarado's person of the methadone, a controlled substance. United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727, 731-37, 100 S.Ct. 2439, 2444-47, 65 L.Ed.2d 468 (1980). The officers' discovery of the methadone on Alvarado, who had just gotten out of t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
626 cases
  • 634 F.Supp. 1414 (D.Md. 1986), Crim. B-84-00101, United States v. Omni Intern. Corp.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 4th Circuit District of Maryland
    • May 15, 1986
    ...proceedings. See United States v. Hasting, 461 U.S. 499, 505, 103 S.Ct. 1974, 1978, 76 L.Ed.2d 96 (1983); United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727, 734-36, 735 n. 8, 100 S.Ct. 2439, 2445, 2446 n. 8, 65 L.Ed.2d 468 reh'g denied, 448 U.S. 911, 101 S.Ct. 25, 65 L.Ed.2d 1172 (1980); McNabb v. Unit......
  • 635 F.2d 47 (2nd Cir. 1980), 79-1271, United States v. Sanchez
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • September 9, 1980
    ...conduct invade his legitimate expectation of privacy rather than that of a third party. United States v. Payner, --- U.S. ----, ----, 100 S.Ct. 2439, 2444, 65 L.Ed.2d 468 (1980) (emphasis in original). A defendant Page 64 can demonstrate that his own legitimate expectation of privacy has be......
  • 712 F.2d 1566 (2nd Cir. 1983), 1163, Daye v. Attorney General of State of N.Y.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • June 27, 1983
    ...these New York cases, the trial judge was Justice Roberts, the same judge who presided over Daye's trial. [2] In United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727, 100 S.Ct. 2439, 65 L.Ed.2d 468 (1980), the Supreme Court noted that separation-of-power considerations limited the federal judiciary's supe......
  • 735 F.2d 809 (5th Cir. 1984), 83-2710, United States v. Maldonado
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • June 18, 1984
    ...the search of Alvarado or the consequent discovery on Alvarado's person of the methadone, a controlled substance. United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727, 731-37, 100 S.Ct. 2439, 2444-47, 65 L.Ed.2d 468 (1980). The officers' discovery of the methadone on Alvarado, who had just gotten out of t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 firm's commentaries
43 books & journal articles
  • Judicial integrity: a call for its re-emergence in the adjudication of criminal cases.
    • United States
    • Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Vol. 84 Nbr. 3, September - September - September 1993
    • September 22, 1993
    ...(21) Supervisory powers allow the Court to implement some sort of remedy for activity that it finds offensive. United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727, 744 (1980) (Marshall, J., dissenting). (22) Judicial integrity as a due process concept was developed in Rochin v. California, 342 U.S. 165 (......
  • A spectacular non sequitur: the Supreme Court's contemporary Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule jurisprudence.
    • United States
    • American Criminal Law Review Vol. 50 Nbr. 1, January 2013
    • January 1, 2013
    ...witnesses," but does not say how or why. 435 U.S. at 276 n.4. At any rate, subsequent cases, such as United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727 (1980), suggest an illegal search motivated by a hope witnesses will be discovered would not come oul any differently. See infra notes 331-40 and a......
  • Just say no! A proposal to eliminate racially discriminatory uses of peremptory challenges.
    • United States
    • American Criminal Law Review Vol. 31 Nbr. 4, June 1994
    • June 22, 1994
    ...was not an appropriate doctrine to overturn a conviction where error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt); United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727, 735-36 (1980) (like Fourth Amendment, supervisory power only applicable when defendant's rights are violated). (118.)United States v. McCord, ......
  • Four models of Fourth Amendment protection.
    • United States
    • Stanford Law Review Vol. 60 Nbr. 2, November 2007
    • November 1, 2007
    ...in part). (74.) Perhaps the most remarkable example of this is the discussion of Bahamian bank secrecy law in United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727 (1980). Payner argued that Bahamian bank secrecy laws created a reasonable expectation of privacy in his bank records in the Bahamas. The Court......
  • Request a trial to view additional results