Harris v. United States, No. 3105.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtMURRAH, Circuit , and RICE and SAVAGE
Citation151 F.2d 837,169 ALR 1413
Docket NumberNo. 3105.
Decision Date28 November 1945
PartiesHARRIS v. UNITED STATES.

169 ALR 1413, 151 F.2d 837 (1945)

HARRIS
v.
UNITED STATES.

No. 3105.

Circuit Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit.

October 26, 1945.

Rehearing Denied November 28, 1945.


151 F.2d 838

Herbert K. Hyde, of Oklahoma City, Okl. (Lee Williams, of Oklahoma City, Okl., on the brief) for appellant.

Robert E. Shelton, Asst. U. S. Atty, of Oklahoma City, Okl. (Charles E. Dierker, U. S. Atty., of Oklahoma City, Okl., on the brief), for appellee.

Before MURRAH, Circuit Judge, and RICE and SAVAGE, District Judges.

MURRAH, Circuit Judge.

This appeal involves the reasonableness of a search and seizure, pursuant to which appellant was indicted, tried and convicted on evidence obtained by such challenged search and seizure.

In execution of two warrants for the arrest of appellant — one duly issued upon a criminal complaint alleging violation of the Mail Fraud Statute, 18 U.S.C.A. § 338, and the other for violation of the National Stolen Property Act, 18 U.S.C.A. §§ 413-419 — four or five special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation went to the apartment of appellant at 2308 North Ellison, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, about 1:30 P. M. where they found appellant, and immediately placed him under arrest. In connection with the arrest, and for the declared purpose of "looking for two $10,000 cancelled checks of the Mudge Oil Company which our investigation established had been stolen from the offices of the Mudge Oil Company * * *," and for "any means that might have been used to commit these two crimes, such as burglary tools, pens or anything that could be used in a confidence game of this type," the agents proceeded to make a "thorough search" of appellant's apartment consisting of a living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.

After searching for about five hours, one of the agents discovered a sealed envelope in a bureau drawer in the bedroom under some underclothes, upon which was written "George Harris, personal papers." This envelope was torn open and inside it was a smaller one which contained eight Notice of Classification cards, DSS Form 57 and eleven Registration Certificates DSS Form 2, stamped Local Board, No. 7, Oklahoma County, 84, 825 Cotton Exchange Building, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These cards and certificates had been originally delivered to this Draft Board by the United States Government to be used by such Board in the administration of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, 50 U.S. C.A.Appendix, § 301 et seq. The appellant was later charged by an indictment containing nineteen counts for offenses growing out of his unlawful possession of these cards and certificates. After timely motions to quash, suppress and dismiss, a jury having been waived, the case was tried to the court. The cards and certificates were offered and admitted in evidence over appellant's objection, and based upon this evidence the court found appellant guilty of various counts contained in the indictment, and imposed the concurrent sentences from which this appeal is taken.

Admittedly the officers had no search warrant describing the premises searched or the articles seized, and the only asserted authority for the search and seizure was as an incident to and contemporaneously

151 F.2d 839
with appellant's lawful arrest within the premises searched. On appeal, appellant contends that the search and seizure was constitutionally unreasonable and the court therefore erred in admitting the seized articles in evidence against him

The rights of one to be secure in his person, papers and effects, against unreasonable search and seizure, and not to be compelled in a criminal case to be a witness against himself are fundamental rights under the 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution "which affect the very essence of constitutional liberty and security." Boyd v. United States, 116 U. S. 616, 6 S.Ct. 524, 532, 29 L.Ed. 746; Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383, 391, 34 S.Ct. 341, 58 L.Ed. 652, L.R.A.1915B, 834, Ann.Cas.1915C, 1177. The true meaning of these rights are to be derived from what was deemed an unreasonable search and seizure at the time of the adoption of the Amendments to the Constitution,1 and are to be construed in a manner which will serve the public interest on the one hand, while protecting and safeguarding the personal rights of individuals on the other. Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 149, 45 S.Ct. 280, 69 L.Ed. 543, 39 A.L.R. 790.

In constitutional language, a search and seizure without the authority of a search warrant issued upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized, is an unreasonable search and seizure and a conviction based upon evidence thus obtained cannot stand. Weeks v. United States, supra; Gouled v. United States, 255 U.S. 298, 41 S.Ct. 261, 65 L.Ed. 647.

We start then with the proposition that general exploratory searches for the purpose of uncovering evidence of crime, or for obtaining information, either with or without a search warrant is unreasonable and therefore within the constitutional ban. Boyd v. United States, supra; Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 251 U.S. 385, 40 S.Ct. 182, 64 L. Ed. 319, 24 A.L.R. 1426; Gouled v. United States, supra; Amos v. United States, 255 U.S. 313, 41 S.Ct. 266, 65 L.Ed. 654. "It has always been assumed that one's house cannot lawfully be searched without a search warrant, except as an incident to a lawful arrest therein." Agnello v. United States, 269 U.S. 20, 32, 46 S.Ct. 4, 6, 70 L.Ed. 145, 51 A.L.R. 409. See also GoBart Importing Co. v. United States, 282 U.S. 344, 51 S.Ct. 153, 75 L.Ed. 374; United States v. Lefkowitz, 285 U.S. 452, 52 S.Ct. 420, 76 L.Ed. 877, 82 A.L.R. 775; Byars v. United States, 273 U.S. 28, 47 S. Ct. 248, 71 L.Ed. 520. It has, however, always been recognized under English and American law, before and after the 4th Amendment, that when a man is legally arrested for an offense, whatever is found upon his person or in his control which is unlawful for him to have, and which may be used to prove the offense, may be seized and held as evidence in a prosecution against him.2

Thus in Marron v. United States, 275 U.S. 192, 48 S.Ct. 74, 72 L.Ed. 231, the court held that as an incident to a lawful arrest, for a crime committed in their presence, the officers were authorized without a search warrant to contemporaneously search the place where the crime was being committed in order to find and seize the things used to carry on the criminal enterprise; that such authority extended to all parts of the premises used for the unlawful

151 F.2d 840
purpose, and included those things so closely related to the criminal enterprise as to be necessary for its maintenance. See also United States v....

To continue reading

Request your trial
17 practice notes
  • United States v. Hanon, No. 19519-19521.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • June 8, 1970
    ...255 U.S. 298, 311, 41 S.Ct. 261, 65 L.Ed. 647;2 Williamson v. United States, 5 Cir., 285 F.2d 65; Harris v. United States, 10 Cir., 151 F.2d 837, 841. See Abel v. United States, 362 U.S. 217, 240, 80 S.Ct. 683, 4 L.Ed.2d The court committed no error in refusing to suppress the seized eviden......
  • Agnellino v. State of New Jersey, No. 73-1134.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • February 13, 1974
    ...suspected as contraband. See, e. g., Marron v. United States, 275 U.S. 192, 48 S.Ct. 74, 72 L.Ed. 231 (1927); Harris v. United States, 151 F.2d 837 (10th Cir. 1945), aff'd, 331 U. S. 145, 67 S.Ct. 1098, 91 L.Ed. 1399 (1947); United States ex rel. DiRienzo v. Yeager, 443 F.2d 228, 231 (3d Ci......
  • Harris v. United States, No. 34
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 5, 1947
    ...numerous objections to the evidence at the trial were overruled. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. 10 Cir., 151 F.2d 837. Certiorari was granted because of the importance of the questio § presented. 66 S.Ct. 1360. Two valid warrants of arrest were issued. One charged tha......
  • Simpson v. United States, No. 7427.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • May 28, 1965
    ...and seizures are prohibited. United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 70 S.Ct. 430, 94 L.Ed. 653; Harris v. United States, 10 Cir., 151 F.2d 837, 169 A.L.R. 1413, aff'd 331 U.S. 145, 67 S.Ct. 1098, 91 L.Ed. 1399; Draper v. United States, 10 Cir., 248 F.2d 295, aff'd 358 U.S. 307, 79 S.Ct. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • United States v. Hanon, No. 19519-19521.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • June 8, 1970
    ...255 U.S. 298, 311, 41 S.Ct. 261, 65 L.Ed. 647;2 Williamson v. United States, 5 Cir., 285 F.2d 65; Harris v. United States, 10 Cir., 151 F.2d 837, 841. See Abel v. United States, 362 U.S. 217, 240, 80 S.Ct. 683, 4 L.Ed.2d The court committed no error in refusing to suppress the seized eviden......
  • Agnellino v. State of New Jersey, No. 73-1134.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • February 13, 1974
    ...suspected as contraband. See, e. g., Marron v. United States, 275 U.S. 192, 48 S.Ct. 74, 72 L.Ed. 231 (1927); Harris v. United States, 151 F.2d 837 (10th Cir. 1945), aff'd, 331 U. S. 145, 67 S.Ct. 1098, 91 L.Ed. 1399 (1947); United States ex rel. DiRienzo v. Yeager, 443 F.2d 228, 231 (3d Ci......
  • Harris v. United States, No. 34
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 5, 1947
    ...numerous objections to the evidence at the trial were overruled. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. 10 Cir., 151 F.2d 837. Certiorari was granted because of the importance of the questio § presented. 66 S.Ct. 1360. Two valid warrants of arrest were issued. One charged tha......
  • Simpson v. United States, No. 7427.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • May 28, 1965
    ...and seizures are prohibited. United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 70 S.Ct. 430, 94 L.Ed. 653; Harris v. United States, 10 Cir., 151 F.2d 837, 169 A.L.R. 1413, aff'd 331 U.S. 145, 67 S.Ct. 1098, 91 L.Ed. 1399; Draper v. United States, 10 Cir., 248 F.2d 295, aff'd 358 U.S. 307, 79 S.Ct. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT