People v. Moten, 131.

CourtSupreme Court of Michigan
Writing for the CourtSTEERE
Citation233 Mich. 169,206 N.W. 506
Docket NumberNo. 131.,131.
Decision Date22 December 1925


Error to Superior Court of Grand Rapids; Leonard D. Verdier, Judge.

Onzie Moten was convicted of unlawfully possessing intoxicating liquor as a second offense, and he brings error. Conviction set aside, and defendant discharged.

Argued before McDONALD, C. J., and CLARK, BIRD, SHARPE, MOORE, STEERE, FELLOWS, and WIEST, JJ.Dunham, Cholette & Quail, of Grand Rapids, for appellant.

Earl W. Munshaw, Pros. Atty., of Grand Rapids, for the People.


On May 13, 1925, Onzie Moten was convicted in the superior court of Grand Rapids of unlawfully having in his possession intoxicating liquor particularly defined as ‘moonshine whisky,’ charged and proven as a second offense.

The evidence against him was obtained by a search warrant issued, and executed by search and seizure, on April 7, 1925. The premises directed to be searched were described in the search warrant as ‘340 Bartlett street, S. W., in the city of Grand Rapids, county of Kent, and state of Michigan, which premises are occupied by one John Doe, real name unknown, as a private dwelling house, but which private dwelling house is also used as a place for the unlawful sale of intoxicating liquors.’ At the date of affidavit for search warrant and time of search and seizure, said premises were the private dwelling house of defendant.

Claimed invalidity of the search warrant was duly raised before the committing magistrate and right of review thereafter preserved in the trial court by timely motions and objections. The questions raised and argued in defendant's brief are sufficiency of the affidavit for a search warrant, and the validity of the search warrant as drawn.

The affidavit states in positive and unqualified terms that the place sought to have searched is a private dwelling house, but ‘also used as a place for the unlawful sale of intoxicating liquors.’ It further states that affiant believes and has good cause to believe that such liquor and various things connected with its illegal storing and use are kept concealed upon said premises, and the grounds of his belief are as follows:

‘That on, to wit, the 5th day of April, 1925, this deponent was then and there in front of the dwelling house of premises located at 340 Bartlett street, S. W., in the city of Grand Rapids, with one Richard Roe; that the deponent then and there searched the said Richard Roe and ascertained that he had no intoxicating liquors or beverages upon his person; that the said Richard Roe then and there entered said dwelling house and premises with $1, given him by your deponent, and returned in about five minutes with two-thirds pint of moonshine whisky, so-called, which he gave to this deponent, said moonshine whisky being then and there intoxicating liquor and beverage.’

Upon such statements of fact the magistrate was authorized to exercise his judicial discretion and, if he believed the sworn statement, to find there was probable cause to conclude the described dwelling was being used for the sale and storage of intoxicating liquor and issue the search warrant asked for. People v. Starkweather, 224 Mich. 137, 194 N. W. 525;People v. Woods, 228 Mich. 87, 199 N. W. 603.

The specific grounds urged against the validity of the search warrant itself as issued by the magistrate and served by the officer are that it did not recite all the material facts alleged in the affidavit as the statute expressly directs.

It is settled law in this jurisdiction and generally elsewhere that an affidavit for a search warrant, made only on information and belief, is insufficient to move the judicial discretion of the issuing officer. It must also contain, as distinguished from mere conclusions or belief, known material facts directly stated as affiant's grounds for such belief. In absence of the statement of facts above quoted, the affidavit under consideration would be destitute of material facts and circumstances necessary to justify a finding of probable cause, and invalid for the purpose intended. People v. Effelberg, 230 Mich. 528, 203 N. W. 105;United States v. Michalski (D. C.) 265 F. 839. Those material facts are neither recited by quotation nor stated in substance in the search warrant issued in this case.

The law under which this search warrant issued expressly provides in plain and simple words that ‘the warrant for search shall * * * recite all of the material facts alleged in the affidavit,’ and, to simplify its preparation to a minimum, adds, ‘A warrant for search and seizure substantially in the following form shall be sufficient.’...

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15 cases
  • State v. McCollum, 28809.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • March 16, 1943 search and seizure proceedings are to be strictly construed. [17 Wn.2d 106] Hart v. State, 89 Fla. 202, 103 So. 633; People v. Moten, 233 Mich. 169, 206 N.W. 506. In Cornelius on Search and Seizure (second edition) § 138, pp. 315-317, the learned author discusses the subject of statutory......
  • People v. Sobczak-Obetts, Docket No. 115890, Calendar No. 9.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • May 1, 2001
    ...require suppression of evidence seized pursuant to the warrant,5 those decisions conflicted with this Court's holding in People v. Moten, 233 Mich. 169, 206 N.W. 506 (1925).6 Judge Hoekstra concluded that, because Moten had not been overturned, the Court of Appeals was constrained to hold t......
  • People v. Hawkins, Docket No. 120437
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • June 20, 2003
    ...the Court focused exclusively on the statutes establishing search-warrant requirements. Three years later, in People v. Moten, 233 Mich. 169, 206 N.W. 506 (1925), the Court again applied the exclusionary rule to remedy a statutory violation, relying, in part, on Knopka. See also People v. B......
  • People v. Chapin, Docket No. 226419.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan (US)
    • March 8, 2001
    ...holding was affirmed on appeal to the circuit court. We granted the prosecutor's application for leave to appeal. In People v. Moten, 233 Mich. 169, 170, 206 N.W. 506 (1925), the defendant was convicted of unlawfully having in his possession intoxicating liquor, specifically "moonshine whis......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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