State v. Missouri, No. 25874.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtChief Justice TOAL
Citation603 S.E.2d 594,361 S.C. 107
Docket NumberNo. 25874.
Decision Date27 September 2004
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Victor MISSOURI, Petitioner.

361 S.C. 107
603 S.E.2d 594

The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Victor MISSOURI, Petitioner

No. 25874.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Heard June 8, 2004.

Decided September 27, 2004.


361 S.C. 109
Assistant Appellate Defender Tara S. Taggart, of South Carolina Office of Appellate Defense, of Columbia, for Petitioner

Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, and Senior Assistant Attorney General Norman Mark Rapoport, all of Columbia; and Solicitor Robert M. Ariail, of Greenville, for Respondent.

361 S.C. 108
Chief Justice TOAL

This Court granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision reversing the trial court, which held that Petitioner Victor Missouri (Missouri) did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in another's apartment and therefore could not challenge the search of the apartment under the Fourth Amendment. We reverse.

FACTUAL/PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In early 1995, Greenville detectives were investigating a crack-cocaine ring. The police obtained a warrant to search the apartment of Curtis and Laura Sibert (Siberts) for cocaine. Missouri was in the apartment at the time, standing near a quantity of crack cocaine. Missouri was arrested and charged with trafficking in crack cocaine.

At trial, lead detective Eric Cureton (Detective Cureton) admitted that he lied in the affidavit issued in support of the search warrant. In addition, Missouri argued that exculpatory information was omitted from the affidavit. Nonetheless, the trial court denied Missouri's motion to suppress the evidence obtained in the search. In an unpublished opinion, the court of appeals reversed, ruling that the omitted information was necessary for the magistrate's finding of probable cause, and remanded the matter for a hearing to determine whether Missouri had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the Siberts' apartment. State v. Missouri, Op. No. 97-UP-448 (S.C. Ct.App. filed September 15, 1997). This Court affirmed the court of appeals' ruling, holding that the search warrant was

361 S.C. 110
invalid because it was not supported by probable cause. State v. Missouri, 337 S.C. 548, 556-557, 524 S.E.2d 394, 398 (1999)

A hearing was then held to determine, as the court of appeals instructed, whether Missouri had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the Siberts' apartment. Missouri and Curtis Sibert (Curtis) testified that are close friends and have known each other for many years. On occasion, Curtis would give Missouri a key to the Siberts' apartment, allowing Missouri to come and go as he pleased. Even though Missouri lived only a few miles away, he would stay at the Siberts' apartment whenever he wanted to "get away." Missouri testified that the apartment was a place of comfort and solace for him and that he felt a sense of privacy there.

The State presented the testimony of the arresting officer, Detective Cureton. When Detective Cureton conducted surveillance on the Siberts' apartment the day of the arrest, he observed Missouri enter the apartment between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m. Detective Cureton also observed Curtis and his wife Laura purchasing large quantities of baking soda1 at different locations around town earlier that day. The police searched the Siberts' apartment between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m.

When he entered the apartment, Detective Cureton discovered Missouri in the kitchen standing over several dishes of cooling crack cocaine, while Curtis and Laura sat on the couch watching television. Detective Cureton testified that the police confiscated Missouri's keys and that the key ring held only three keys: two car keys and a key to Missouri's residence. In addition, Detective Cureton recovered a black bag belonging to Missouri that contained scales and packaging paper. Detective Cureton testified that Missouri had no other items in the apartment. But on cross-examination, Detective Cureton admitted that he did not know whether Missouri had a change of clothes in the Siberts' apartment at the time of the search.

Curtis testified that Missouri did not stay over the night before the search took place and could not remember the last time Missouri had spent the night. Curtis testified that at the time of arrest, (1) Missouri had a key to the apartment; (2) he

361 S.C. 111
would not have allowed Missouri to use the apartment if he had known Missouri intended to mix drugs there; and (3) Missouri was in the apartment for social reasons only.

After considering the testimony presented at the hearing, the trial judge found Missouri had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the Siberts' apartment. The court of appeals reversed, holding that Missouri did not have "standing"2 because he did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the Siberts' apartment. Missouri was merely a permitted guest conducting business, the court ruled, not an overnight guest entitled to Fourth Amendment protection. State v. Missouri, 572 S.E.2d 467, 471, 352 S.C. 121, 130 (Ct.App.2002).

This Court granted Missouri's petition for writ of certiorari to review the following question:

Did the court of appeals err in reversing the trial judge's ruling that Missouri had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the Siberts' apartment?

LAW/ANALYSIS

Standard of Review

When reviewing a Fourth Amendment search and seizure case, an appellate court must affirm the trial judge's ruling if there is any evidence to support the ruling. State v. Brockman, 339 S.C. 57, 66, 528 S.E.2d 661, 666 (2000) (emphasis added). The appellate court will reverse only when there is clear error. Id.

Reasonable Expectation of Privacy

Missouri argues that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the Siberts' apartment at the time the police searched the apartment. We agree.

361 S.C. 112
The Fourth Amendment guarantees individuals the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. U.S. Const. amend. IV; S.C. Const. art. I, § 10. To claim protection under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,...

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63 practice notes
  • State v. Robinson, No. 27463.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • November 12, 2014
    ...U.S. at 90, 119 S.Ct. 469 ; Minnesota v. Olson, 495 U.S. 91, 93, 96–97 & n. 6, 110 S.Ct. 1684, 109 L.Ed.2d 85 (1990) ; State v. Missouri, 361 S.C. 107, 110, 115, 603 S.E.2d 594, 595, 597 (2004) ; State v. Flowers, 360 S.C. 1, 6, 598 S.E.2d 725, 728 (Ct.App.2004).8 Olson, 495 U.S. at 97 n. 6......
  • The State v. Geer, No. 4760.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • February 25, 2011
    ...seizure case, an appellate court must affirm the trial judge's ruling if there is any evidence to support the ruling.” State v. Missouri, 361 S.C. 107, 111, 603 S.E.2d 594, 596 (2004). The trial court's factual findings on whether evidence should be suppressed due to a Fourth Amendment viol......
  • State v. Johnson, No. 5246.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 30, 2014
    ...436, 442, 706 S.E.2d 324, 326 (2011). “The appellate court will reverse only when there is clear error.' ” Id. (citing State v. Missouri, 361 S.C. 107, 111, 603 S.E.2d 594, 596 (2004) ). “[T]his deference does not bar this Court from conducting its own review of the record to determine whet......
  • The State v. Geer, Opinion No. 4760
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • November 24, 2010
    ...seizure case, an appellate court must affirm the trial judge's ruling if there is any evidence to support the ruling." State v. Missouri, 361 S.C. 107, 111, 603 S.E.2d 594, 596 (2004). The trial court's factual findings on whether evidence should be suppressed due to a Fourth Amendment viol......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
66 cases
  • State v. Robinson, No. 27463.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • November 12, 2014
    ...at 90, 119 S.Ct. 469 ; Minnesota v. Olson, 495 U.S. 91, 93, 96–97 & n. 6, 110 S.Ct. 1684, 109 L.Ed.2d 85 (1990) ; State v. Missouri, 361 S.C. 107, 110, 115, 603 S.E.2d 594, 595, 597 (2004) ; State v. Flowers, 360 S.C. 1, 6, 598 S.E.2d 725, 728 (Ct.App.2004).8 Olson, 495 U.S. at 97 n. 6,......
  • People v. Ibarguen, 56
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • October 14, 2021
    ...the question of social guest privacy (see e.g. State v. Talkington, 301 Kan. 453, 345 P.3d 258, 276–77 (2015) ; State v. Missouri, 361 S.C. 107, 114, 603 S.E.2d 594 (S.C. 2004) ; Morton v. United States, 734 A.2d 178, 182 (D.C. 1999) ["social guests of the host generally have a legitim......
  • People v. Ibarguen, 56
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • October 14, 2021
    ...the question of social guest privacy (see e.g. State v. Talkington, 301 Kan. 453, 345 P.3d 258, 276–77 (2015) ; State v. Missouri, 361 S.C. 107, 114, 603 S.E.2d 594 (S.C. 2004) ; Morton v. United States, 734 A.2d 178, 182 (D.C. 1999) ["social guests of the host generally have a legitim......
  • The State v. Geer, No. 4760.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • February 25, 2011
    ...seizure case, an appellate court must affirm the trial judge's ruling if there is any evidence to support the ruling.” State v. Missouri, 361 S.C. 107, 111, 603 S.E.2d 594, 596 (2004). The trial court's factual findings on whether evidence should be suppressed due to a Fourth Amendment viol......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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