U.S. v. Black, No. 05-10640.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtB. Fletcher
Citation482 F.3d 1035
Docket NumberNo. 05-10640.
Decision Date26 October 2006
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Jasper BLACK, Defendant-Appellant.
482 F.3d 1035
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Jasper BLACK, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 05-10640.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Argued and Submitted September 14, 2006.
Filed October 26, 2006.
Amended April 9, 2007.

[482 F.3d 1037]

Anne Traum, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Las Vegas, NV, for the defendant-appellant.

J. Gregory Damm, Assistant United States Attorney, Las Vegas, NV, for the plaintiff-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Nevada; Lloyd D. George, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CR-04-00093-LDG.

Before BETTY B. FLETCHER and MARSHA S. BERZON, Circuit Judges, and DAVID G. TRAGER,* District Judge.

Opinion by Judge BETTY B. FLETCHER; Dissent by Judge BERZON.

ORDER AMENDING OPINION AND DISSENT AND AMENDED OPINION AND AMENDED DISSENT

B. FLETCHER, Circuit Judge.


ORDER

The opinion and dissent filed on October 26, 2006, United States v. Black, 466 F.3d 1143 (9th Cir.2006), are amended as follows:

AMENDMENTS TO OPINION

On page 1145, line 32 add the following sentence at the beginning of the paragraph: "First, the police did not have stop-watches in hand and could only approximate the elapsed times." In the sentence that originally headed this paragraph, delete "First" and substitute "Second". Delete from page 1145, lines 33-39:

Second, the times cited by the dissent are all approximate times. Rodriguez was dispatched at approximately 8:40 and arrived at approximately 8:43. If each approximation is off by a single minute, then Walker could have arrived at the apartment three minutes before Rodriguez—ample time for Black to have taken her inside the building. We conclude that the circumstances do support an objectively reasonable belief that Walker could be in the apartment.

At the end of the altered paragraph, add:

Third, what the officers knew at the time was that Walker said she would meet them at the scene, she was not there but her attacker was, and he denied living in the apartment though he had a key to it. These circumstances were reason enough for the officers to believe that Walker could very well be in the apartment injured. In addition, the attacker admitted that he was aware that the officers were investigating a domestic violence call. How did he know that? It could be that Walker told him earlier that she was calling the police. But a more serious alternative was also a possibility: Walker had returned and told Black that the police were on the way to which he had a violent response. The officers did not have the time to conduct a thorough examination of all the information that was available to them and to conclude, as we might after the fact, that this was an unlikely possibility.

482 F.3d 1038

As the dissent rightly concedes, whether the actions of the police are objectively reasonable is to be judged by the circumstances known to them. They were not conducting a trial, but were required to make an on-the-spot decision as to whether Walker could be in the apartment in need of medical help; the objective circumstances did not require them to reach the conclusion that there was little or no risk that Walker was in the apartment in danger. To the contrary, the combination of these circumstances support an objectively reasonable belief that Walker could be in the apartment.

AMENDMENTS TO DISSENT

In the third full paragraph on page 1148, replace the sentence "The first officer arrived at 804 J Street, about three minutes after Walker called 911" with "The first officer, Rodriguez, arrived at 804 J Street at 8:43 a.m., three minutes after Walker ended her 911 call."

1. In the last full paragraph beginning on page 1148, replace the first two sentences—"The majority argues that this timeline of the morning's events somehow errs by relying— seemingly, too much—on the evidence before supported by the record. And yet, these are the facts before us and the facts upon which we must rely to make our decision."—with the next three paragraphs:

The timeline of events in this case is amply supported by the record, courtesy of an exceedingly precise log—one that chronicles the relevant events down to the millisecond—from the Las Vegas police department's communication center. According to that log, we know that Walker called 911 at exactly 8:39:3465 and that she spoke with a dispatcher until exactly 8:40:1749. We also know that Rodriguez was dispatched at exactly 8:42:5825 and that he arrived at 804 J Street at 8:43:2487—again just over three minutes after Walker ended her 911 call.

The majority prefers to ignore these facts in favor of conjecture—specifically, its inference that Black knew the police were investigating a domestic violence incident because Walker herself told him about the 911 call, after hypothetically returning to the apartment. This hypothesis, however, does not accord with the tight timeline that makes it nigh unto impossible for Walker to have returned to the apartment after calling 911 but before Officer Rodriguez's arrival.

Moreover, by hanging its hat on this version of events, the majority ignores its own alternate, but far more plausible, scenario—namely, that Black knew the police were investigating a domestic violence incident because Walker told him that she would call 911 before fleeing the apartment. This inference does not hinge on Walker returning to the apartment after calling 911 and, thus, unlike the majority's conjecture, would fit into the timeline presented; not surprisingly, the majority dismisses it. Equally plausible under the established chronological constraints is yet another possibility— that Black surmised that the police had arrived to investigate a domestic violence incident not because of anything Walker said or did, but simply because he had been involved in just such an incident earlier that morning. In short, not only does the majority base its analysis on pure conjecture, but the theories it spins out do not conform to the detailed timeline the record establishes.

2. On page 1149, begin a new paragraph with the text: "To be sure, none of the information. . . ."

3. On page 1149, in the sentence beginning "To be sure, none of the information

482 F.3d 1039

. . .," replace the word "here" with "in the record," so that the sentence now reads: "To be sure, none of the information in the record affirmatively confirms exactly where Walker was after she made her 911 call."

4. On page 1149, edit the sentence that begins "Instead, the government's arguments . . . ." so that it reads: "Instead, the government's arguments, like the majority's, amount to nothing more than insufficient `speculation.'"

AMENDED OPINION

On appeal, Jasper Black challenges his conviction as a felon in possession, arguing that the district court erred when it denied his motion to suppress the gun. We affirm.

I.

The police justify their entry into Black's apartment, not as one looking for evidence of a crime but as a welfare search occasioned by a 911 domestic violence call. Police were dispatched to the apartment after Black's ex-girlfriend, Tyroshia Walker, called 911 and reported that Black had beaten her up that morning in the apartment and that he had a gun. Toward the end of her 911 call, Walker told the dispatcher that she intended to return to the apartment with her mother in order to retrieve her clothing and that the two women would wait outside the apartment, in a white Ford pickup truck, for police to arrive. Officer Rodriguez was dispatched to the scene to meet the women. When he arrived at the apartment a few minutes later there were no signs of Walker, her mother, or the truck. Rodriguez contacted Officer Kikkert, who was already on his way to the apartment, and directed him to stop by the grocery store from which Walker had made her phone call. Kikkert checked the store for signs of Walker but, finding none, he continued to the apartment.

After Kikkert arrived at Black's apartment, the two officers knocked on the front door but received no response. They then contacted the apartment manager in an attempt to gain access to the building. In the meantime, Kikkert circled the building to inspect the backyard area. There, he discovered an individual who matched Black's physical description. The individual identified himself as Jasper Black and admitted that he knew the police were investigating a domestic violence call. He denied knowing the whereabouts of Walker and also denied that he lived in the apartment. When the defendant became agitated, one of the police officers patted him down for weapons and searched his pockets with the defendant's consent, which yielded the key to the apartment. Using the key, Rodriguez entered and made a quick sweep of the apartment to see if anyone was there. No one was present, but Rodriguez noticed a gun on the bed. Without touching the gun, he exited, arrested Black, and sought a warrant for the gun.

The police were justified in their entry because they feared that Walker could have been inside the apartment, badly injured and in need of medical attention, and that their warrantless search of the apartment was, therefore, justified by exigent circumstances. As the government argued both during the suppression hearing and on appeal, Walker could have returned to the apartment after her 911 call, but before police arrived at the scene. At that point, Black could have managed to pull her back into the apartment. Once inside the apartment, Black—in a repeat performance of his behavior earlier that morning—could have beaten Walker again and left her in the apartment severely injured. Even worse, he could have shot

482 F.3d 1040

Walker using the gun that police knew was inside the apartment.

The dissent would hold that the circumstances of this case do not support an objectively reasonable belief that Walker could be inside the apartment....

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    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • March 25, 2013
    ...and without the federal judicial system, if those proceedings have a direct relation to the matters at issue.’ ” United States v. Black, 482 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir.2007) (quoting United States ex. rel. Robinson Rancheria Citizens Council v. Borneo, Inc., 971 F.2d 244, 248 (9th Cir.1992)).......
  • Ewing v. Superior Court of Cal., Case No. 13–cv–01577–BASBLM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • March 11, 2015
    ...Borneo, Inc., 971 F.2d 244, 248 (9th Cir.1992) (taking judicial notice of a California court's final judgment); United States v. Black, 482 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir.2007) (federal courts “may take notice of proceedings in other courts, both within and without the federal judicial system, if......
  • Johnson v. Altamirano, Case No.: 3:19-cv-01185-H-BLM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • December 2, 2019
    ...notice of the filings from the prior federal action and the state court actions submitted by the parties. See United States v. Black, 482 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir. 2007) (A district court " ‘may take notice of proceedings in other courts, both within and without the federal judicial system,......
  • Williams v. Cnty. of Alameda, Case No: C 12–02511 SBA
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • February 10, 2014
    ...to determine whether exigent circumstances relieved the officers of the customary need for a warrant prior to entry. U.S. v. Black, 482 F.3d 1035, 1040 (9th Cir.2007); see Brooks, 367 F.3d at 1136 (finding that the exigency doctrine allowed warrantless entry where a 911 call alerted police ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
345 cases
  • Hardesty v. Sacramento Metro. Air Quality Mgmt. Dist., Civ. No. S–10–2414 KJM JFM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • March 25, 2013
    ...and without the federal judicial system, if those proceedings have a direct relation to the matters at issue.’ ” United States v. Black, 482 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir.2007) (quoting United States ex. rel. Robinson Rancheria Citizens Council v. Borneo, Inc., 971 F.2d 244, 248 (9th Cir.1992)).......
  • Ewing v. Superior Court of Cal., Case No. 13–cv–01577–BASBLM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • March 11, 2015
    ...Borneo, Inc., 971 F.2d 244, 248 (9th Cir.1992) (taking judicial notice of a California court's final judgment); United States v. Black, 482 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir.2007) (federal courts “may take notice of proceedings in other courts, both within and without the federal judicial system, if......
  • Johnson v. Altamirano, Case No.: 3:19-cv-01185-H-BLM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • December 2, 2019
    ...notice of the filings from the prior federal action and the state court actions submitted by the parties. See United States v. Black, 482 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir. 2007) (A district court " ‘may take notice of proceedings in other courts, both within and without the federal judicial sy......
  • Williams v. Cnty. of Alameda, Case No: C 12–02511 SBA
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • February 10, 2014
    ...to determine whether exigent circumstances relieved the officers of the customary need for a warrant prior to entry. U.S. v. Black, 482 F.3d 1035, 1040 (9th Cir.2007); see Brooks, 367 F.3d at 1136 (finding that the exigency doctrine allowed warrantless entry where a 911 call alerted police ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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