U.S. v. Padilla

Decision Date08 August 1975
Docket NumberNo. 75-1107,75-1107
Citation520 F.2d 526
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Appellant, v. Alfredo Franco PADILLA, Appellee.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit

Julio Morales Sanchez, U. S. Atty., and Juan M. Perez-Gimenez, Asst. U. S. Atty., on brief for appellant.

Melvyn Kessler, Miami, Fla., on brief for appellee.

Before COFFIN, Chief Judge, McENTEE and CAMPBELL, Circuit Judges.

COFFIN, Chief Judge.

This is an appeal by the government from the suppression of taped conversations held between the defendant and two Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The facts have been stipulated by the parties. The DEA rented two rooms at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan in anticipation of the arrivals of Special Agent Gilberto Nazario and the defendant. These rooms were rented under the name of Gilberto Nazario, one to be used solely as the temporary residence of the defendant while he stayed in San Juan. Before the defendant had arrived in San Juan, the agents of DEA installed a hidden microphone in his room and set up a receiving unit in the room next door, without the knowledge or consent of the defendant. In the late evening and early morning hours after the defendant checked in, he had conversations in his hotel room with several agents. These conversations were allegedly negotiations of purchases of marihuana and cocaine; 1 they were recorded by other agents in the neighboring room. It is alleged by the government that only conversations that took place between special agents and the defendant were recorded.

There was, concededly, no authorization sought or obtained under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2516 and 2518 for the interception of wire or oral communications. The government would have us overlook the fact that a microphone was installed in the hotel room without prior authority and consider the case as if the agent carried a recording device on him, thus bringing it within the authority of United States v. White, 401 U.S. 745, 91 S.Ct. 1122, 28 L.Ed.2d 453 (1971). It assures us that only conversations between the agent and defendant were recorded.

We do not read either White or its predecessors, Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 88 S.Ct. 507, 19 L.Ed.2d 576 (1967), and Hoffa v. United States, 385 U.S. 293, 87 S.Ct. 408, 17 L.Ed.2d 374 (1966), to go farther than to say that a person has no justifiable expectation that one with whom he converses will not tell the authorities of the conversation, and that accurate recordings of the conversation are therefore permissible. 2 The built-in limitation on the frustration of such a person's actual expectation of privacy is that no more can be recorded than is given to one who is, mistakenly or not, trusted. When one's confidante leaves his premises, he is left with an expectation of privacy in his surroundings which is not only actual but justifiable, Katz, supra.

The government's position would turn on its head the carefully tailored exception to the Katz protection afforded one's expectation of privacy. See Note, Electronic Eavesdropping and the Right to Privacy, 52 B.U.L.Rev. 831 (1972). Electronic devices could be installed for lengthy periods of time without antecedent authority, so long as only a suspect's conversations with police agents were offered in evidence and the enforcement officials alleged that nothing else was recorded. Under this approach a room or an entire hotel could be bugged permanently with impunity and with the hope that some usable conversations with agents would occur.

No case has been presented to us which would allow the government to engage in unlawful electronic surveillance and profit from the fruits of that surveillance on the ground that had a different means been employed, the recordings would have been admissible. We reject the invitation so to extend the holding of White.

Affirmed.

1 The defendant...

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12 cases
  • People v. Henderson, D008371
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • 5 June 1990
    ...agent by federal law. (United States v. White, supra, 401 U.S. at p. 752, 91 S.Ct. at p. 1126.) As stated in United States v. Padilla (1st Cir.1975) 520 F.2d 526, where government agents planted a microphone in a hotel room and recorded the defendant's conversations without his knowledge or......
  • U.S. v. Shryock
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • 4 September 2003
    ...harmless beyond a reasonable doubt as to the only Appellants with standing to challenge their admissibility. Cf. United States v. Padilla, 520 F.2d 526, 527-28 (1st Cir.1975); United States v. Yonn, 702 F.2d 1341, 1346-47 (11th Turning to the admissibility of the video portions of the video......
  • U.S. v. Lee
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • 20 February 2004
    ...in the room when Beavers was not present. In making this argument, Lee relies on the First Circuit's decision in United States v. Padilla, 520 F.2d 526, 527-28 (1st Cir.1975), which held that the defendant's Fourth Amendment rights were violated when agents placed an audio recording device ......
  • U.S. v. Larios
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit
    • 29 January 2010
    ...expectation that they would be free from video surveillance after the informants left. Id. at 600, 604.11 In United States v. Padilla, 520 F.2d 526 (1st Cir.1975), we held that secret audio surveillance of a motel room violated the defendant's reasonable expectation of privacy. Id. at 528. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 books & journal articles
  • Authentication
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Trial Evidence Foundations - 2015 Contents
    • 31 July 2015
    ...the inaudible portions or omissions are so substantial as to render the recording untrustworthy as a whole. United States v. Padilla , 520 F.2d 526 (1st Cir. 1975). A hidden recording device which is in the proximity of a consenting party is constitutionally permissible if what is recorded ......
  • Authentication
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Trial Evidence Foundations - 2016 Contents
    • 31 July 2016
    ...the inaudible portions or omissions are so substantial as to render the recording untrustworthy as a whole. United States v. Padilla , 520 F.2d 526 (1st Cir. 1975). A hidden recording device which is in the proximity of a consenting party is constitutionally permissible if what is recorded ......
  • Authentication
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Trial Evidence Foundations - 2017 Contents
    • 31 July 2017
    ...the inaudible portions or omissions are so substantial as to render the recording untrustworthy as a whole. United States v. Padilla , 520 F.2d 526 (1st Cir. 1975). A hidden recording device which is in the proximity of a consenting party is constitutionally permissible if what is recorded ......
  • Authentication
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Trial Evidence Foundations - 2018 Contents
    • 31 July 2018
    ...the inaudible portions or omissions are so substantial as to render the recording untrustworthy as a whole. United States v. Padilla , 520 F.2d 526 (1st Cir. 1975). A hidden recording device which is in the proximity of a consenting party is constitutionally permissible if what is recorded ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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