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Name: People v. Willis
Case #: S079245
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/03/2002
Subsequent History: None
Summary

Police officers searched appellant’s motel room, erroneously believing appellant to be on parole. They found narcotics and paraphernalia and arrested appellant, who had shown them proof of discharge from parole prior to the search. The Court of Appeal affirmed appellant’s conviction for possession for sale, finding that although the initial entry was unlawful because appellant was not on parole, the unlawful entry did not taint the subsequent reasonable actions which led to the discovery of the narcotics. It rejected the Attorney General’s argument that the search was justified because the officers acted in good faith because they had reliable information that appellant was on parole. Both appellant and the prosecution petitioned for review. The Supreme Court here reversed the Court of Appeal, holding that the initial entry was unlawful because there was no valid parole condition in effect. Because a Fourth Amendment violation occurred when the officers entered the room, it was irrelevant that their observations after they entered may have established probable cause to support the issuance of a search warrant. Evidence sufficient to support a “good faith” exception was not established by the prosecution, and it was not the defendant’s burden to show a lack of good faith.