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Name: U.S. v. Henderson
Case #: 99-10526
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/11/2000
Subsequent History: None

The district court did not abuse its discretion in failing to order the government to disclose the identity of a confidential informant, and in failing to hold an in camera hearing on that request in this prosecution for multiple bank robberies. Here, appellant failed to make the minimal threshold showing that the disclosure would be relevant to at least one defense, which, had it been made, would have required the district court to hold an in camera hearing on the disclosure issue at which it would balance appellant’s interest in putting on a defense against the government’s interest in encouraging citizens to provide information. To satisfy the abuse of discretion standard applied here requires a finding that the district court made an error of law or that its decision rested on a clearly erroneous finding of a material fact, or was irrational. The Ninth Circuit here joined the Eleventh Circuit in holding that a lessee has an expectation of privacy in his or her rented car, even after the term of the lease expires. The FBI had probable cause to arrest appellant. After the anonymous tipster identified Dee Henderson as the suspect in the Las Vegas robberies, they uncovered substantial circumstantial evidence linking Henderson to those robberies. The district court was not required to hold an evidentiary hearing on the issue of the probable cause for appellant’s arrest. Appellant’s proffer did not create a genuine issue of material fact concerning whether the FBI had picked up appellant’s booking photo and compared it to the surveillance photographs of the bank robberies prior to arresting appellant. The FBI had probable cause to search the trunk of appellant’s rental car based on the totality of the circumstances. Appellant had been seen checking out of a hotel and placing his bags in the trunk of the car. The FBI knew appellant wore distinctive clothing in the robberies, and that he repeatedly wore the same clothing when he committed the robberies. It was probable that the distinctive clothing would be in the trunk of his car.