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Name: United States v. Sears
Case #: 03-10573
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/20/2005

Where a clerical error resulted in a magistrate approving a copy of a search warrant request that omitted eight words that were included in the version of the warrant ultimately relied upon by the officers who served it, the error did not require complete suppression of the evidence seized. The version of the warrant presented to the magistrate had twice omitted the words “or nearby” and had once omitted the phrase “but not limited to,” and the district court had ordered suppression of the evidence that exceeded the scope of the version of the warrant actually approved by the magistrate. On appeal the defendant had argued that the entirety of the evidence should have been suppressed, but the Ninth Circuit affirmed. While the court was troubled by the error, it found that the Fourth Amendment violation was not flagrant, particularly since the court would have found no constitutional violation had the magistrate approved the more expansive version of the warrant.