Published on: Saturday, May 13, 2023
A San Antonio man, during a traffic stop outside his mother's house, throws his jacket onto a garbage can on her property. Police grab the jacket and find a gun inside. Felon in possession? Suppress the evidence? District court: No suppression Fifth Circuit: Suppression.Tossing an item onto property you often visit and are welcome isn't abandonment, so the cops couldn't just search the jacket willy-nilly. You need a warrant for that but you didn't get one. Conviction vacated. Dissent: Anyone could've taken that jacket.
The case is United States v. Ramirez, No. 22-50042 (5th Cir. May 10, 2023).