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United States v. Cardoza

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

February 18, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
JARED CARDOZA, Defendant

For JARED CARDOZA, Defendant: William R. Cowden, LEAD ATTORNEY, WILLIAM R. COWDEN, LLC, Washington, DC.

For USA, Plaintiff: Debra L. Long-Doyle, LEAD ATTORNEY, Angela S. George, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Criminal Division, Washington, DC.

Page 28

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

AMY BERMAN JACKSON, United States District Judge.

Defendant Jared Cardoza has filed a motion entitled: Motion to Reopen the Suppression Hearing and for Reconsideration of the Court's Terry Stop Ruling (" Def.'s Mot." ).[1] [Dkt. # 52]. Defendant's original motion to suppress was filed on December 16, 2011, and it sought suppression of all evidence seized from defendant's apartment pursuant to an August 31, 2011

Page 29

search warrant. Def.'s Mot. to Suppress [Dkt. # 12]. The Court held a suppression hearing in this case on April 11, 2012, see Apr. 11, 2012 Minute Entry, and it granted the motion to suppress for the reasons stated on the record in open court on May 31, 2012. See May 31, 2012 Minute Entry. The following findings from that ruling are pertinent to this motion:

o The Court determined that the initial interaction between the police officers and defendant - when Officer Johnston approached a parked car and spoke to its occupants through an open window - was not a " stop" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Therefore, it did not require any level of suspicion. May 31, 2012 Status Conference Tr. (" S.C. Tr." ) at 8 [Dkt. # 41]. The Court rejected defendant's arguments that were premised on the subjective intent of the officers, noting that subject motivations are irrelevant under Fourth Amendment case law. See id. at 8-11.
o The Court held that Officer Johnston's request that defendant step out of the car marked the turning point in the encounter where defendant was now in " custody" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Id. at 13. But the custody was the product of a valid Terry stop prompted and justified by Officer Johnston's reasonable suspicion that defendant - who moments before had visibly placed something under his left leg - might pose a safety risk to Officer Johnston. Id. at 12-14.
o The Court concluded that the affidavit underlying the contested search warrant contained several statements that Officer Hollan made with at least a reckless disregard for the truth, and that he put forth in support of a determination that there was probable cause to search defendant's apartment for evidence of drug trafficking.[2] Id. at 16-31. Once the questionable statements

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were excluded from the sworn affidavit, the remaining facts were not sufficient to support a finding of probable cause. Id. at 31-32. As a result, the Court granted the motion to suppress. Id.

The government appealed the Court's decision to grant the motion to suppress, and the D.C. Circuit reversed the suppression order. United States v. Cardoza, 713 F.3d 656, 661, 404 U.S.App.D.C. 328 (D.C. Cir. 2013). The Court of Appeals found that probable cause existed even after all of the questionable statements had been excised from the affidavit, and therefore, the search of defendant's apartment was proper. Id. at 659-61.

In response to his loss on appeal, defendant now asks this Court to reopen the suppression hearing because he believes that the " Court of Appeals relied on factual assumptions or misunderstandings that this Court can and should correct before further proceedings are had in this case." Def.'s Mot. at 1. He also moves for this Court to reconsider its prior ruling regarding the lawfulness of the ...


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