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Depending on exactly what evidence was specified in the warrant, that home may be less than comfortable now, perhaps even uninhabitable. When serving a search warrant the officers may search in any place that it would be possible to store or conceal the evidence sought. That can mean opening up walls, tearing down cabinets or bookshelves, pulling up toilets, tearing down ceilings, ripping up flooring.

When the search is completed all the cops have to do is leave a true copy of the warrant and an inventory of seized items, secure the premises if necessary (plywood nailed over doors and window openings works), and walk away.

Let's just say I'm kind of hoping they were looking for very small and easily portable items, like thumbdrives, SD cards, little bitty stuff that might be anywhere, no way of telling until you look into every nook and cranny.
 

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Depending on exactly what evidence was specified in the warrant, that home may be less than comfortable now, perhaps even uninhabitable. When serving a search warrant the officers may search in any place that it would be possible to store or conceal the evidence sought. That can mean opening up walls, tearing down cabinets or bookshelves, pulling up toilets, tearing down ceilings, ripping up flooring.

When the search is completed all the cops have to do is leave a true copy of the warrant and an inventory of seized items, secure the premises if necessary (plywood nailed over doors and window openings works), and walk away.

Let's just say I'm kind of hoping they were looking for very small and easily portable items, like thumbdrives, SD cards, little bitty stuff that might be anywhere, no way of telling until you look into every nook and cranny.
I have mixed feelings about the way these sorts of things work. The case of the home which was destroyed by police when a Walmart shoplifter was pursued into a neighborhood, the shoplifter picked a random home to take shelter in comes to mind. SWAT virtually destroyed the home, the city took no responsibility and the homeowner's insurance wouldn't either because it was a police action. Admittedly, slightly different situation due to one being pursuit of a criminal, the other being execution of a search warrant, but if the police have no incentive not to virtually destroy a private residence in the execution of their duties, it isn't a good thing in my view.

 

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Depending on exactly what evidence was specified in the warrant, that home may be less than comfortable now, perhaps even uninhabitable. When serving a search warrant the officers may search in any place that it would be possible to store or conceal the evidence sought. That can mean opening up walls, tearing down cabinets or bookshelves, pulling up toilets, tearing down ceilings, ripping up flooring.

When the search is completed all the cops have to do is leave a true copy of the warrant and an inventory of seized items, secure the premises if necessary (plywood nailed over doors and window openings works), and walk away.

Let's just say I'm kind of hoping they were looking for very small and easily portable items, like thumbdrives, SD cards, little bitty stuff that might be anywhere, no way of telling until you look into every nook and cranny.
And do you wonder why LE becomes targets? If the guy didn't tear his house apart to hide something, there's no justification--other than spite--to tear the house apart to find it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have mixed feelings about the way these sorts of things work. The case of the home which was destroyed by police when a Walmart shoplifter was pursued into a neighborhood, the shoplifter picked a random home to take shelter in comes to mind. SWAT virtually destroyed the home, the city took no responsibility and the homeowner's insurance wouldn't either because it was a police action. Admittedly, slightly different situation due to one being pursuit of a criminal, the other being execution of a search warrant, but if the police have no incentive not to virtually destroy a private residence in the execution of their duties, it isn't a good thing in my view.

Agree, someday it may happen to us when they come looking for those AR's we lost in the boating accident.
 

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I think it is too soon to cheer that the FBI is doing its job. All I can see the guy has done are state charges, violating social distancing rules and videoing looting, although I did not see that he was participating. So why is the FBI involved? This whole idea of "sealed warrants" bothers me. If LE applies for a warrant, they have to present probable cause and if they do that, the defendant, and I think the public, has a right to know why. It sounds like that whole FISA thing that was used against Trump. It will take a lot more for me to consider that "the FBI is doing its job."
 

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@CavemanBob Am I remembering it right that if the search turns up nothing listed on the warrant, the agency (or whomever they work for) must pay for any damages to property? I was thinking I heard about a de-briefing of a team where that happened. I don't think they destroyed the place, but there was significant damage and the owner got an attorney.

I do remember that "sealed warrants" have nothing to do with FISA warrants, and the procedures are different. When the items being named in the warrant could significantly impact the ability to select an impartial jury, then those specific items named in the warrant are not released to the public. Likewise, if the items could jeopardize an ongoing investigation - such as being listed in the ever-invasive media and cause other suspects in the investigation to destroy evidence, then the investigators may ask the judge to seal the warrant. That isn't how FISA works.

There may be other reasons for sealing a warrant, but I can't recall them at the moment.

What Is A Sealed Warrant?
Warrants help legitimize the arrest of a suspect by police officers. However, the nature of sealed warrants are often viewed as controversial by both suspects and the general public.

Courts usually seal warrants for the safety of the suspect or for the security of the prosecution. Sealed warrants must be released to the public 180 days after the suspect is arrested.

If a warrant is sealed, the defense cannot read the information in the warrant. Without full access to the warrant, the defense cannot determine whether the warrant was issued with probable cause until the warrant is unsealed.

Under the United States Constitution, sealed warrants are given high scrutiny. Defense attorneys can demand the warrants be unsealed under the First Amendment right to access records. There are also Fourth Amendment grounds for a suspect to have their warrant unsealed, as all citizens of the United States are entitled to inspect and scrutinize the grounds of a warrant.
FISA warrants do not get put to the same scrutiny.
 
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This comes to mind.

download (7) fishing.jpg
 

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Anyone who can behave irresponsibly with impunity usually will. Especially those in a position of power. Lots of examples to support that hypothesis.
 

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@CavemanBob Am I remembering it right that if the search turns up nothing listed on the warrant, the agency (or whomever they work for) must pay for any damages to property? I was thinking I heard about a de-briefing of a team where that happened. I don't think they destroyed the place, but there was significant damage and the owner got an attorney.

I do remember that "sealed warrants" have nothing to do with FISA warrants, and the procedures are different. When the items being named in the warrant could significantly impact the ability to select an impartial jury, then those specific items named in the warrant are not released to the public. Likewise, if the items could jeopardize an ongoing investigation - such as being listed in the ever-invasive media and cause other suspects in the investigation to destroy evidence, then the investigators may ask the judge to seal the warrant. That isn't how FISA works.

There may be other reasons for sealing a warrant, but I can't recall them at the moment.
I only made the FISA comparison in that the probable cause for the warrant is not revealed to the defendant or the public.
 

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@CavemanBob Am I remembering it right that if the search turns up nothing listed on the warrant, the agency (or whomever they work for) must pay for any damages to property? I was thinking I heard about a de-briefing of a team where that happened. I don't think they destroyed the place, but there was significant damage and the owner got an attorney.
I think that in many states, the property owner would have to prove "unreasonable government activity" to be compensated for the property destruction.
 
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I think that in many states, the property owner would have to prove "unreasonable government activity" to be compensated for the property destruction.
That may be it. I know this issue involved an attorney the homeowner had retained. Who knows. I heard this second hand.
 

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That may be it. I know this issue involved an attorney the homeowner had retained. Who knows. I heard this second hand.
Another downside to all of that is that the homeowner can incur significant costs pursuing the litigation with no certainty of outcome.
 
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Another downside to all of that is that the homeowner can incur significant costs pursuing the litigation with no certainty of outcome.
Another thought occurred to me. I bet it is a nightmare when they goof up and put the wrong address on the warrant - like we had happen here in Houston. This was carried out by dirty drug cops, as they are under indictment by the state and the feds. Plus they killed the residents.

An honest mistake?
 

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And do you wonder why LE becomes targets? If the guy didn't tear his house apart to hide something, there's no justification--other than spite--to tear the house apart to find it.
The Department I worked for cornered a cop killer in a home. and it was pretty shot up by the time they got him out. They passed the hat and asked for help from local contractors in putting the house back together. They raised about $80,000 in private donations. That was the first time I had heard that insurance would not cover the damage. DR
 

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Guess if it happened to my house it would somehow catch on fire. Then my insurance would cover.
Funny how that happened.😇
 

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Guess if it happened to my house it would somehow catch on fire. Then my insurance would cover.
Funny how that happened.😇
...and then you're out a house and freedom, spending time at the crossbars hotel for arson. Funny how that works...
 
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I think that placing the burden of repair and replacement of that which is damaged by the police in the execution of their duties would incentivize the acquisition of technology for non-destructive searches such as x-ray equipment. It also places pressure on the officers to use the least destructive means at hand.
 
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