NC Court of Appeals Rules in favor of Attorney Paul Smith’s client, finds officers violated Fourth Amendment during warrant execution

This morning, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued a decision in favor of Patterson Harkavy attorney Paul Smith’s client.

In State v. Tripp, the Court held that the trial court erred in denying a motion to suppress evidence uncovered while executing a home search warrant. While executing the search warrant, a police officer seized and searched an individual standing by the front porch of the home next door. The Court of Appeals recognized that while the individual was a suspect in the criminal investigation that gave rise to the home search, his seizure was not authorized by the search warrant, he did not pose a threat to the safe execution of the warrant, and he was not engaging in any suspicious activity. The Court therefore held that the seizure violated the Fourth Amendment and that all evidence obtained as a result should be suppressed.