Franks v. Delaware Case Brief

Facts of the Case

Prior to his trial on rape and related charges in the Superior Court of Delaware, defendant sought to suppress clothing and a knife found on a search of his apartment that had been conducted pursuant to a warrant that was obtained upon the affidavit of the police. Although the motion to suppress had originally alleged that the warrant on its face did not show probable cause and that the search and seizure violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, it was amended at a hearing on the motion to include an attack on the veracity of the warrant affidavit, and a request was made to call certain witnesses to establish the alleged untruthful matters. The trial court sustained the state’s objection to the defendant’s going behind the warrant affidavit and denied the motion to suppress. After defendant was convicted at a trial at which evidence obtained on the challenged search was admitted, defendant appealed, and the Supreme Court of Delaware affirmed, holding that a defendant under no circumstances could challenge, subsequent to the ex parte issuance of a search warrant, the veracity of a sworn statement used by police to procure the search warrant. Defendant sought further review by the United States Supreme Court.


Did the searches of Coolidge’s home and automobile violate the Fourth Amendment?



Case Information

Citation: 438 US 154 (1978)
Argued: Feb 27, 1978
Decided: Jun 26, 1978
Case Brief: 1978