United States v. Grubbs

Facts of the Case

An anticipatory search warrant is based on an affidavit showing probable cause that at some future time (but not presently) certain evidence of crime will be located at a specified place and typically subjects the warrant’s execution to some condition precedent (the triggering condition) other than the mere passage of time.

Question

Did the Fourth Amendment require suppression of evidence seized during a search that had been authorized by an anticipatory warrant, when the warrant’s triggering events were not shown to the person searched?

CONCLUSION

No. Justice Antonin Scalia, in the majority opinion, wrote that under the Fourth Amendment’s particularity requirement a warrant need not set out the conditions that trigger it, only the place to be searched and the persons or things to be searched for. The fact that the triggering conditions were included in the affidavit, even if they were never showed to Grubbs, was therefore sufficient.

Case Information

  • Citation: 547 US 90 (2006)
  • Granted: Sep 27, 2005
  • Argued: Jan 18, 2006
  • Decided Mar 21, 2006