Garbage In May Not be Garbage Out

The United States Supreme Court is going to hear a case which may expand the limits of probable cause. The Coffee County Alabama Sheriff’s Department was desperate to search Bennie Herring’s car. A deputy called the dispatcher to check for active warrants. Unfortunately, there weren’t any. Undeterred in his quest to pull a pretext search of Mr. Herring, the deputy asked the dispatcher to check with neighboring Dale County. Dale County initially told Coffee County there was a warrant. They were wrong. The question presented in Herring is whether the police officer’s “good faith” reliance on this incorrect information in his question to pull a bad faith pretext stop should have the search. The briefs have been filed and the case will be argued on October 8th. To read the SCOTUS Wiki article on the case and access the party briefs, click here.