6.05.2006

Eleventh Circuit Notes Split Re Standard of Review for Denial of a Franks Hearing

Per U.S. v. Arbolaez, --- F.3d ---, 2006 WL 1493833 (11th Cir. June 1, 2006):

Generally, a court's decision about whether to hold an evidentiary hearing lies within that court's sound discretion and will be reviewed only for an abuse of discretion. See United States v. Dynalectric Co., 859 F.2d 1559, 1580 (11th Cir.1988). We have not stated a precise standard of review for a district court's denial of a Franks hearing [regarding the validity of the affidavit supporting a search warrant], and other circuits are split on the issue.[See note 11] Because, as was the case for the Sixth Circuit in United States v. Stewart,“the more exacting de novo standard of review is satisfied” here, we need not address the issue further. Stewart, 306 F.3d 295, 304 (6th Cir.2002).

[Note 11]: Compare United States v. Fairchild, 122 F.3d 605, 610 (8th Cir.1997) (review for abuse of discretion), United States v. Skinner, 972 F.2d 171, 177 (7th Cir.1992) (review for clear error), United States v. Hadfield, 918 F.2d 987, 992 (1st Cir.1990) (same), and United States v. One Parcel of Property, 897 F.2d 97, 100 (2d Cir.1990) (same), with United States v. Homick, 964 F.2d 899, 904 (9th Cir.1992) ( de novo review), and United States v. Mueller, 902 F.2d 336, 341 (5th Cir.1990) (same); see also United States v. Stewart, 306 F.3d 295, 304 (6th Cir.2002) (discussing split).

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