6.17.2009

Eleventh Circuit Notes Split Re Standard of Review for a District Court's Denial of a Franks Hearing

Per U.S. v. Sarras, --- F.3d ----, 2009 WL 1661152 (11th Cir. June 16, 2009):

Sarras moved to suppress the evidence seized from his Tweed residence, alleging that (1) Ortiz's affidavit contained deliberate and material falsehoods and omissions and (2) a Franks hearing was required.FN5

FN5. Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 155-56, 98 S.Ct. 2674, 2676 (1978) (instructing that where a defendant makes a “substantial preliminary showing that a false statement knowingly and intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the truth, was included by the affiant in [a] warrant affidavit, and if the allegedly false statement is necessary to the finding of probable cause, the Fourth Amendment requires that a hearing be held at the defendant's request”).

. . .

Sarras contends that the district court abused its discretion by denying his motion to suppress evidence without first conducting a Franks hearing.FN37

FN37. “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. We have not stated a precise standard of review for a district court's denial of a Franks hearing, and other circuits are split on the issue.” United States v. Arbolaez, 450 F.3d 1283, 1293 (11th Cir.2006) (internal citations omitted) (concluding that “[because] ... the more exacting de novo standard of review is satisfied here, we need not address the issue further.” (quotation marks omitted)). As in Arbolaez, we need not decide which standard of review to apply, as we discern no error under even a de novo standard of review. See United States v. Kapordelis, No. 07-14499, 2009 WL 1508342, at *19-20 (11th Cir. June 1, 2009) (same).

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