United States v. Padilla et al.

The Facts

Defendants were accomplices of the conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute them and they did actually distribute the illegal drugs. Their vehicle was stopped for investigation purpose and there were discovered actual drugs.

Procedural History

Defendants filed a motion to suppress all evidence discovered in the course of the investigation, claiming that the evidence was the fruit of the unlawful investigatory stop of a vehicle. The court of appeals affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.

The US Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals as well as rejected the Ninth Circuit’s coconspirator rule that a participant in a criminal enterprise had standing to challenge the legality of a search and seizure.


“A defendant can urge the suppression of evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment only if that defendant demonstrates that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the challenged search or seizure. The established principle is that suppression of the product of a Fourth Amendment violation can be successfully urged only by those whose rights were violated by the search itself, not by those who are aggrieved solely by the introduction of damaging evidence”.

The Issue

Whether the court correctly reversed acts of the law enforcement officers referring to expectations of privacy and property interests governed be the Fourth Amendment search and seizure claims.

The Holding/Reasoning

The US Supreme Court held, that alleged participation in criminal conspiracy held not to have added to alleged coconspirators’ property interests or expectations of privacy for purposes of standing to challenge search and seizure under Fourth Amendment.

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