October 19th, 2017
Louisiana Supreme Court Opinions
Louisiana v. Brignac
Opinion Date: October 18, 2017
Judge: Bernette J. Johnson
Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law
The underlying issue in this case concerned the reasonableness of a warrantless search of a probationer’s residence by multi-agency state and federal law enforcement personnel. Two officers from the New Orleans District of Probation and Parole were conducting a “residence check” because the department received information from another law enforcement agency that defendant Kayla Brignac may have been involved in the sale of narcotics. During the search, officer found Brignac in a bedroom with what appeared to be a burned marijuana cigarette in plain view. A search of the remainder of the residence netted miscellaneous pills and drug paraphernalia. Specifically, the issue this case presented for the Louisiana Supreme Court’s review was whether the search violated Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 895(A)(13)(a). After review of the law and record, and considering the arguments of the parties, the Supreme Court held the warrantless search of defendant’s residence violated the provisions of Article 895(A)(13)(a) because the search was not conducted by the probation officer assigned to her. Furthermore, the Court found that violation of this statute constituted an unconstitutional search under Louisiana Constitution Article I, section5, requiring exclusion of the evidence pursuant to Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 703(C). Thus, the Court reversed the court of appeal and reinstated the ruling of the district court which granted defendant’s motion to suppress the evidence.
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