U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Denial of Motion to Suppress Reversed for Lack of Apparent Authority to Consent

In US v. Taylor, No. 09-3019, the court faced a challenge to the district court's grant of defendant's motion to suppress evidence in his conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  At issue was whether a femal tenant of the apartment, where defendant was found pursuant to a state warrant for his arrest, had apparent authority to consent to the search of a shoebox.

In concluding that there was ambiguity over whether the tenant had mutual use or control of the shoebox and that the officers failed to cure this ambiguity by asking either the tenant or defendant to clarify the situation, the court reversed the district court's denial of motion to suppress as the tenant lacked the apparent authority to consent to the search of the shoebox. 

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