Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, August 29, 2008

Mercer: Motel Room Search Valid

In U.S. v. Mercer, No. 06-13258 (Aug. 28, 2008), the Court affirmed the denial of a motion to suppress arising out of the warrantless search of the defendant’s motel room.
The defendant was arrested and taken into custody at his motel room. After he left the motel, during the night, the police, with the consent of motel employees, searched the defendant’s motel room, and found a firearm and methamphetamine. The defendant claimed that the searched violated his Fourth Amendment rights, because he had booked the motel room until the following day at noon.
The Court held that the motel employees had the authority to consent to a search of the motel room because control of the room had reverted back to the motel, in the circumstances of the defendant’s arrest.
The Court also found that a statement the defendant gave upon arrest was not obtained involuntarily, finding that defendant’s belief that his statements might help him get out of jail was not sufficient to show involuntariness.