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Media Alerts - United States v. Phillips - 11th Circuit
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September 20, 2016
  United States v. Phillips - 11th Circuit
Headline: Eleventh Circuit finds a civil writ of bodily attachment is a warrant within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.

Area of Law: Constitutional Law/Criminal Procedure

Issue: Whether a civil writ of bodily attachment is a warrant within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.

Extended Summary: Ted Phillips ("Phillips") had an outstanding writ of bodily attachment against him for unpaid child support and was also wanted by police for questioning on an unrelated matter. As an officer approached Phillips to arrest him, Phillips reached for his waistband and the officer grabbed his hand and removed a loaded firearm from Phillips' waistband. Phillips was subsequently indicted on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and an armed career criminal. Phillips moved to suppress the firearm arguing that the civil writ of bodily attachment was insufficient as a basis to arrest him. After the district court denied Phillips' motion to suppress, he conditionally pleaded guilty and was sentenced to the 15 - year mandatory minimum as a career criminal. In affirming, the Eleventh Circuit determined that a writ of bodily attachment for a civil offense, similar to a bench warrant, satisfies the Fourth Amendment. Additionally, the court found that Phillips waived his right to raise the sentencing issue on appeal.

To view the full opinion:

Panel: William Pryor and Jill Pryor, Circuit Judges, and Richard W. Story (United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, sitting by designation).

Argument: July 14, 2016

Date of Issued Opinion: August 23, 2016

Docket Number: 14 - 14660

Decided: Affirmed

Case Alert Author: Marina Gonzalez, Martha Ferral

Christine Carr O'Connor for Appellant Ted Phillips
Francisco Raul Maderal for Appellee United States of America

Author of Opinion: Circuit Judge William Pryor

    Posted By: Gary Kravitz @ 09/20/2016 10:33 AM     11th Circuit  

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