United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION TO DENY DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS AND
DENYING DEFENDANT'S OBJECTIONS TO THE REPORT AND
T. Fowlkes, Jr. United States District Judge
the Court is Defendant Courtney Bland's Motion to
Suppress filed on September 8, 2017, and the Government's
Response filed on September 22, 2017. (ECF Nos. 19 and 20.)
The Motion was referred to the Magistrate Judge, who held a
hearing on the matter on November 3, 2017. (ECF Nos. 26.) On
January 10, 2018, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and
Recommendation on Defendant's Motion to Suppress
suggesting that the Motion should be Denied because the
search and resulting seizure occurred through a valid
inventory search and was based on probable cause. (ECF No.
38, 10, 13.) The Defendant filed timely Objections to the
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation on January
25, 2017. (ECF No. 42.)
following reasons, the Court finds the Magistrate's
Report and Recommendation should be ADOPTED and
Defendant's Objections DENIED.
FINDINGS OF FACT
Report and Recommendation, the Magistrate Judge provides, and
this Court adopts and incorporates, proposed findings of fact
in this case. (ECF No. 38, 1-6.)
passed 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) “to relieve some of the
burden on the federal courts by permitting the assignment of
certain district court duties to magistrates.”
United States v. Curtis, 237 F.3d 598, 602 (6th Cir.
2001). Pursuant to the provision, magistrate judges may hear
and determine any pretrial matter pending before the Court,
except various dispositive motions. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A). Upon hearing a pending matter, “[T]he
magistrate judge must enter a recommended disposition,
including, if appropriate, proposed findings of fact.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(1); see also Baker v. Peterson,
67 F. App'x 308, 310 (6th Cir. 2003). Any party who
disagrees with a magistrate's proposed findings and
recommendation may file written objections to the report and
recommendation. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2).
standard of review that is applied by the district court
depends on the nature of the matter considered by the
magistrate judge. See Baker v. Peterson, 67 F.
App'x 308, 310 (6th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted)
(“A district court normally applies a ‘clearly
erroneous or contrary to law' standard of review for
nondispositive preliminary measures. A district court must
review dispositive motions under the de novo
standard.”). Motions to suppress evidence are among the
motions in criminal cases that are subject to de
novo review. See 28 U.S.C. § 636
(b)(1)(A); U.S. Fid. & Guarantee Co. v. Thomas
Solvent Co., 955 F.2d 1085, 1088 (6th Cir. 1992). Upon
review of the evidence, the district court may accept,
reject, or modify the proposed findings or recommendations of
the magistrate judge. Brown v. Board of Educ., 47
F.Supp.3d 665, 674 (W.D. Tenn. 2014); see also 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The court “may also receive
further evidence or recommit the matter to the [m]agistrate
[j]udge with instructions.” Moses v. Gardner,
No. 2:14-cv-2706-SHL-dkv, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29701, at *3
(W.D. Tenn. Mar. 11, 2015). A district judge should adopt the
findings and rulings of the magistrate judge to which no
specific objection is filed. Brown, 47 F.Supp.3d at
issues presented by the Motion are whether Detectives Atkins
and Nash's search of Defendant's vehicle and seizure
of items therein was permitted under the Fourth Amendment of
the United States Constitution and whether Defendant's
statements were obtained in violation of the Fifth and
Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. (ECF
No. 19, 3, 5; see also ECF No. 38, 6.)
Magistrate Judge recommends the denial of Defendant's
Motion to Suppress because the detective's request for
Defendant to get out of the car, as a result of
Defendant's nervousness, was a de minimis
intrusion and that after seeing a firearm upon Defendant
exiting the vehicle and hearing Defendant state he was a
felon, the detectives had probable cause to believe Defendant
committed the crime of being a felon in possession of a
firearm. (ECF No. 38, 8-10.) Moreover, the Magistrate Judge
found that any evidence found in Defendant's car and
seized thereafter was the result of a valid inventory search.
This Court agrees.
Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides
that the “right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable
searches and seizures, shall not be violated[.]” U.S.
Const. amend. IV. The Fourth Amendment applies to government
intrusions when a person has a reasonable expectation of
privacy. See Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 142-43
(1978). When the protections of the Fourth Amendment apply, a
warrant is generally required absent the presence of an
exception to the warrant requirement. United States v.
Garcia, 496 F.3d 495, 508 (6th Cir. 2007).
determining whether the Fourth Amendment's protections
are implicated, the Court must look to the nature of the
encounter between law enforcement and the individual citizen.
See United States v. Waldon, 206 F.3d 597, 602 (6th
Cir. 2000). The touchstone of an analysis under the Fourth
Amendment is always “the reasonableness in all the
circumstances of the particular governmental invasion of a
citizen's personal security.” Terry v.
Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 19 (1968); see also Pa. v.
Mimms, 434 U.S. 106, 108-09 (1977).
“Reasonableness, of course, depends ‘on a balance
between the public interest and the individual's right to