University of Pittsburgh

David Harris on Civil Suit Against FBI for Searching Incorrect Home

Publish Date/Time: 
June 16, 2011

Professor David Harris discussed a civil suit over the invasion of the wrong home by FBI and task force agents.  The agents had an arrest warrant for a woman, but she had not lived at the residence in over a year.  Professor Harris told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that proper execution of a warrant does not require that the police get everything right, but it does require that they make reasonable efforts to avoid obvious mistakes.  According to the complaint, the target of the search had moved out months before the family moved in, and was living in California.  Professor Harris said that "[i]f it was possible for [agents] to know that she was living out in California [by exercising] any reasonable degree of effort, that could matter."


Post-Gazette Story Link

Tribune Review Story Link

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