inventory search. After a lawful, custodial arrest, an administrate inventory search may be conducted of defendant’s possessions pursuant to established administrative procedures. Florida v. Wells, 495 U.S. 1 (1990); Colorado v.Bertine, 479 U.S. 367 (1987). This search is not to procure evidence, but rather to protect the suspect’s belongings while in custody, to protect the police against claims of theft, and to protect the police from potentially dangerous articles. Id. The search must be in accordance with standardized procedures which limit an officer’s discretion to search. Chambers v. Maroney, 399 U.S. 42 (1970).
To be valid, an inventory search must conform to a standardized and established local procedure, and must be motivated by a concern to inventory the items rather than to search for other incriminating evidence. United States v.Feldman, 788 F.2d 544, 550 (9th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 1067, 93 L.Ed.2d 1003, 107 S.Ct. 955 (1987). An inventory search is invalid if it was a
pretext for an investigative search. Id. at 553. The mere fact that an inventory search may also have had an investigatory
purpose does not, however, invalidate it. Monclavo-Cruz, supra at 1289.
© 2013 Darren Chaker. All Rights Reserved.