CACI No. 3024. Affirmative Defense - Search Incident to Lawful Arrest

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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3024.Affirmative Defense - Search Incident to Lawful Arrest
[Name of defendant] claims that the search was reasonable and that a
search warrant was not required. To succeed, [name of defendant] must
prove all of the following:
1. That the search was conducted as part of a lawful arrest of [name
of plaintiff];
2. That [name of defendant] searched only [name of plaintiff] and the
area within which [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] might have gained
possession of a weapon or might have destroyed or hidden
evidence; and
3. That the search was reasonable under the circumstances.
In deciding whether the search was reasonable, you should consider,
among other factors, the following:
(a) The extent of the particular intrusion;
(b) The place in which the search was conducted; [and]
(c) The manner in which the search was conducted; [and]
(d) [insert other applicable factor].
New September 2003; Renumbered from CACI No. 3004 December 2012
Directions for Use
For instructions regarding whether an arrest is lawful, see instructions in the False
Imprisonment series (CACI Nos. 1400-1409).
This instruction is not intended for use in cases involving automobile searches:
“[W]e hold that when a policeman has made a lawful custodial arrest of the
occupant of an automobile, he may, as a contemporaneous incident of that arrest,
search the passenger compartment of that automobile.” (New York v. Belton (1981)
453 U.S. 454, 460 [101 S.Ct. 2860, 69 L.Ed.2d 768], footnotes omitted.)
Sources and Authority
“Searches incident to lawful arrest constitute a well-established exception to the
warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment.” (Hallstrom v. Garden City (9th
Cir. 1993) 991 F.2d 1473, 1477, internal citations omitted.)
“Under applicable federal law, a lawful custodial arrest creates a situation which
justifies the full contemporaneous search without a warrant of the person arrested
and of the immediately surrounding area. Such searches are considered valid
because of the need to remove weapons and to prevent the concealment or
destruction of evidence.” (People v. Gutierrez (1984) 163 Cal.App.3d 332,
334-335 [209 Cal.Rptr. 376], internal citations omitted.)
“Law enforcement officers are permitted to search the entire passenger
compartment of a car, including the inside of containers, during a ‘search
incident to arrest.’ (United States v. Tank (2000) 200 F.3d 627, 631, fn. 6,
internal citations omitted.)
“In New York v. Belton, we determined that the lower courts ‘have found no
workable definition of “the area within the immediate control of the arrestee”
when that area arguably includes the interior of an automobile and the arrestee is
its recent occupant.’ In order to provide a ‘workable rule,’ we held that ‘articles
inside the relatively narrow compass of the passenger compartment of an
automobile are in fact generally, even if not inevitably, within “the area into
which an arrestee might reach in order to grab a weapon” . . . .’ We also held
that the police may examine the contents of any open or closed container found
within the passenger compartment, ‘for if the passenger compartment is within
the reach of the arrestee, so will containers in it be within his reach.’
(Michigan v. Long (1983) 463 U.S. 1032, 1048-1049 [103 S.Ct. 3469, 77
L.Ed.2d 1201], internal citations omitted.)
Secondary Sources
8 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Constitutional Law, §§ 888,
892, 893
11 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 113, Civil Rights: The Post-Civil
War Civil Rights Statutes, § 113.14 (Matthew Bender)

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