Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Officers Reasonably Relied on Motel Clerks When Deciding to Search Defendant's Room

U.S. v. Mitchell, -- F.3d --, 2005 WL 3105700 (10th Cir. 11/21/05) - affirmance of district court denial of motion to suppress. It was OK for troopers to search motel room, in which they found stolen mail, after they were told by motel clerks the room was unoccupied. District court did not clearly err in finding Ms. Mitchell had abandoned the room, despite contrary evidence that she had reserved the room for another night. If the troopers reasonably believed that the motel clerks had authority to consent to the search of the room, the search was lawful even if Ms. Mitchell was still occupying it. With respect to restitution, even though the district court may order restitution only for losses related to the offense of conviction, it was fine for the court to order as a condition of supervised release that the defendant remain current on restitution from previous convictions.