Mr. Haralson’s claim that the search warrant in this
case had to be filed with the clerk of court before its execution lacks merit.
State v. Haralson
2022 – Ohio – 2052
Second District Appellate Court
Miami County, Ohio
June 17, 2022
Mr. Shaun Haralson was indicted with one second-degree felony count of aggravated possession of drugs, two fifth-degree felony counts of aggravated possession of drugs, and single counts of possession of cocaine, a first-degree felony; possession of a fentanyl related compound, a fifth-degree felony; and illegal conveyance of drugs, a third-degree felony.
The indictment stems from a search of Mr. Haralson’s person and residence at 716 Boal Street, Piqua, Ohio, conducted on August 13, 2020 pursuant to a search warrant issued by Judge Gary A. Nasal of the Miami County Municipal Court on August 12, 2020. Judge Nasal determined that the search warrant affidavit and attachment established probable cause to search the 716 Boal Street residence, and particular property including any vehicles directly related to the residence, namely a 2006 Cadillac DTS OHIO JAA1480.
Mr. Shaun Haralson resided at 716 Boal Street, Piqua, Ohio where law enforcement obtained a search warrant. Following his conviction, Mr. Haralson appealed to the Second District Appellate Court based on what the officers did not do.
A search of the 716 Boal Street residence occurred late in the morning on August 13, 2020. MCSO found evidence of illegal drugs, drug instruments/paraphernalia and evidence of Mr. Haralson’s use/possession of the 2006 Cadillac DTS. After searching Mr. Haralson’s residence, Miami County Sheriff’s Office [MCSO] initiated a traffic stop of Mr. Haralson’s who was driving the vehicle which was subject of the search warrant in the City of Piqua. At that time, MCSO conducted a personal search of Mr. Haralson’s car and person pursuant to the search warrant which produced illegal drugs.
Mr. Haralson challenges the trial court’s decision overruling his motion to suppress the drug evidence that was discovered during the execution of the search warrant. In support of his assignment of error, Mr. Haralson raises the same arguments that he raised in his motion to suppress. Specifically, Mr. Haralson claims that the search warrant was improperly executed because it:
(1) Was not filed with the clerk of court until one day after its execution; and
(2) Lacked sufficient probable cause to search his person due to there being no specific request to search his person in the supporting affidavit.
Lack of filing
Under his first argument, Mr. Haralson contends that all of the evidence obtained during the execution of the search warrant should have been suppressed
because the search warrant was not filed with the clerk of court until one day after its execution. According to Mr. Haralson, the search warrant had to be filed with the clerk of court before it was executed.
O.R.C. § 2933.23 provides, in relevant part, that:
A search warrant shall not be issued until there is filed with the judge or magistrate an affidavit that particularly describes the place to be searched, names or describes the person to be searched, and names or describes the property to be searched for and seized; that states substantially the offense in relation to the property and that the affiant believes and has good cause to believe that the property is concealed at the place or on the person; and that states the facts upon which the affiant’s belief is based.
In addressing the Mr. Haralson’s argument, the court in Lumbus adopted the
following analysis set forth in State v. Sloan, 17 Ohio Misc. 78, 242 N.E.2d 689 (C.P.
“The requirement is, ‘a warrant for search shall not be issued until there is filed with the judge or magistrate an affidavit.’ So what is the specificity of the words ‘is filed’ in conjunction with ‘the judge or magistrate[?]’ There is no requirement in the legislation under consideration that the affidavit be filed with the clerk of any court and that it be spread upon the dockets and journalized before the jurisdiction of the judge or magistrate is invoked. It is not uncommon that warrants for search are sought by officers from judges and magistrates who are in their homes at the particular time or some other place other than their respective courtroom or chamber. No duty is imposed upon the judge or magistrate to keep a file of the affidavits prepared for search warrants. In those cases where the officer presents a separate affidavit, I know of no cases where the judge or magistrate retains the separate affidavit so presented. They are retained by the officer and if a return is made upon any search warrant issued, such affidavit is usually returned and all thereof may eventually become part of the file as respects an accused in question. So, this court holds that the words ‘is filed with the judge or magistrate an affidavit’ means to make application: to file an affidavit for a search
Therefore, Mr. Haralson’s claim that the search warrant in this case had to be filed with the clerk of court before its execution lacks merit.
Search of Mr. Haralson’s Person
The search warrant specifically included an order for officers to search Haralson’s person. Taking all of this information into consideration, we find that Haralson’s claim that the supporting affidavit did not include a request to search his person lacks merit.
Information for this article was obtained from State v. Haralson, 2022 – Ohio – 2052.
This case was issue by the Second District Appellate Court and is binding in the following Ohio Counties: Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami and Montgomery.
- Haralson’s legal team made a unique argument. Because O.R.C. § 2933.23 specifically states “A search warrant shall not be issued until there is filed with the judge or magistrate…”. This language meant that following the judge or magistrate signing the search warrant law enforcement must file the warrant with the Clerk of Courts BEFORE executing the search warrant. However, the Mr. Haralson’s legal team made a feeble attempt to insert meaning that the legislature did not intend. Consequently, once a search warrant is signed by a judge or magistrate, law enforcement can serve the warrant without filing it at the Clerk of Courts.
- Had the Second District Appellate Court accepted Mr. Haralson’s position, it would have upset search warrant service for six counties in Ohio. However, the court made a reasonable decision.
- Haralson’s legal team also made an attempt to suppress the narcotics found on his person. However, the language on the search warrant was clear and that argument also failed.
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