United States v. Ross, No. 18-11679 (11th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The en banc court overruled United States v. Sparks, 806 F.3d 1323, 1341 n.15 (11th Cir. 2015), to the extent that it holds that abandonment implicates Article III standing and is therefore a jurisdictional issue that the government cannot waive and that courts should raise sua sponte. To the contrary, the court held that a party's abandonment of a place or thing runs to the merits of his Fourth Amendment challenge and thus if the government fails to argue abandonment it waives the issue.
In this case, the district court denied defendant's motion to suppress evidence found in two separate, warrantless searches of his motel room. A gun was found in the first search and drugs and associated paraphernalia was found in the second search. The government asserted for the first time on appeal that defendant had abandoned his room and any privacy interest therein and thus he lacked standing to assert his Fourth Amendment rights. The court held that the government waived its abandonment argument by failing to raise it in the district court.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on October 29, 2019.