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Warrants – Good-faith Exception – “Significant Investigation” Requirement of Eason

State v. Bill P. Marquardt, 2005 WI 157, on certification; prior history: 2001 WI App 219
For Marquardt: John Brinckman; Patricia A. Fitzgerald

Issue/Holding: The “significant investigation” requirement of State v. Eason, 2001 WI 98 is satisfied:

¶52      Investigator Price estimated that over the course of March 13 and 14, a total of 20 law enforcement officers had become involved in the investigation of the homicide. The circuit court aptly observed as follows in concluding that the State had met theEason “significant investigation” requirement:

You have the Chippewa County Sheriff, Eau Claire County Sheriff. You had the State investigators and I think Sergeant Vogler even though maybe the City of Chippewa Police Department [was] involved. So you in any event had different officers from different jurisdictions all working what I would consider to be nearly around the clock efforts.

¶53      Like the circuit court, we are satisfied that the facts demonstrate the State has shown that police were engaged in a significant investigation within the meaning of Eason. Our read of Eason is that a “significant investigation” does not require a showing that the investigation yielded the probable cause that would have been necessary to support the search at issue. Thus, contrary to what some of Marquardt’s arguments seem to suggest, we need not determine whether, by the time officers searched Marquardt’s cabin pursuant to the March 15 warrant, their investigation had provided them with probable cause for the search. [12]

[12]  … As we have said, the State does not need to demonstrate that law enforcement officers possessed facts constituting probable cause for the search at the time of the search in order to meet the significant investigation requirement.


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