From our private database of 33,600+ case briefs...
Massachusetts v. Sheppard
United States Supreme Court
468 U.S. 981 (1984)
Osborne Sheppard (defendant) was a suspect in the murder of Sandra Boulware. Detective Peter O’Malley drafted an affidavit to support an arrest warrant for Sheppard and a search warrant for Sheppard’s home. The district attorney agreed that the affidavit set forth probable cause supporting the warrants. O’Malley could not locate a warrant application form, because it was Sunday and the court was closed. O’Malley found a previously used warrant application form. The form was for a different suspect in a different district and authorized a search for controlled substances, which was a more limited scope than called for in O’Malley’s affidavit. O’Malley used a typewriter to make various changes to the form and then presented the form and affidavit to a judge. The judge told O’Malley that he would make the changes necessary to validate the warrant and then sign the warrant. The judge then made certain changes to the form in O’Malley’s presence and signed the form. A reference to “controlled substances” was not removed from the portion of the form that would constitute the actual warrant when signed. O’Malley searched Sheppard’s residence pursuant to the signed warrant and found incriminating evidence. Sheppard was convicted. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts reversed the conviction, finding that the evidence obtained in the search should have been excluded because the search was broader than the warrant authorized. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 603,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 603,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.