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United States v. Chadwick

United States Supreme Court
433 U.S. 1 (1977)



Amtrak officials reasonably suspected that a man and a woman were traveling from California to Massachusetts with a trunk full of marijuana and notified the police, who in turn notified the officials in Boston. Federal officials greeted the train upon its arrival in Boston and released a police dog who indicated that there were in fact drugs in the trunk. Chadwick (defendant) arrived at the train station to pick up the trunk, and he and the two traveling with the trunk were arrested as they were placing the trunk in the back of Chadwick’s car. The trunk was brought back to the federal building where it was searched without a warrant one hour and a half after the arrests had been made. The trial court granted Chadwick’s motion to suppress the marijuana that was found in the trunk on the grounds that the search was unreasonable, as it did not qualify as a search incident to arrest or a valid search under the automobile exception.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Burger, C.J.)

Concurrence (Brennan, J.)

Dissent (Blackmun, J.)

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