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Posted by: Landry Butler on Sep 25, 2017

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; M. Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; W. Ray Crouch, Jr., District Attorney General; and David Wyatt, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Leonard G. Belmares, II, Charlotte, Tennessee, for the appellee, Charlotte Lynn Frazier.

Tammy L. Hassell, Charlotte, Tennessee, for the appellee, Andrea Parks.

Judge(s): WILLIAMS

The Defendants, Charlotte Lynn Frazier and Andrea Parks, along with ninety-five other co-defendants, were charged through a presentment with conspiracy to manufacture, sell, or deliver 300 grams or more of methamphetamine with at least one defendant having committed an overt act within 1,000 feet of a school, park, library, recreation center, or child care facility. The Defendants each filed a motion to suppress evidence seized during the execution of search warrants at their homes. The Defendants alleged that the magistrate, a circuit court judge, lacked the authority to issue the search warrants because the Defendants’ homes were located outside the magistrate’s judicial district. The trial court granted the Defendants’ motions. The State sought and was granted permission to appeal in both cases pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 9, and this court consolidated the appeals. We hold that the magistrate did not have the authority to issue search warrants for property located outside his judicial district and that, as a result, the searches of the Defendants’ homes were unconstitutional. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s orders granting the Defendants’ motions to suppress and remand the cause to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.