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  #1  
Old 12/30/07, 07:30 PM
 
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who can sign a warrant?

there is a story going around our neighborhood that someone got their house searched by the sheriff's dept and the search warrant was signed by the guy who runs the local newspaper. I thought only a judge could sign a warrant. Any body know about who can sign???

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  #2  
Old 12/30/07, 07:34 PM
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Only a judge,magistrate can issue one. Atleast that's what my legal textbook says.

white

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  #3  
Old 12/30/07, 07:35 PM
 
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HI KY;
Here in NC anyone can swear out a warrant for the arrest of another person simply by appearing before a magistrate at the the magistrates office at the county government center. All one has to do is swear with hand on the Bible and the magistrate issues the warrant.
Personally, I think that is really messed up. People often abuse the system to retaliate against someone and to cause others financial difficulty and the embarrassment of being arrested.
tamilee

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Old 12/30/07, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamilee
HI KY;
Here in NC anyone can swear out a warrant for the arrest of another person simply by appearing before a magistrate at the the magistrates office at the county government center. All one has to do is swear with hand on the Bible and the magistrate issues the warrant.
Personally, I think that is really messed up. People often abuse the system to retaliate against someone and to cause others financial difficulty and the embarrassment of being arrested.
tamilee
It depends on the crime. If it's an assault or trespassing, or something similar, an individual can take out a warrant. For most serious crimes its done by the police.

Search warrants are ONLY issued by judges ( a Magistrate is also a "judge")


Its possible the guy who owns the newspaper provided the information, but the police probably requested the warrant from the Magistrate
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  #5  
Old 12/30/07, 08:50 PM
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Did the search turn up something illegal???

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  #6  
Old 12/30/07, 10:07 PM
 
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Only a judge or magistrate can sign a warrant, but what you're probably talking about is an affidavit. Any witness can swear out an affidavit, which is then used by the police to try to persuade the judge to issue a warrant.

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  #7  
Old 01/01/08, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuriakos
Only a judge or magistrate can sign a warrant, but what you're probably talking about is an affidavit. Any witness can swear out an affidavit, which is then used by the police to try to persuade the judge to issue a warrant.
I think you got it right. An individual can swear out a complaint (usually in the form of an affidavit) which can be presented to a magistrate to justify a warrant, but only a magistrate can execute and issue an enforceable warrant.

The only exception I'm aware of is the IRS authorizing its agents working in the Criminal Investigation Division (so-called "IRS-CID agents", the ones who carry guns) to execute warrants, but since none are magistrates a number of police departments have refused to enforce those warrants, apparently without consequences. I'm skeptical that IRS warrants are legally enforceable, although in practice they're enforced all the time.

I suppose an individual COULD issue a warrant, but it wouldn't be enforceable. The police could not, and would not, act on a warrant that was signed by an individual.
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  #8  
Old 01/01/08, 05:13 PM
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It's possible a sheriff or sheriff's deputy did not know the law and overstepped their legal bounds. Happens all the time. Or it may have been that the illegal search warrant was presented to the home owner as if it were real and the home owner (not knowing their rights) caved and gave consent, thus making it a legal search.

Not knowing more about the facts or Kentucky law, it's hard for me to say for sure. However it's very important that we as citizens know our rights so we can resist ignorant or deceptive law enforcement officers. It's even MORE important that we, as honest citizens, resist and not give in to the "obviously they must have something to hide" mentality that pervades our nation and undermines the freedoms of us all.

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  #9  
Old 01/01/08, 07:42 PM
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In Kentucky a search warrant can only be issued by a trial commissioner, or Criminal Court Judge. The affidavit to support the probable cause on which the warrant is sought, must be completed by the Peace Officer who is applying for the warrant. Information in the affidavit obtained from a non Peace Officer, ie informant, concerned citizen etc. must be collaborated by independent investigation by the Peace Officer signing the afidavit or another Peace Officer. In other words, unless the "guy who runs the local paper" is also a Peace Officer in the Commonwealth of Kentucky he did not get a warrant to search anything. This is not to say he didn't provide information to the Sheriffs Office that resulted in them obtaining probable cause to get a warrant. Likewise unless the "guy who runs the paper" is also a Trial Commisioner, or Criminal Court Judge they did not issue a warrant for anything either. Now anyone can file an affidavit for an arrest warrant or crimnal summons but the actual warrant can only be issued by a Trial Commisioner or Criminal Court Judge but obviously that is not a search warrant.

It has been my experence that facts often get turned around in these types of stories as they are told and retold and often the actual event resembles nothing that actually happened. Hope this information helps.

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  #10  
Old 01/01/08, 11:54 PM
 
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The PATRIOT act actually allows government agents to write their own warrants.

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  #11  
Old 01/01/08, 11:59 PM
 
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Far as I know only a judge or magistrate. A citizen can swear out a complaint, yet only a
judge or mag can issue one, unless its homeland security, Im not sure what the rules are then

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  #12  
Old 01/02/08, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint
The PATRIOT act actually allows government agents to write their own warrants.
Police officers write warrants all the time. They must be signed by a judge.

Secret warrants can be issued by certain judges, but they still must come from a judge somewhere.
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  #13  
Old 01/02/08, 02:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksoldier
Police officers write warrants all the time. They must be signed by a judge.

Secret warrants can be issued by certain judges, but they still must come from a judge somewhere.
OK I'll clarify. They don't need a judge to sign off on the warrant. They don't need to even go before a judge.
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  #14  
Old 01/02/08, 02:58 AM
 
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Quint, no offense my dad is an x police officer. Okay it was the 1950"s yet I dont think the law has changed that much. The judge signs off a warrent, the police carry it out.
The police cannot sign off on their own warrants. Unless its something seriously heinious,
& homoland security is involved, I think that line of rational doesnt fly in a typical court of law

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  #15  
Old 01/02/08, 05:21 AM
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Was that a type o?

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  #16  
Old 01/02/08, 01:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint
The PATRIOT act actually allows government agents to write their own warrants.
I am a Law Enforcement,NOW Jan. 2,2008. I cannot sign my own warrants. I can write the warrant and sign as the affiant but it still has to be read over and signed by a judge or magistrate to make it legal and enforceable.
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  #17  
Old 01/02/08, 02:41 PM
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Yeah, I don't believe the Patriot act actually allows even federal agents to write their own warrants. Wasn't that what the big wiretapping issue was about recently, the fact they they went around the warrant system and got in trouble?

No, warrants signed by a judge are still the law of the land.

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  #18  
Old 01/02/08, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rascal
Quint, no offense my dad is an x police officer. Okay it was the 1950"s yet I dont think the law has changed that much. The judge signs off a warrent, the police carry it out.
The police cannot sign off on their own warrants. Unless its something seriously heinious,
& homoland security is involved, I think that line of rational doesnt fly in a typical court of law
you are flip flopping. Either they can, or they cant. decide what you want to say before you try to make an argument.
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  #19  
Old 01/03/08, 05:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Okay it was the 1950"s yet I dont think the law has changed that much.
Really, you don't? Boy, I sure do!
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  #20  
Old 01/04/08, 08:44 AM
 
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OK let's try this again. The USA PATRIOT Act allows FEDERAL agents to write and authorize their own search warrants. It also allows self-written and executed search warrants on the following:
banks
delis
bodegas
restaurants
hotels
doctors' offices
lawyers’ offices
telecoms
HMOs
hospitals
casinos
jewelry dealers
automobile dealers
boat dealers
the post office

It also mandates that if you, or any of those served with the warrant SPEAK about it, you will be thrown in prison.

Yeah I know it's a hard thing accept that one is no longer living in a constitutional republic but instead is living in a police state but facts are facts. It's right there in the Bill(now law) that your congresscriminal didn't read, and wasn't given time to read, before voting for.

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  #21  
Old 01/04/08, 05:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint
OK let's try this again. The USA PATRIOT Act allows FEDERAL agents to write and authorize their own search warrants. It also allows self-written and executed search warrants on the following:
banks
delis
bodegas
restaurants
hotels
doctors' offices
lawyers’ offices
telecoms
HMOs
hospitals
casinos
jewelry dealers
automobile dealers
boat dealers
the post office

It also mandates that if you, or any of those served with the warrant SPEAK about it, you will be thrown in prison.

Yeah I know it's a hard thing accept that one is no longer living in a constitutional republic but instead is living in a police state but facts are facts. It's right there in the Bill(now law) that your congresscriminal didn't read, and wasn't given time to read, before voting for.
Thank you for clearing this up. Since you finally stated that you are talking about Federal Agents. The original question was about a sheriff's dept. A sheriff's dept. and local officers like myself are government agents but not FEDERAL Agents.
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  #22  
Old 01/04/08, 05:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint
Yeah I know it's a hard thing accept that one is no longer living in a constitutional republic but instead is living in a police state but facts are facts. It's right there in the Bill(now law) that your congresscriminal didn't read, and wasn't given time to read, before voting for.
Have you actually read the USA PATRIOT Act? I doubt it, because you're wrong. Federal agents cannot sign their own search warrants. Well, I guess they can, but a warrant isn't valid unless a judge signs it. Maybe you're getting warrants confused with national security letters, which are a different subject entirely (and also require a judge to issue the order, although without discretion).
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  #23  
Old 01/04/08, 10:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuriakos
Have you actually read the USA PATRIOT Act?

Yes I actually have. It's like 400 pages long and is almost indecipherable without constantly referring to the USC.
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  #24  
Old 01/05/08, 02:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint
The USA PATRIOT Act allows FEDERAL agents to write and authorize their own search warrants.

It also mandates that if you, or any of those served with the warrant SPEAK about it, you will be thrown in prison.
Got a link to the actual Patriot Act section that states that, or is it merely what you've heard?

EDIT: This is what I think your talking about:

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_PAT..._investigation

Quote:
One of the most controversial aspects of the Patriot Act is in title V, and relates to National Security Letters (NSLs). An NSL is a form of administrative subpoena used by the FBI, and reportedly by other U.S. government agencies including the CIA and the Department of Defense (DoD). It is a demand letter issued to a particular entity or organization to turn over various records and data pertaining to individuals. They require no probable cause or judicial oversight and also contain a gag order, preventing the recipient of the letter from disclosing that the letter was ever issued. Title V allowed the use of NSLs to be made by a Special Agent in charge of a Bureau field office, where previously only the Director or the Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI were able to certify such requests.[128] This provision of the Act was challenged by the ACLU on behalf of an unknown party against the U.S. government on the grounds that NSLs violate the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution because there is no way to legally oppose an NSL subpoena in court, and that it was unconstitutional to not allow a client to inform their Attorney as to the order due to the gag provision of the letters. The court's judgement found in favour of the ACLU's case, and they declared the law unconstitutional.[129] Later, the Patriot Act was reauthorized and amendments were made to specify a process of judicial review of NSLs and to allow the recipient of an NSL to disclose receipt of the letter to an attorney or others necessary to comply with or challenge the order.[130] However, in 2007 the U.S. District Court struck down even the reauthorized NSLs because the gag power was unconstitutional as courts could still not engage in meaningful judicial review of these gags.
Quote:
Perhaps one of the most controversial parts of the legislation were the National Security Letter (NSL) provisions. Because they allow the FBI to search telephone, email, and financial records without a court order they were criticized by many parties.[216][217][218][219] In November 2005, BusinessWeek reported that the FBI had issued tens of thousands of NSLs and had obtained one million financial, credit, employment, and in some cases, health records from the customers of targeted Las Vegas businesses. Selected businesses included casinos, storage warehouses and car rental agencies. An anonymous Justice official claimed that such requests were permitted under section 505 of the USA PATRIOT Act and despite the volume of requests insisted "We are not inclined to ask courts to endorse fishing expeditions". [220] Before this was revealed, however, the ACLU challenged the constitutionality of NSLs in court. In April 2004, they filed suit against the government on behalf of an unknown Internet Service Provider who had been issued an NSL, for reasons unknown. In ACLU v. DoJ, the ACLU argued that the NSL violated the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution because the Patriot Act failed to spell out any legal process whereby a telephone or Internet company could try to oppose an NSL subpoena in court. The court agreed, and found that because the recipient of the subpoena could not challenge it in court it was unconstitutional.[129] Congress later tried to remedy this in a reauthorization Act, but because they did not remove the non-disclosure provision a Federal court again found NSLs to be unconstitutional because they prevented courts from engaging in meaningful judicial review.[221][222][223]
BOLD added by me.

As you can see, it's been struck down twice as unconstitutional. Further, even when in force it did not allow "any" federal agent to authorize searches only agents-in-charge of field offices... and they weren't "search warrants" at all but NSLs only useful for a specific and limited purpose. They were in effect subpoenas for records, requiring that such records be turned over, but didn't allow agents to physically search the premises. They couldn't search your house with one for example.

Furthermore the warrentless "sneak and peak" searches have also been struck down:

Quote:
For a time, the Patriot Act allowed for agents to undertake "sneak and peek" searches.[47] Critics such as EPIC and the ACLU strongly criticized the law for violating the Fourth Amendment,[210] with the ACLU going so far as to release an advertisement condemning it and calling for it to be repealed.[211][212] However supporters of the amendment, such as Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor to the New York City Journal, expressed the belief that it was necessary because the temporary delay in notification of a search order stops terrorists from tipping off counterparts who are being investigated.[213] In 2004, FBI agents used this provision to search and secretly examine the home of Brandon Mayfield, who was wrongfully jailed for two weeks on suspicion of involvement in the Madrid train bombings. While the U.S. Government did publicly apologised to Mr. Mayfield and his family,[214] Mr. Mayfield took it further through the courts. On September 26, 2007, judge Ann Aiken found the law was, in fact, unconstitutional as the search was an unreasonable imposition on Mr. Mayfield and thus violated the Fourth Amendment.[48][49]
BOLD again added by me.

The division of power among the 3 branches of government is working as intended to reign in the other two. While the fact that such a law was passed is troubling, you're a bit late in squawking about something that has already been dealt with... rather a tempest in a teapot at this point.

Quote:
OK I'll clarify. They don't need a judge to sign off on the warrant. They don't need to even go before a judge.
Since you're stating this in the present tense I assume you haven't actually researched the current status of these issues it at all? While I grant you that the act DOES still have these provisions written into it they have been nullified by the relevant case law.

If I missed some provision for actual search warrants which don't require judicial approval please point it out. You're the party asserting the affirmative so you have to provide the evidence since it's logically impossible to DISprove something.
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Last edited by tanksoldier; 01/05/08 at 03:11 AM.
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  #25  
Old 01/05/08, 11:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksoldier
As you can see, it's been struck down twice as unconstitutional. Further, even when in force it did not allow "any" federal agent to authorize searches only agents-in-charge of field offices... and they weren't "search warrants" at all but NSLs only useful for a specific and limited purpose. They were in effect subpoenas for records, requiring that such records be turned over, but didn't allow agents to physically search the premises. They couldn't search your house with one for example.
Well said. There are NO provisions for agent-authorized search warrants, and national security letters do not allow a search of property, they're simply an order to turn over documents. I have read the entire act, I even have two good friends who helped write it, and I've followed the case law very closely, so I know exactly what is currently allowed and what isn't. While I am not a fan of the USA PATRIOT act, it is not nearly as bad as many people make it out to be, and like tanksoldier said, parts of it have been struck down by the courts, so it has been improved some since it was written. And this really has nothing to do with the original post or homesteading, so I'll leave it at that.
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  #26  
Old 01/07/08, 03:26 AM
 
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Okay Max you caught me flip flopping abit. When homeland security is brought into a situation I have no idea what the rules are, under them there is no constituition.

Hi Foxtrapper, while the laws have changed quite abit, the way LEO's can carry it out hasnt.

Peace

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