After a lengthy court battle which ended up in the Michigan Supreme Court, Livingston County Chief Judge Michael Hatty signed an order vacating a citizen’s conviction for illegally manufacturing marijuana. The Supreme Court found that the police had violated the Fourth Amendment by conducting an unreasonable search and seizure which resulted in finding evidence related to marijuana cultivation. While marijuana is now fully legalized in Michigan, this case occurred back in 2012, when only medical marijuana was legal. A charge of illegal manufacture or distribution of marijuana was the felony charge that this man faced. The Livingston County Circuit Court originally denied defendant’s motion to suppress the marijuana evidence. Now with the Supreme Court’s ruling, the case was sent back to Livingston County Circuit Court which was left with no other option but to dismiss the case.
Original Case Details
The defendant in this case was charged with manufacturing marijuana when Michigan state troopers arrived at the defendant’s home to execute an arrest warrant for the defendant’s son. The state troopers alleged they smelled burning marijuana and forcibly entered the home without a warrant and found large amounts of marijuana. The police arrived at the home looking for defendant’s son without knowing if the son was even home. They were at most permitted to do a “knock and talk” to see if the son was in fact at the home. The troopers believed they had exigent circumstances which would allow them to enter the home without a proper search warrant.