To Attach or Not to Attach: The Continued Confusion Regarding Search Warrants and the Incorporation of Supporting Documents

October 31, 2011

The Fourth Amendment mandates that a search warrant particularly describe what is to be searched or seized. Courts have allowed officers to use supporting documentation, such as affidavits and other attachments, to define, but not expand, the limits of a search. However, the use of these supporting documents creates a problem when the document is referenced in the warrant but is not physically attached to the warrant. This Note argues that the protection of the Fourth Amendment is not the warrant itself, but the guarantee that a warrant, fully detailing the search to be undertaken, has been approved by a neutral magistrate.

October 2007

No. 1