Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure

URCrP 40. Remotely communicated search warrants. New. Establishes procedures for obtaining a search warrant other than personally before the magistrate. Effective May 2, 2005. Approved as an expedited amendment under Rule 11-101(6)(F). Subject to further change after the comment period.

Utah Courts

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  1. Brian M. Barnard, Esq.

    URCP Rule 40(b) should require that the supporting testimony and contents of the warrant be recorded by the judicial officer. Recording by the law enforcement officer or prosecutor creates an appearance of impropriety and the opportunity for mis-conduct by an interested party. Maintenance of that record by the court is necessary to insure the integrity of court records and proceedings.
    URCP Rule 40(e) should require that the warrant and the recorded testimony be filed with the Court on the next business day. Immediate filing is necessary to insure the integrity of court records and proceedings.
    URCP 40 should require the judicial officer to maintain a verbatim record of the contents of the warrant as read to him/her by the requesting police officer or prosecutor. That should be filed with the clerk on the next business day.
    URCP Rule 40(f) should allow access to the warrant and recorded supporting testimony by any party effected by the warrant. As written, the owner of a home which was searched but who was never criminally charged can not get a copy. Similarly, if no evidence was discovered in the search, no one can get a copy of the warrant and supporting testimony. A home owner should be entitled to know the facts which justified a search of his home regardless of whether evidence was found or criminal proceedings instituted.
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