Arizona v. Evans, 514 U.S. 1, 16 (1995)

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O'Connor, J., concurring

officer was not acting objectively reasonably when he relied upon the police computer record. Application of the Leon framework supports a categorical exception to the exclusionary rule for clerical errors of court employees. See Leon, supra, at 916-922; Sheppard, supra, at 990-991.5

The judgment of the Supreme Court of Arizona is therefore reversed, and the case is remanded to that court for proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

It is so ordered.

Justice O'Connor, with whom Justice Souter and Justice Breyer join, concurring.

The evidence in this case strongly suggests that it was a court employee's departure from established recordkeeping procedures that caused the record of respondent's arrest warrant to remain in the computer system after the warrant had been quashed. Prudently, then, the Court limits itself to the question whether a court employee's departure from such established procedures is the kind of error to which the exclusionary rule should apply. The Court holds that it is not such an error, and I agree with that conclusion and join the Court's opinion. The Court's holding reaffirms that the exclusionary rule imposes significant costs on society's law enforcement interests and thus should apply only where its deterrence purposes are "most efficaciously served," ante, at 11.

In limiting itself to that single question, however, the Court does not hold that the court employee's mistake in this case was necessarily the only error that may have occurred and to which the exclusionary rule might apply. While the

5 The Solicitor General, as amicus curiae, argues that an analysis similar to that we apply here to court personnel also would apply in order to determine whether the evidence should be suppressed if police personnel were responsible for the error. As the State has not made any such argument here, we agree that "[t]he record in this case . . . does not adequately present that issue for the Court's consideration." Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae 13. Accordingly, we decline to address that question.

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