State's Highest Court Limits Use of General Warrants

The New York Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that police are not permitted to use overly broad warrants to conduct "all-persons-present" searches without probable cause. Steven Banks, Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society, told The New York Times that "All too often, warrants are issued and executed based upon a general claim that unlawful conduct is afoot.”

The decision, he said, is “written with such clarity that it will stop that pernicious practice.” The decision, written by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, stems from a Syracuse case in which police used an all-persons-present warrant to strip-search a man who was in the apartment during a drug raid.

Read New York Times article.