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UNITED STATES v. PATANE, 542 U.S. 630

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UNITED STATES v. PATANE

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT

No. 02-1183. Argued December 9, 2003--Decided June 28, 2004

After Officer Fox began to investigate respondent's apparent violation of a temporary restraining order, a federal agent told Fox's colleague, Detective Benner, that respondent, a convicted felon, illegally possessed a pistol. Officer Fox and Detective Benner proceeded to respondent's home, where Fox arrested him for violating the restraining order. Benner attempted to advise respondent of his rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436, but respondent interrupted, asserting that he knew his rights. Benner then asked about the pistol and retrieved and seized it. Respondent was indicted for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, 18 U. S. C. §922(g)(1). The District Court granted his motion to suppress the pistol, reasoning that the officers lacked probable cause to arrest him, and declining to rule on his alternative argument that the gun should be suppressed as the fruit of an unwarned statement. The Tenth Circuit reversed the probable-cause ruling, but affirmed the suppression order on respondent's alternative theory. Rejecting the Government's argument that Oregon v. Elstad, 470 U. S. 298, and Michigan v. Tucker, 417 U. S. 433, foreclosed application of the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine of Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U. S. 471, 488, to the present context, the appeals court reasoned that Oregon and Tucker, which were based on the view that Miranda announced a prophylactic rule, were incompatible with Dickerson v. United States, 530 U. S. 428, 444, in which this Court held that Miranda announced a constitutional rule. The appeals court thus equated Dickerson's ruling with the proposition that a failure to warn pursuant to Miranda is itself a violation of the suspect's Fifth Amendment rights.

Held: The judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded.


Full Text of Opinion


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