In Davis v. Sanders the U.S. Supreme Court dealt with un-signed documents purported to be warrants and found that if they were not signed by a judicial officer then they were not issued within the meaning of the law. The Supreme Court in that case and others ruled that “we think it would be very dangerous to the peace of society for the court to hold that a paper, which shows on its face that it is an unfinished paper ․ would be a sufficient justification for an arrest”.
Thus the rulings by the First, Third and Tenth Circuits and other Circuits that have followed there lead which constitute treating un-signed warrants as warrants in direct contravention of the U.S. Supreme Court’s position have created a Danger to the State (USA). Upon review of the Circuit Court decisions you will find that not one of those court’s refer to or discuss Davis v. Sanders or DuBose v. DuBose, 90 S.C. 87, 72 S.E. 645 (1911) .
We have held, in the context of an arrest warrant, that such a warrant is not lawful where the issuing judicial officer failed to sign the warrant on the space provided on the warrant form. Davis v. Sanders, 40 S.C. 507, 19 S.E. 138 (1894). Although the State would characterize such an omission as merely procedural or ministerial, we disagree. The Davis Court gave a persuasive explanation of the signature requirement, albeit in the context of an arrest warrant:
[W]hen it is remembered that a sheriff or other officer, who undertakes to arrest a citizen under a warrant, is bound to show his warrant, if demanded, to the person proposed to be arrested, and if he refuses to do so the arrest may be lawfully resisted [internal citation omitted], we think it would be very dangerous to the peace of society for the court to hold that a paper, which shows on its face that it is an unfinished paper ․ would be a sufficient justification for an arrest.
The same policy considerations apply to a search warrant, and thus the lack of the issuing officer’s signature is not excusable as merely procedural or ministerial, but rather negates the existence of a warrant, creating instead “an unfinished paper.” As the Davis Court went on to hold, the fact that the issuing officer intended to sign the warrant and had in fact signed the back was not sufficient to validate it, nor was the arrest legal despite the fact the officers who executed the arrest pursuant to the “ warrant” were “entirely innocent of any intentional wrong.”
The Davis requirement that a warrant must be signed by the issuing judicial officer in order to be complete is a common law decision predicated on public policy considerations. The signature is the assurance that a judicial officer has found that law enforcement has made the requisite probable cause showing, and serves as notice to the citizen upon whom the warrant is served that it is a validly issued warrant. Without the signature, it is merely an “unfinished paper.” Davis, supra; see also DuBose v. DuBose, 90 S.C. 87, 72 S.E. 645 (1911) (“But it has been decided [in Davis ] that, when an officer is performing the ministerial duty of issuing a paper on compliance with certain conditions prescribed by law, his signature at the foot of the paper he intended to sign is necessary to its validity”). See also Davis, supra (officers good faith irrelevant where warrant is not signed).
In Moreover, the Davis Court, in the absence of any statutory authority, relied on prior case law in declaring that a warrant must be signed.3 See State v. Vaughn, 16 S.C.L. (Harp.) 313 (1824) (holding that a warrant that was signed but not sealed was nevertheless a valid warrant). Moreover, I find it significant that the parties in Davis conceded that a warrant had to be signed, thereby leaving only the issue of whether the magistrate’s notation on the warrant constituted a signature for the Court’s determination. Specifically, the Davis Court found that the lower court properly charged the jury that “a warrant need not be under seal, yet it must be in writing, and signed by the officer issuing.” Id. at 509, 19 S.E. at 139. Justice TOAL, C.J., concurring in a separate opinion.
See Perrin v. City of Elberton, GA, 3:03–CV–106(CDL
Despite the fourth amendment’s general reference to “warrants,” an arrest warrant cannot be substituted for a search warrant because there is a difference between the two types of warrants29 and the particular interests each protects. The Ninth Circuit has argued that the fourth amendment makes no distinction between an arrest and search warrant. However, the court also said: “The warrant, whatever it be called, must describe ‘the place to be searched,’ here apartment 544, and ‘the persons or things to be seized,’ here Duveray [the suspect] and the parcels.” United States v. Prescott, 581 F.2d at 1350. However, the court’s description is not of an arrest warrant but of a search warrant. Because the officer may not know that the suspect will be seized in a place, an arrest warrant rarely names a place to be searched. Cf. People v. Tillery, 99 Cal. App. 3d 975, 978, 160 Cal. Rptr. 650, 652 (1980): “The expectation of privacy, against police intrusions, of an invited guest in a home should be as great as that of the resident himself.” ee also United States v. Williams, 612 F.2d at 738
The warrant merely formalizes and verifies the officer’s reasonable belief, which would be the same with or without the requirement. What the requirement will do is lend judicial scrutiny to the officer’s suppositions, and provide a check against poor judgment or sham use of an arrest warrant. Cf Fisher v. Volz, 496 F.2d at 341: A requirement that the officer must also have probable cause to believe that the suspect is in the dwelling will not unduly restrict the effectiveness of police action but will reduce the obvious risks of abuse. It offers police considerable latitude but also requires a necessary amount of restraint. It should enable police to act reasonably, but not oppressively …
NOW AFTER REVIEWING THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT POSITION ON UN-SIGNED WARRANTS GENERALLY “ARREST” AND “SEARCH” CHECK OUT THE TENTH CIRCUITS DECISION IN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. No. 14-2017 RAUL CRUZ, Defendant-Appellant.
We agree with and adopt the First Circuit’s reasoning in Lyons, subject to the following “note of caution”: The presence of a signature provides easy and reliable proof that a warrant was in fact issued. An officer who observes that a warrant is unsigned might not be assured that it was actually issued, and might execute it at his peril if he has no other good reason to believe the warrant was issued. And when, as here, the warrant is not signed, proof of issuance becomes more involved and less certain.
In many circumstances, the magistrate or judge may not recall reviewing or issuing the warrant by the time his belated signature is sought. For these reasons, we are confident that police will continue to have ample incentive to secure signatures. In any event, we find no sufficient reason to read a signature requirement into the Fourth Amendment, and we leave to any future revisers of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(e) whether to adopt such a presently-omitted requirement for search warrants. Id. at 726-27. Cruz argues, however, that Lyons “ha[s] no import because [it did not] address the issue of whether the warrant was facially valid in light of Groh[ v. Ramirez, 540 U.S. 551 (2004)].” Aplt. Br. at 18 n.8.
According to Cruz, Groh held that “[b]efore a search warrant may issue under the Fourth Amendment, it must: (1) include a finding of probable cause; (2) be supported by oath or affirmation; (3) particularly describe what is to be searched; and (4) particularly describe what is to be seized.” Aplt. Br. at 10. Cruz 15 in turn argues that “[a]lthough the purported warrant in this case may have met the second, third, and fourth requirements, it was facially deficient at the time of the search because it lacked any indication that a neutral and detached magistrate had made a determination of probable cause.” Id. at 11.
Cruz’s arguments are only partially correct. To be sure, Groh recognized that the text of the Fourth Amendment imposes four requirements on every warrant: (1) the warrant must be “based on probable cause”; (2) the warrant must be “supported by Oath or affirmation”; (3) the warrant must describe particularly the place to be searched; and (4) the warrant must describe particularly the persons or things to be seized. 540 U.S. at 557.
But Cruz erroneously interprets this first requirement as requiring the face of the warrant itself to “contain . . . markings,” preferably a signature, “indicating that a neutral and detached magistrate . . . actually” made a finding of probable cause. Aplt. Br. at 11. Nothing in Groh, however, let alone the text of the Fourth Amendment itself, imposes such a facial requirement. Rather, the Fourth Amendment, as Groh recognized, imposes a substantive requirement that every warrant issue only “upon probable cause.” See Lyons, 740 F.3d at 725 (concluding that the Fourth Amendment’s probable cause requirement is established “by an oath or affirmation and a neutral or detached magistrate mak[ing] a probable cause determination”).
Indeed, in concluding that the warrant at issue in Groh satisfied this requirement, the Supreme Court stated simply that the warrant “was based on probable cause”; it did not discuss what the warrant itself said in regards to 16 the probable cause finding.5 540 U.S. at 557. Moreover, Groh thereafter dealt exclusively with the fourth requirement, i.e., that the warrant particularly describe the persons or things to be seized, and this requirement, by its express terms, does involve the face of the warrant.6
Thus, in sum, Groh does not stand for the proposition that a warrant must include, on its face, the issuing judge’s signature or any other specific marking from the issuing judge. Cruz makes no other attempt to directly challenge Lyons. Instead, consistent with his argument that a warrant must include on its face the issuing judge’s signature, he suggests that we should adopt the reasoning outlined in United States v. Evans, 469 F. Supp. 2d 893 (D. Mont. 2007).
In Evans, a law enforcement agent appeared before a federal magistrate judge seeking a search warrant for a residence belonging to the defendants. The agent presented the magistrate judge “with an affidavit summarizing the investigation of Defendants for possession, receipt, and distribution of child pornography.” 469 F. Supp. 2d at 895. The magistrate judge placed the agent “under oath and had him sign the search warrant application and affidavit.” Id. The magistrate judge “then read and signed the application and affidavit himself in two separate places.” Id.
The magistrate judge did not, however, “sign the search warrant itself or indicate on the warrant the date before which it had to be executed.” Id. The magistrate judge later “testified his failure to sign the warrant was an oversight.” Id. “He also indicated it was his usual practice to sign a search warrant application and affidavit only when he also intended to issue a warrant.” Id.
After the search was completed, the law enforcement agent who signed the affidavit and obtained the search warrant “went to his vehicle to obtain a copy of the search warrant to leave with Defendants” and “[o]nly then . . . notice[d] [that] the search warrant was unsigned.” Id. at 895-96. The agent “called the U.S. Attorney’s office and was advised to do nothing about the deficiency on the theory that the harm was done.” Id. at 901. The agent then “left a copy of the search application and affidavit” with defendants. Id. at 896The district court granted defendants’ motions, holding that “[a]n unsigned warrant . . . is not a warrant within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment,” and that “officers cannot 18 reasonably rely on such a glaring deficiency as authorization to search.” Id. at 895. In arriving at this conclusion, the court in Evans purported to rely on Groh.
The court explained that, like “the particularly [sic] requirement in Groh, the text of the Fourth Amendment demands that a warrant be ‘issue[d].’” Id. at 897 (quoting U.S. Const., amend. IV) (brackets in original). “Issuance,” the court explained, “serves to demonstrate that a neutral and detached magistrate has reviewed the warrant application and affidavit and made an independent and objective determination that probable cause exists to justify the search.” Id. Although “[t]he Fourth Amendment’s issuance requirement may not necessitate a magistrate’s signature on the warrant,” the court stated, “[i]t does . . . demand that the warrant contain some indication that the search is officially authorized.” Id. (citing Black’s Law Dictionary 850 (8th ed. 2004) (defining “issue” as “[t]o be put forth officially”).
Because the search warrant at issue “was not signed by the magistrate,” “did not indicate the date before which the search had to be conducted,” and “did not contain a case number or stamp indicating it had been filed with the Clerk of Court,” the court concluded that it “lacked any indication that it was officially authorized.” Id. The court in Evans rejected the government’s suggestion that “the warrant [at issue] was officially authorized because [the magistrate judge] signed the search warrant application and affidavit.” Id.
In support, the court stated that “[a] magistrate’s signature on the search warrant application and affidavit . . . merely indicates the document was signed and sworn to by the requesting officer in the magistrate’s presence,” id. at 898, whereas “[a] magistrate’s signature on a search warrant indicates the search warrant 19 application and affidavit presented to him contain probable cause to justify the search requested,” id. at 897-98.
In the court’s view, “if a magistrate’s signature on a search warrant application and affidavit was sufficient to satisfy the Fourth Amendment, the language of that Amendment, which requires issuance of a ‘warrant,’ would become meaningless.” Id. at 898. In sum, the district court concluded that, “[b]ecause [the magistrate judge’s] signature on the search warrant application and affidavit provide[d] no assurance he found probable cause and officially authorized the search, it d[id] not satisfy the Fourth Amendment’s issuance requirement.” Id. (citing Groh, 540 U.S. at 557-561).
The court in Evans also rejected the government’s argument that the search warrant should be deemed valid “because [the magistrate judge] intended to issue the warrant.” Id. at 898. The court stated that it was “unwilling to accept the potential repercussions of adopting the forgiving interpretation of the Fourth Amendment urged by the government.” Id. at 899. “Absent an exception,” the court stated, “the Fourth Amendment requires a probable cause determination to be made and issued by a magistrate before officers invade a person’s privacy.” Id.
The court thus concluded that, “[b]ecause the warrant [at issue] did not provide any indication that it was officially authorized, the search of Defendants’ residence was warrantless in violation of the Fourth Amendment.” Id. Finally, the court in Evans rejected the government’s reliance on the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule outlined in United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 922 20 (1984). The court explained that “[t]he Leon good faith exception may possibly excuse a deficiency in the language of a warrant, but it does not apply to excuse the absence of a warrant.” 469 F. Supp. 2d at 900.
And, the court stated, “[e]ven if the search of Defendants’ residence was not warrantless, the Leon good faith exception d[id] not apply” because “[a]n unsigned warrant is so patently defective that it is objectively unreasonable for officers to rely on it.” Id. “[A]s in Groh,” the court stated, “a cursory glance at the warrant would have revealed the absence of the magistrate’s signature,” and, “[u]nder the circumstances, [the ICE agent] could have attempted to contact [the magistrate judge] to obtain a properly issued warrant.” Id. at 901.
In sum, the court held that “[b]ecause the unsigned warrant was patently deficient, the officers’ reliance on it to justify the search of Defendants’ residence was not objectively reasonable.” Id. We conclude that the Evans court’s interpretation of the Fourth Amendment is erroneous and thus decline to adopt it. To be sure the text of the Fourth Amendment states, in pertinent part, that “no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” U.S. Const. amend. IV (emphasis added). But, contrary to the conclusion reached by the Evans court, the term “issue,” as used in the Fourth Amendment, does not impose a specific “issuance” requirement, i.e., as the Evans court described it, some type of “indication [on the face of the warrant] that [the warrant] was officially authorized.” 469 F. Supp. 2d at 897.
Instead, we conclude that the language of the Fourth Amendment was intended to outline what requirements must be satisfied 21 before a warrant “shall issue.” In other words, we conclude that the term “issue” does not itself impose any requirements that must be satisfied by a warrant; instead, the specific requirements that must be imposed for a warrant to “issue” are outlined in the language of the Fourth Amendment that immediately follows the term “issue.” Cf. United States v. Turner, 558 F.2d 46, 50 (2d Cir. 1977) (“As long as the magistrate in fact performs the substantive tasks of determining probable cause and authorizing the issuance of the warrant, the amendment is satisfied.”).
Indeed, the Supreme Court’s decision in Groh supports our conclusion that the term “issue,” as employed in the Fourth Amendment, does not itself impose any specific requirements on a warrant. As previously discussed, the Court in Groh quoted the relevant language of the Fourth Amendment and immediately proceeded to indicate that this language imposes four requirements: (1) the warrant must be based “upon probable cause”; (2) the warrant must be “supported by Oath or affirmation,” e.g., an affidavit; (3) the warrant must “particularly describ[e] the place to be searched”; and (4) the warrant must “particularly describ[e] the . . . things to be seized.” 540 U.S. at 557.
Noticeably absent from this list is the requirement of a “magistrate’s signature, or other indication of authorization, on the face of the warrant.” Evans, 469 F. Supp. 2d at 897. To be sure, the warrant at issue in Groh was signed by the issuing magistrate judge and thus its authorization was not at issue. Id. at 554 (“The Magistrate signed the warrant form.”). But, had this detail carried constitutional significance, the Court surely would have said so, particularly since it made a point to emphasize the “requirements” that were imposed 22 by the language of the Fourth Amendment and to specify which of those requirements were satisfied or not satisfied by the warrant in question. Id. at 557 (“The warrant in this case complied with the first three of these [four] requirements”).
Thus, Groh, rather than supporting the decision in Evans, undercuts it. In addition, an examination of the ordinary meaning of the term “issue” calls into question, and thus makes us hesitant to rely on, the decision in Evans. The term “issue” is commonly defined as “[t]he action of going, passing, or flowing out,” Oxford English Dictionary Online, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/100216?rskey=Za1fbR&result=1#eid (last visited on Dec. 4, 2014), or “[t]o ‘come out’ or be sent forth officially or publicly,” id., http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/100217?rskey=Za1fbR&result=2#eid (last visited on Dec. 4, 2014).
This common and simple definition fits perfectly within the framework of the complete text of the Fourth Amendment. In other words, if we were to replace the term “issue” with this definition, the text of the Fourth Amendment would read: “no Warrants shall [go out or be sent forth officially], but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”7 U.S. Const. amend. IV. This definition, in our view, is consistent with Groh’s interpretation of the Fourth Amendment which, as we have discussed, does not read into the term “issue” any specific technical requirements. Finally, even assuming, for purposes of argument, that there was merit to the 7 And, so interpreted, it is undisputed that Judge Martinez intended to authorize the search of Cruz’s residence and officially “sent forth” the search warrant to be executed. 23 position outlined in Evans and that the search warrant in this case failed to satisfy the requirements of the Fourth Amendment, that would still leave the question of whether the Leon good faith exception would apply and effectively prevent the suppression of the seized evidence.
In Leon, the Supreme Court noted that the Fourth Amendment’s “exclusionary rule is designed to deter police misconduct rather than to punish the errors of judges and magistrates.” 468 U.S. at 916. Consequently, the Court “conclude[d] that suppression of evidence obtained pursuant to a warrant should be ordered only on a caseby-case basis and only in those unusual cases in which exclusion will further the purposes of the exclusionary rule.” Id. at 918. Notably, the Court stated that “a warrant issued by a magistrate normally suffices to establish that a law enforcement officer has acted in good faith in conducting the search.” Id. at 922 (internal quotation marks omitted). But the Court did concede that the executing “officer’s reliance on the magistrate’s probablecause determination and on the technical sufficiency of the warrant he issues must be objectively reasonable.” Id.
Thus, the Court stated, “[s]uppression . . . remains an appropriate remedy” in at least four circumstances: (1) “if the magistrate or judge in issuing a warrant was misled by information in an affidavit that the affiant knew was false or would have known was false except for his reckless disregard of the truth”; (2) “in cases where the issuing magistrate wholly abandoned his judicial role”; (3) in cases in which the “warrant [was] based on an affidavit so lacking in indicia of probable cause as to render official belief in its existence entirely unreasonable”; and (4) in circumstances where the “warrant [is] so facially deficient—i.e., in failing to particularize the place to be 24 searched or the things to be seized—that the executing officers cannot reasonably presume it to be valid.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).
The presence of the warrant alone in this case carries significant weight in terms of establishing the executing officers’ good faith. Further, there is no evidence that Judge Martinez was misled, that he wholly abandoned his judicial role, that the affidavit in support of the warrant was wholly lacking in indicia of probable cause, or that the warrant failed to particularize the place to be searched or the things to be seized.
Indeed, the only potentially unusual aspect of the warrant was the absence of Judge Martinez’s signature on the face of the warrant. And, because Judge Martinez actually signed the affidavit for the warrant and effectively indicated that he found the existence of probable cause and intended for the warrant to issue, it was objectively reasonable for the agent who obtained the warrant, as well as the other officers who assisted in executing the warrant, to believe that the warrant was valid. See United States v. Kelley, 140 F.3d 596, 603 (5th Cir. 1998) (holding, in case involving unsigned warrant, that Leon good-faith exception applied).
Indeed, as the Supreme Court stated in Massachusetts v. Sheppard, 468 U.S. 981, 989-90 (1984), “we refuse to rule that an officer is required to disbelieve a judge who has just advised him, by word and by action, that the warrant he possesses authorizes him to conduct the search he has requested.” As a result, the Leon good faith exception applies and would operate to prevent the suppression of the seized evidence. For all of these reasons, we conclude that Cruz cannot “show that there is a reasonable probability that . . . the result of [his criminal] proceeding would have been 25 different” had Kennedy filed a motion to suppress. 466 U.S. at 694. IV We conclude that the district court properly denied Cruz’s § 2255 motion to the extent it claimed that Cruz’s trial counsel was ineffective for failing to file a motion to suppress evidence. Consequently, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court
1. Indicia of Issuance
Provided that a search warrant is applied for in person, the text of neither the Fourth Amendment nor Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41 requires the issuing authority to sign the warrant.See U.S. CONST. amend. IV; FED. R. CRIM. P. 41(e)(3)(D) (limiting the requirement that an issuing authority must “immediately sign the original warrant” to telephonic warrants);see also United States v. K. Pierce, 493 F. Supp. 2d 611, 640 (W.D.N.Y. 2006).
Instead, the Fourth Amendment dictates that a warrant shall not “issue” unless it is supported by probable cause. U.S. CONST. amend. IV. Generally, an issuing authority’s finding of probable cause is conveyed via his or her signature on a warrant. However, signing a search warrant is just one of a number of methods that an issuing authority may use to signal that the warrant complies with the Fourth Amendment’s probable cause *66 requirement. Accord Perrin v. City of Elberton, No. 03-106, 2005 WL 1563530, at *8 (M.D. Ga. July 1, 2005) (“[W]hile an unsigned warrant may not be per se insufficient under the Fourth Amendment, it must be clear to the arresting officers that the substantive requirements of the Fourth Amendment were met — that a neutral and detached magistrate made a finding of probable cause.”); United States v. Evans,469 F. Supp. 2d 893, 897 (D. Mont. 2007) (“Issuance serves to demonstrate that a neutral and detached magistrate has reviewed the warrant application and affidavit and made an independent and objective determination that probable cause exists to justify the search.”).
In the absence of a signature, “a court may consider other evidence that the judge found probable cause and approved the warrant.”Perrin, 2005 WL 1563530, at *8; see also United States v. Hondras,296 F.3d 601, 602 (7th Cir. 2002) (stating that issuance is “not synonymous with signing”);Evans, 469 F. Supp. 2d at 897 (stating that issuance requires that a warrant “contain some indication that the search is officially authorized”). To hold otherwise would elevate form over substance and allow inadvertent, procedural errors to vitiate substantively valid warrants.Accord United States v. Turner, *321321558 F.2d 46, 50 (2d Cir. 1977) (referring to the issuing authority’s responsibility to sign a search warrant as a “purely ministerial task” and holding that the Fourth Amendment is satisfied provided that he or she “performs the substantive tasks of determining probable cause and authorizing the issuance of the warrant”). *77
Accordingly, the question becomes what “other evidence” is sufficient to indicate that the issuing authority made a finding of probable cause.3 Other United States District Courts have suggested that the following can constitute indicia of issuance: (1) an indication on the warrant of the date before which the search must be conducted,4 (2) the presence of a case number indicating that the warrant has been filed, (3) the presence of the issuing authority’s initials or other imprimaturs of judicial authority on the warrant, and (4) an in-person acknowledgment by the issuing authority to the affiant that probable cause has been found. See, e.g., Evans, 469 F. Supp. 2d at 897 (holding that an unsigned warrant had not been validly issued where the first two indicia were absent); K. Pierce, 493 F. Supp. 2d at 640 (holding that an unsigned warrant had been validly issued where the affiant personally appeared before the magistrate judge who had placed his initials and the abbreviation “USMJ” for United States Magistrate Judge in three separate places on the face of the warrant); Perrin, 2005 WL 1563530, at *8 (holding that an unsigned warrant had not been validly issued where the warrant was applied for remotely and no other indicia of a probable cause finding were present).5 *88
This appears to be an issue of first impression in the Third Circuit. See FED. R. CRIM. P. 41(e)(2)(A) (requiring warrant to “command the officer to . . . execute the warrant within a specified time no longer than 10 days”).
At least one court has suggested that the following matters do not qualify as indicia of issuance because reliance on either of them would constitute “after-the-fact conjecture about a magistrate’s intentions”: (1) the magistrate’s signature on the search warrant application and affidavit, and (2) testimony by the magistrate that he or she intended to issue the warrant.Evans, 469 F. Supp. 2d at 897-99.
The court finds that the warrant in the instant case contains sufficient indicia of issuance to satisfy Fourth Amendment requirements. First, the warrant, which is located in the lower third of a document entitled “Application for Search Warrant and Authorization,” contains a handwritten date and time before which the search must be conducted — specifically, before “2:00 P.M. March 7, 2007.”
The issuing authority also placed a checkmark in a box signifying that the warrant “shall be served as soon as practicable and shall be served only between the hours of 6AM to 10PM.” Second, the upper right-hand corner of the application contains the handwritten warrant control number 00025-07-02, which indicates that the warrant had been filed. Third, the warrant contains various imprimaturs of judicial authority. Specifically, the application contains two seals that were affixed by the issuing authority and are labeled “Magisterial District Judge, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, York County District 19-2-01.” One of these seals is specifically located in the warrant portion of the application.
The issuing authority also placed a checkmark in the box indicating his title as “Magisterial District Judge” and inserted the handwritten date and time March 5, 2007 at 2:00 P.M. in a section labeled: “Issued under my hand this ___ day of ___, ___ at ___ M.” Finally, Detective Craul applied for the search warrant in person and *322322observed the issuing authority prepare and seal the warrant. Because the instant warrant contains each and every indicia of issuance that has been recognized by other district courts, the court finds that the warrant complies with the strictures of the Fourth Amendment. Defendants’ motion to suppress on this ground will be denied. *99 2. Good Faith
Assuming arguendo that the Bridlewood Way search warrant was invalidly issued, defendants would need to establish that the “good faith” exception to the exclusionary rule did not apply before the court could grant their motion to suppress. The Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule was intended to deter unlawful police conduct; however, the rule had the added effect of allowing “some guilty defendants [to] go free or receive reduced sentences.”Leon, 468 U.S. at 906-07.
As a result, the United States Supreme Court crafted the “good faith” exception, recognizing that law enforcement officers who act in the good faith belief that their conduct does not violate the Fourth Amendment need not be deterred. United States v. $92,422.57, 307 F.3d 137, 145 (3d Cir. 2002); see also Leon, 468 U.S. at 922-25.
To determine whether to apply the “good faith” exception, the court must ask “whether a reasonably well trained officer would have known that the search was illegal despite the magistrate’s authorization.” $92,422.57, 307 F.3d at 145. The fact that a search was conducted pursuant to a warrant typically “suffices to prove that an officer conducted a search in good faith and justifies application of the good faith exception.” Id. at 146. There are, however, four situations in which an officer’s reliance on a warrant is not reasonable: *1010
(1) when the magistrate judge issued the warrant in reliance on a deliberately or recklessly false affidavit;
(2) when the magistrate judge abandoned his judicial role and failed to perform his neutral and detached function;
(3) when the warrant was based on an affidavit so lacking in indicia of probable cause as to render official belief in its existence entirely unreasonable; or
(4) when the warrant was so facially deficient that it failed to particularize the place to be searched or the things to be seized.
Id. In the instant case, defendants argue that the warrant is “facially deficient” because it is unsigned. The court disagrees.
In Massachusetts v. Sheppard, 468 U.S. 981 (1984), the United States Supreme Court refused to suppress evidence based upon a clerical error made by an issuing authority, reasoning that the purpose of the exclusionary rule is “to deter unlawful searches by police, not to punish the errors of magistrates and judges.” Id. at 989-91. The Court held that the affiant took “every step that could reasonably be expected” of him by preparing an affidavit, presenting it to a neutral magistrate judge, and awaiting authorization to complete the search as requested. Id. at 989. Of particular note is the fact that the affiant knew of the errors in the warrant but was assured by the magistrate judge that they would be corrected.
Thereafter, the affiant observed the magistrate make some changes before receiving the warrant. Id. In rejecting the argument that the affiant bore a duty to examine the warrant to ensure that the necessary changes had been made, the Court stated: “[W]e refuse to rule that an officer is required to disbelieve a judge who has just advised him, by word and by action, that the warrant he possesses authorizes *323323 him to conduct the search he has requested.” Id. at 989-90. The Court went on to conclude that if an *1111“error of constitutional dimensions” was committed with respect to the warrant’s issuance, “it was the judge, not the police officers, who made the critical mistake.” Id. at 990. Accordingly, theSheppard Court held that the good faith exception applied despite the fact that the search was conducted pursuant to a warrant that was facially deficient because it contained clerical errors.
The majority of courts have concluded that an issuing authority’s failure to sign a warrant is precisely the type of clerical error contemplated by the Sheppard Court.6 See K. Pierce, 493 F. Supp. 2d at 640 (equating a failure to sign a warrant to the mistake made by the magistrate inSheppard and applying the good faith exception to this “apparently inadvertent error . . . made by the issuing judge and not the officers who executed the search”).
In fact, the Fifth and Ninth Circuits have unequivocally opined that an officer’s reliance on an unsigned search warrant is objectively reasonable and, therefore, satisfies the good faith exception. United States v. Kelley,140 F.3d 596, 604 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, (1998) (holding that the good faith exception insulated a search pursuant to an unsigned and undated warrant where the issuing authority communicated in person to the affiant that a finding of probable cause had been made); United States v. Diaz-Lopez, No. 89-30270, 1990 WL 194268, at *1 (9th Cir. Dec. 6, 1990), cert. denied, (1991) (holding that the good faith exception insulated a search conducted pursuant to an unsigned search warrant where the affiant appeared in person *1212before the issuing authority who signed the affidavit but not the warrant); see also United States v. Vanaman, (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 534 U.S. 888 (2001) (concluding that officers’ reliance on unsigned search warrant was reasonable where officer delivered warrant to judge’s residence for signature prior to search but judge’s thirty minute delay meant that signing actually occurred shortly after search).
The decisions of the Fifth and Ninth Circuits rely heavily upon the fact that each affiant applied for the warrant in person and observed the issuing authority’s actions in completing the warrant. The hallmark of these cases is the fact that the affiant “participated in every step of the process — prepared a warrant application, swore to it before the judge, answered the judge’s questions, heard the judge indicate that the warrant was approved, and received the warrant application back from the judge.” Perrin, 2005 WL 1563530, at *9. In such a situation, it is objectively reasonable for the affiant to rely upon an unsigned warrant because “the judge has clearly communicated a finding of probable cause.” Id. The court finds the reasoning of the Fifth and Ninth Circuits to be persuasive and will adopt it for purposes of resolving the questions presented herein.
This appears to be an issue of first impression in the Third Circuit.
In the matter sub judice, Detective Craul testified that he had applied for numerous search warrants in the past from various issuing authorities, including Judge Kessler, but had never before been issued an unsigned warrant. (Tr. at 21, 24.) Detective Craul applied for the search warrant in person and “swore to the warrant” while “standing before” Judge Kessler. (Id. at 25.) In fact, he observed Judge Kessler complete the warrant from a location “right on the other *324324side of the *1313 counter.” (Id.) Before leaving Judge Kessler’s office, Detective Craul noticed that the document containing the warrant was signed, stamped, and sealed in various locations, but did not notice the absence of the magistrate’s signature on the warrant itself. (Id.) After receiving the warrant, Craul proceeded to execute the search and personally left a copy of the warrant at the Bridlewood Way residence. (Id. at 23.) He learned that the warrant was unsigned only when he was contacted by the prosecutor’s office after criminal proceedings had been initiated. (Id. at 24.) Based upon the aforementioned facts, the court concludes that the warrant’s lack of a signature is a clerical error within the ambit of the Sheppard rule. The court specifically finds that Detective Craul’s reliance on the unsigned warrant was objectively reasonable because he “participated in every step” of the issuance process and did not learn of the warrant’s deficiency until well after the search had *1414 been conducted. Accordingly, the good faith exception insulates the search pursuant to the unsigned warrant.7 *1515
The court notes that the United States District Court for the District of Montana reached the opposite conclusion in United States v. Evans, 469 F. Supp. 2d 893 (D. Mont. 2007). However, the facts in Evans are readily distinguishable from the instant case. In Evans, the warrant lacked not only a signature but also a date, case number, or any other imprimatur of judicial authority. While the affiant applied for the warrant in person and originally believed the warrant to be signed, he discovered the lack of signature just after completing the search. The affiant did not attempt to correct the deficiency and intentionally failed to provide a copy of the unsigned warrant at the location of the search as required by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(f). Id. at 895-96; see also FED. R. CRIM. P. 41(f)(1)(C) (requiring executing officer to “leave a copy of the warrant . . . at the place where the officer took the property”).
In contrast, Detective Craul’s reliance upon the unsigned warrant in the instant case was objectively reasonable because the warrant contained numerous indicia of issuance and because Detective Craul did not learn of the deficiency in the warrant until well after the search or neglect to provide a copy of the warrant as did the executing officer in Evans. Aside from these factual distinctions, the court finds the Evans court’s heavy reliance upon Groh v. Ramirez, 540 U.S. 551 (2004), to be misplaced. Groh dealt with a violation of the Fourth Amendment particularity requirement. In holding that the good faith exception could not correct a warrant that transgressed this standard, the Court stated: “Given that the particularity requirement is set forth in the text of the Constitution, no reasonable officer could believe that a warrant that plainly did not comply with that requirement was valid.” Id.at 560, 563.
The Court distinguished a particularity violation from a “mere technical mistake or typographical error,” implying that the latter is not constitutionally deficient. Id. at 558. Unlike the particularity requirement, the text of the Fourth Amendment does not mandate that a warrant be signed, making a lack of signature more akin to the technical mistakes discussed in Sheppard and referenced in Groh. Accordingly, the Court’s holding in Groh does not dictate the outcome of the instant case because a reasonable officer could believe that a warrant that was sealed, dated, time-stamped, and assigned a case number complied with theFourth Amendment, even absent the magistrate judge’s signature.