Recalled Arrest Warrant Case In California

In People v. Ramirez (1983) 34 Cal. 3d 541, 194 Cal. Rptr. 454, 668 P.2d 761 an officer arrested the defendant based on his dispatcher's advisement that the police department's computer indicated the existence of an outstanding arrest warrant. In fact, the warrant had been recalled six months earlier. (At pp. 543-544.) The court held that "an arrest based solely on a recalled warrant is made without probable cause," and that, "although in this case the arresting officer no doubt acted in good faith reliance on the information communicated to him through 'official channels,' law enforcement officials are collectively responsible for keeping those channels free of outdated, incomplete, and inaccurate warrant information. That the police now rely on elaborate computerized data processing systems to catalogue and dispatch incriminating information enhances rather than diminishes that responsibility." (At p. 552.)