Probable Cause Requirements for Search Warrant to Search the Residence for Child Pornography

In United States v. Zimmerman, 277 F.3d 426 (3d Cir. 2002), the police department in McCandless Township, Pennsylvania, obtained a search warrant to search the residence of the defendant for adult and child pornography. The warrant application contained information that, many months earlier, the defendant possessed or accessed via the Internet one video clip of adult pornography and showed it to a high school student. The warrant did not contain any information that the defendant ever possessed child pornography or that child pornography would be found in his home. Zimmerman, 277 F.3d at 429. The defendant's home was searched on March 19, 1999, and several images of child pornography were found. Prior to trial, the defendant's motion to suppress evidence was denied. The defendant sought review of that order on appeal. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals found there was no probable cause to search the defendant's residence for child pornography. Zimmerman, 277 F.3d at 432.