Extended Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt
Search in comments
Filter by Custom Post Type
Extended Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt
Search in comments
Filter by Custom Post Type

United States v. Rose – Case Brief Summary (Federal Court)

In United States v. Rose, 538 F.3d 175 (3d. Cir. 2008), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit considered whether a criminal defendant who failed to raise a reason to suppress evidence before the District Court may raise the reason on appeal.

The court held that absent good cause, he cannot and that such a suppression issue is waived under Fed. R. Crim. P. 12, which trumps Rule 52(b)'s plain error standard in the context of motions to suppress. Rose, 538 F.3d at 182-83. The defendant advanced on appeal different arguments for suppression than he raised at the trial level.

The court held that the "holding applies not only where the defendant failed to file a suppression motion at all in the district court, but also where he filed one but did not include the issues raised on appeal." Id. at 182.

The court stated as follows:

"In the context of a motion to suppress, a defendant must have advanced substantially the same theories of suppression in the district court as he or she seeks to rely upon in this Court--in other words, a litigant cannot jump from theory to theory like a bee buzzing from flower to flower." Id. at 179-80.

The court surveyed other federal circuits and noted that although not universal, "the prevailing rule is that the failure to assert a particular ground for suppression operates as a waiver of the right to challenge the admissibility of the evidence on that ground." Id. at 180.

The court noted that even when the suppression hearing record is developed sufficiently for the appellate court to address plain error, it should decline to do so because of the language of the Federal Rule. Id. at 183 n.8.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit stated that "'the prevailing rule is that the failure to assert a particular ground for suppression operates as a waiver of the right to challenge the admissibility of the evidence on that ground.'" Id. at 180.

The court noted, however, that "courts have not always applied this rule consistently." Id.

In Rose, the Court held that, pursuant to FED. R. CRIM. P. 12, "a suppression argument raised for the first time on appeal is waived (i.e., completely barred) absent good cause." Id. at 182.

The Court explained that its holding applied "not only where the defendant failed to file a suppression motion at all in the district court, but also where he filed one but did not include the issues raised on appeal." Id.

The court explained that the specific waiver provision of Fed. R. Crim. P. 12 prevailed over the general provision of Fed. R. Crim. P. 52(b) providing for plain error review. Id. at 183.

It noted that Fed. R. Crim. P. 12(e) "singles out motions to suppress, stating that a 'party waives any suppression defense, objection, or request not raised by the pretrial deadline the court sets,'" and it cited to the "'well-settled maxim that specific statutory provisions prevail over more general provisions.'" Id. (quoting Chavarria v. Gonzalez, 446 F.3d 508, 517 (3d Cir. 2006)).