CrRLJ 2.3: SEARCH AND SEIZURE
(a) Authority To Issue Warrant.
A search warrant authorized by this rule may be issued by the court upon request of a peace officer or the prosecuting authority.
(b) Property or Persons Which May Be Seized With a Warrant.
A warrant may be issued under this rule to search for and seize any (1) evidence of a crime; or (2) contraband, the fruits of crime, or things otherwise criminally possessed; or (3) weapons or other things by means of which a crime has been committed or reasonably appears about to be committed; or (4) person for whose arrest there is probable cause, or who is unlawfully restrained.
(c) Issuance and Contents.
A search warrant may be issued only if the court determines there is probable cause for the issuance of a warrant. An affidavit, a document as provided in RCW 9A.72.085 or any law amendatory thereto, or sworn testimony establishing the grounds for issuing the warrant must be provided or transmitted to the court by any reliable method. Sworn testimony must be in writing, recorded, or otherwise preserved. The record shall include any additional evidence relied upon by the court. The recording, or a duplication of the recording, shall be a part of the court record and shall be provided if requested or if ordered by the court. The evidence in support of the finding of probable cause shall be preserved and shall be subject to constitutional limitations for such determinations and may be hearsay in whole or in part. If the court finds that probable cause for the issuance of a warrant exists, it shall issue a warrant or direct an individual whom it authorizes for such purposes to affix the court's signature to a warrant. The authorization of the warrant may be done through any reliable method. The warrant may be directed to any peace officer. The warrant shall command the officer to search, within a specified period of time not to exceed 10 days, the person, place or thing named for the property or person specified. The warrant shall designate the court to which it shall be returned. The warrant shall be returned to the issuing court, filed in the court record and available for public review unless ordered sealed by the court. Unless otherwise designated by the issuing court, the warrant may be served at any time of day or night.
(d) Execution and Return With Inventory.
The peace officer taking property under the warrant shall give to the person from whom or from whose premises the property is taken a copy of the warrant and a receipt for the property taken. If no such person is present, the officer may post a copy of the search warrant and receipt. The return shall be made promptly and shall be accompanied by a written inventory of any property taken. The inventory shall be made in the presence of the person from whose possession or premises the property is taken, or in the presence of at least one person other than the officer. The court shall upon request provide a copy of the inventory to the person from whom or from whose premises the property was taken and to the applicant for the warrant.
(e) Motion for Return of Property.
A person may move the issuing court for the return of the property seized under the warrant on the ground that the property was illegally seized, or does not appear relevant or reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of relevant evidence, and that the person is lawfully entitled to possession of the property. The motion shall be filed in the court which issued the warrant and a copy served upon the chief executive of the law enforcement agency that obtained the warrant. Proof of service shall be filed with the court. The prosecuting authority's assertion that property lawfully seized is relevant or reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of relevant evidence shall be binding on the court.
(1) Procedure if Charges Pending. If a motion based on the ground that property was illegally seized is made or comes on for hearing after a complaint or citation and notice is filed in the court in which the motion is pending, it shall be treated as a motion to suppress. If charges are pending in another court at the time a motion made upon any ground is filed or comes on for hearing, the motion shall be transferred to the other court and subject to its rules of procedure.
(2) Procedure if No Charges Pending. If no charges are pending in any court at the time the motion is made, the issuing court shall set the motion for hearing not less than 30 days from the date of the filing or service of the motion, whichever is later.
(3) Procedure if Motion Granted. If the motion is granted, the property shall be returned unless the prosecuting authority seeks review within 14 days.
(f) Searches of Media.
(2) Subpoena Duces Tecum. Except as provided in subsection (3), if the court determines that the application satisfies the requirements for issuance of a warrant, as provided in section (c) of this rule, the court shall issue a subpoena duces tecum in accordance with CRLJ 45.
(3) Warrant. If the court determines that the application satisfies the requirements for issuance of a warrant and that RCW 10.79.015(3) and 42 U.S.C. § 2000aa et seq. permit issuance of a search warrant rather than a subpoena duces tecum, the court may issue a warrant.
(g) Motion for Suppression.
Absent prejudice to the defendant, procedural noncompliance with rules of execution and return does not compel invalidation of a warrant or suppression of its fruits.
COMMENT: CrRLJ 2.3 was adopted in 1987. The technology utilized by the courts, law enforcement and attorneys for transmitting and preserving documents and recorded testimony has significantly evolved. Telephone, facsimile, electronic mail and digital recording methods are widely used. Statute and court rule allow for the use of digital signatures. The rule continues to require that the court receive the sworn evidence from the prosecuting authority or police officer and issue the warrant through any reliable method that preserves the evidence and the warrant. Because technology continues to evolve, the various methods of transmitting the sworn evidence and issuing the warrant are not specified in the rule. General Rule 31, Access to Court Records, sets forth the provisions for public review of court records. [Originally effective September 1, 1987; amended effective September 1, 1995; September 1, 1997; September 1, 2014.]