In Groh v. Ramirez, the United States Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that a search warrant may be so facially defective that the executing officers cannot reasonably presume it to be valid. The Court reasoned that the warrant deficiency in this case, revolving around the particularity requirement, flows directly from the text of the Fourth Amendment, and thus, no reasonable officer could believe a warrant that obviously did not comply with this standard was valid. The Court proceeded to deny the executing officer qualified immunity by holding that reliance upon this facially defective warrant was objectively unreasonable. This decision represents a restriction of the Court's application of the objective reasonableness standard with respect to qualified immunity by precluding examination of an officer's mistake of fact when executing a search based on probable cause and approved by a neutral detached magistrate.
Harrelson, Lenard F. Jr.
"Form Over Substance? Qualified Immunity in Groh v. Ramirez,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 56:
4, Article 19.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol56/iss4/19