What is the test for particularity in a search warrant?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from Klugman v. Superior Court, 252 Cal.Rptr.3d 759, 39 Cal.App.5th 1080 (Cal. App. 2019):

specific [citation], and the specificity required "varies depending on the circumstances of the case and the type of items involved." [Citations.] The constitutional and statutory requirements of particularity are satisfied if the warrant imposes a meaningful restriction upon the objects to be seized. [Citation.] The requirement of reasonable particularity is a flexible concept, reflecting the degree of detail available from the facts known to the affiant and presented to the issuing magistrate. [Citations.] ... [] In the context of a search of a place, the Fourth Amendment requirement of particularity and our state statutory particularity requirement in section 1525 are met if the description is such that the officer ... can with reasonable effort ascertain and identify the place intended. " ( People v. Robinson (2010) 47 Cal.4th 1104, 1132-1133, 104 Cal.Rptr.3d 727, 224 P.3d 55, fn. omitted.)

[252 Cal.Rptr.3d 772]

"Whether a warrant's description of property to be seized is sufficiently particular is a question of law subject to independent review by an appellate court. [Citation.] In considering whether a warrant is sufficiently particular, courts consider the purpose of the warrant, the nature of the items sought, and the total circumstances surrounding the case. [Citation.] A warrant that permits a search broad in scope may be appropriate under some circumstances, and the warrant's language must be read in context and with common sense." ( People v. Eubanks (2011) 53 Cal.4th 110, 133-134, 134 Cal.Rptr.3d 795, 266 P.3d 301.)

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