Maryland v. Garrison

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Maryland v. Garrison
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued November 5, 1986
Decided February 24, 1987
Full case name Maryland v. Garrison
Citations 480 U.S. 79 (more)
Where police reasonably believed their warrant was valid during a search, execution of the warrant does not violate respondent's Fourth Amendment rights.
Court membership
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan, Jr. · Byron White
Thurgood Marshall · Harry Blackmun
Lewis F. Powell, Jr. · John P. Stevens
Sandra Day O'Connor · Antonin Scalia
Case opinions
Majority Stevens, joined by Rehnquist, White, Powell, O'Connor, Scalia
Dissent Blackmun, joined by Brennan, Marshall
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. IV

Maryland v. Garrison, 480 U.S. 79 (1987), is a United States Supreme Court case dealing with the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the extent of discretion given to police officers acting in good faith. The Court held that where police reasonably believe their warrant was valid during a search, execution of the warrant does not violate respondent's Fourth Amendment rights.


The Baltimore Police Department were executing a warrant that said the ‘3rd floor apartment’ intending to search McWebbs apartment, when the police went upstairs they searched the 3rd floor and found drugs and cash. The police, then discovered that the 3rd floor was actually divided into 2 apartments. Up to that point none of the police had realized there were 2 distinct apartments. Garrison brought a 4th Amendment claim because they did not have a warrant to search his apartment, but rather they had a warrant to search McWebbs apartment, and Garrison wanted to use the 4th Amendment to suppress the drug evidence.


The Court finds that because the warrant allowed for investigation of the 3rd floor, the officers reasonably relied on the warrant to carry out the search. Therefore the evidence is allowed, and Garrison is not allowed to invoke the 4th Amendment protection.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Childress, D. R. (1988). "Maryland v. Garrison: Extending the Good Faith Exception to Warrantless Searches". Baylor Law Review. 40: 151. ISSN 0005-7274. 
  • Ricciardelli, G. N. (1988). "Stretching the Good Faith Exception beyond Its Constitutional Limits: Maryland v. Garrison". New England Law Review. 23: 853. ISSN 0028-4823. 

External links[edit]

  • Text of Maryland v. Garrison, 480 U.S. 79 (1986) is available from:  Findlaw  Justia