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People v. Grzeskiewicz

OPINION FILED MARCH 27, 1981.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

CASE R. GRZESKIEWICZ, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of McDonough County; the Hon. RICHARD C. RIPPLE, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE HEIPLE DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

As a result of the execution of a search warrant in McDonough County, the defendant, Case R. Grzeskiewicz, was charged with unlawful possession of cannabis (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 56 1/2, par. 704(d)), unauthorized possession of weapons (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 21-6(a)), and possession of a firearm without an identification card (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 83-2(a)). Prior to trial, defendant's motion to quash the warrant and suppress evidence was granted. The State appeals.

Since the affidavit is the key element controlling the propriety of the issuance of a search warrant, we set it out here in full:

COMPLAINT FOR SEARCH WARRANT

Now comes the undersigned affiant, Harold Thompson, and states that he has reasonable cause to believe that the instruments, articles and things as follows: one (1) .38 caliber handgun constitute evidence of or have been used in the commission of the offense of unauthorized possession of weapons (ch. 38, § 21-6 of the I.R.S.).

The affiant believes that the foregoing instruments, articles and things are located at Room 1312, Tanner Hall — Western Illinois University — Macomb, McDonough County, Illinois and the person of Case R. Grzeskiewicz.

In support of the foregoing, your affiant states the following facts: On February 1, 1980, at approximately 9:30 a.m., Herbert Ross, an ordinary citizen and student at Western Illinois University, reported to affiant that he had observed Case R. Grzeskiewicz in Room 1312, Tanner Hall — Western Illinois University, Macomb, McDonough County, Illinois, on January 31, 1980, at approximately 7:30 p.m. and that Grzeskiewicz possessed a .38 caliber handgun while in said room. A records check with the office of Public Safety — W.I.U. — reveals that Grzeskiewicz had no permission to possess said weapon in Tanner Hall, said hall is supported in part with State of Illinois funds.

Wherefore the affiant requests the issuance of a warrant to search the above premises or person.

The affiant, being sworn, says that the matters and facts stated in the complaint are true of his own knowledge, except those matters therein upon information and belief and as to those matters he believes them to be true.

Harold Thompson, Affiant."

So far as the law applicable to this case is concerned, it is covered by the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution and by the United States Supreme Court cases of Aguilar v. Texas (1964), 378 U.S. 108, 12 L.Ed.2d 723, 84 S.Ct. 1509, Spinelli v. United States (1969), 393 U.S. 410, 21 L.Ed.2d 637, 89 S.Ct. 584, and United States v. Harris (1971), 403 U.S. 573, 29 L.Ed.2d 723, 91 S.Ct. 2075. This matter is well discussed and analyzed in the Illinois case of People v. Hammers (1976), 35 Ill. App.3d 498.

The fourth amendment to the United States Constitution provides:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

• 1 In sum, case law cited above has interpreted the fourth amendment to mean that while an affidavit for a search warrant may be based on hearsay, it must inform the magistrate of: (1) underlying circumstances on which the informant's conclusions are based; and (2) the underlying circumstances from which the officer concluded that the informant was credible or his information reliable. In the case of an ordinary citizen informant, as contrasted with a paid police informer or a criminal, the ordinary citizen informant carries a presumption of reliability. In the case of eyewitness informants, the informant's conclusions may be ...


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