The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Swietlicki on Monday, November 23, 2015.
Warrantless Seizures—Plain View Exception—Fellow Officer Rule.
In this interlocutory appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s order suppressing evidence found on defendant’s laptop computer after police seized the laptop without a warrant. The Court held that the warrantless seizure was justified under the plain view exception to the warrant requirement. In so holding, the Court clarified that the “immediately apparent” requirement of the plain view exception demands only that the seizing officer have probable cause to associate the item with criminal activity without conducting a further search. The Court also determined that the fellow officer rule applies to probable cause determinations in the context of plain view seizures.