RULE 7:5. Search Warrants; Suppression

7:5-1. Filing

  • (a) By Whom; Documents to be Filed. The judge issuing a search warrant shall attach to it the return, inventory, and all other papers related to the warrant, including affidavits and a transcript or summary of any oral testimony and, if applicable, a duplicate original search warrant. The judge shall promptly deliver these documents to the municipal court administrator, who shall file them with the vicinage Criminal Division Manager of the county in which the property was seized. The municipal court administrator shall retain in a confidential file copies of all papers filed with the Criminal Division Manager. If a tape or transmitted recording has been made, the municipal court administrator shall also send them to the Criminal Division Manager, but shall not retain a copy.

  • (b) Providing to Defendant; Inspection. All completely executed warrants, together with the supporting papers and recordings described in paragraph (a) of this rule, shall be provided to the defendant in discovery pursuant to R. 7:7-7 and, upon notice to the county prosecutor and for good cause shown, available for inspection and copying by any other person claiming to be aggrieved by the search and seizure.

Note: Source-R.R. (1969) 3:5-6(a), (c). Adopted October 6, 1997 to be effective February 1, 1998; paragraph (b) caption and text amended December 4, 2012 to be effective January 1, 2013

7:5-2. Motion to Suppress Evidence

  • (a) Jurisdiction. The municipal court shall entertain motions to suppress evidence seized without a warrant in matters within its trial jurisdiction on notice to the prosecuting attorney and, if the county prosecutor is not the prosecuting attorney, also to the county prosecutor. A motion to suppress evidence seized pursuant to a warrant and motions to suppress evidence seized without a warrant, but in matters beyond the trial jurisdiction of the municipal court, shall be made and heard in the Superior Court.

  • (b) Procedure. Written briefs in support of and opposition to the motion to suppress shall be filed only in the discretion of the judge, who shall determine the briefing schedule, if briefs are permitted. All motions to suppress shall be heard before the start of the trial.

  • (c) Order; Stay.

    • (1) Order Granting Suppression. An order granting a motion to suppress evidence shall be entered immediately upon decision of the motion. Within ten days after its entry, the municipal court administrator shall provide a copy of the order to all parties and, if the county prosecutor is not the prosecuting attorney, also to the county prosecutor. All further proceedings in the municipal court shall be stayed pending a timely appeal by the State, pursuant to R. 3:24. The property that is the subject of the suppression order shall, if not otherwise subject to lawful detention, be returned to the person entitled to it only after exhaustion by the State of its right to appeal.

    • (2) Order Denying Suppression. An order denying suppression may be reviewed on appeal from an ensuing judgment of conviction pursuant to R. 3:23 whether the judgment was entered on a guilty plea or on a finding of guilt following trial.

  • (d) Waiver. Unless otherwise ordered by the court for good cause, defendant's failure to make a pretrial motion to the municipal court pursuant to this rule shall constitute a waiver of any objection during trial to the admission of the evidence on the ground that the evidence was unlawfully obtained.

Note: Source-Paragraphs (a), (b), (c): R. (1969) 7:4-2(f); paragraph (d): R. (1969) 3:5-7(f). Adopted October 6, 1997 to be effective February 1, 1998.

7:5-3. Search and Seizure Without a Warrant

R. 7:5 shall not be construed to make illegal a lawful search and seizure executed without a warrant.

Note: Source-R.R. (1969) 3:5-8. Adopted October 6, 1997 to be effective February 1, 1998.
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