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U.S. v. WANG

United States District Court, S.D. New York


July 7, 2004.

UNITED STATES,
v.
ZHU MING WANG and KONG LIANG WANG, Defendants.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: DENISE COTE, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

On July 1, 2004, defendant Kong Liang Wang ("Wang") moved for reconsideration of the June 29, 2004 Opinion and Order ("June Opinion") denying his motion to suppress. The Government opposed the reconsideration motion on July 2, and on July 6, Wang supplemented his motion. For the following reasons, Wang's motion for reconsideration is denied.

A warrantless search is permitted in areas of an apartment building where there is no legitimate expectation of privacy, including a common hallway. United States v. Barrios-Moriera, 872 F.2d 12, 14 (2d Cir. 1989), abrogated on other grounds, 496 U.S. 128 (1990); United States v. Holland, 755 F.2d 253, 255-56 (2d Cir. 1985). This is true even if the area is "guarded by a locked door." Barrios-Moriera, 872 F.2d at 14.

  Wang argues that observations made by officers while in the backyard and common areas of 13 Market Street are inadmissible because the residents had a reasonable expectation of privacy in their common areas, which they demonstrated by having a self-locking door, no listing of residents, and no intercom system. This contention is contrary to established law in this Circuit that residents of an apartment building have no reasonable expectation of privacy in common areas, even behind locked doors.

  Wang argues that it is a matter of common sense that someone in the backyard cannot see a person enter the building and proceed up the stairs inside the building unless windows or some device permit such an observation, and the affidavit is deficient because it does not explain how those observations were made. The affiant had no duty to add the detail suggested by Wang. Wang has failed to meet his burden to show that a hearing is necessary on this issue: he has failed to show a basis to find the existence of deliberate falsehood or reckless disregard for the truth, or that the alleged falsehood was necessary to a finding of probable cause.

  Wang also claims that the fruits of the search conducted at Manhattan Mini Storage should be suppressed because the officer's affidavit states only that he crouched down to see under the storage unit's door, without mention of whether he had to place his head on the floor. Wang does not dispute that the officer could have seen under the door if had "laid down." This argument is without merit and wholly insufficient to merit reconsideration of the June Opinion.

 

SO ORDERED.
20040707

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