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United States v. Calandra


Federal officers obtained a warrant to search the defendant’s business premises for evidence of illegal gambling operations. The warrant specified the object of the search was bookmaking records and wagering paraphernalia. The search did not reveal any gambling paraphernalia. However, in exceeding the scope of the warrant, an officer found an index card suggesting that Dr. Walter Loveland had been making periodic payments to the defendant. The officer was aware the U.S. Attorney’s Office was investigating possible violations of extortionate credit transactions, and that Dr. Loveland had been a victim. The defendant was subpoenaed by a special Grand Jury convened to investigate the proliferation of “loan sharking” activities. The defendant refused to respond because the information identifying him with these activities had been illegally obtained.


Whether grand jury witnesses can refuse to answer questions on the ground that they were developed on illegally seized evidence?


No. The grand jury may question the witness based on the illegally obtained material, and the witness may not refuse to answer on those grounds.


The exclusionary rule does not extend to grand jury proceedings. The rationale for this rule is that allowing the grand jury witness to invoke the exclusionary rule would unduly interfere with the effective and expeditious discharge of the grand jury’s duties, and would achieve only a speculative and minimal advance of the exclusionary rule’s purpose of deterring police that disregard Fourth Amendment requirements.


414 U.S. 338, 94 S. Ct. 613 (1974)

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