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If my house was searched and written on the warrant was

sealed with the date will...
If my house was searched and written on the warrant was sealed with the date will i be able to see the affidavit after 31 days?
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
3/27/2018
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 30,097
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Was this a state or Federal search warrant. If state, which US state?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
State Texas

Thank you. Please be patient while I check out the Texas law as to sealed warrants and type you an answer.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No problem

It would appear that after the 31st day the court could grant one 30-day extension if they can present a compelling reason for one. After that, it MUST be unsealed.

Below is the law in your state with regard to the unsealing of a search warrant:

Art. 18.011. SEALING OF AFFIDAVIT.

(a) An attorney representing the state in the prosecution of felonies may request a district judge or the judge of an appellate court to seal an affidavit presented under Article 18.01(b). The judge may order the affidavit sealed if the attorney establishes a compelling state interest in that:

(1) public disclosure of the affidavit would jeopardize the safety of a victim, witness, or confidential informant or cause the destruction of evidence; or

(2) the affidavit contains information obtained from a court-ordered wiretap that has not expired at the time the attorney representing the state requests the sealing of the affidavit.

(b) An order sealing an affidavit under this section expires on the 31st day after the date on which the search warrant for which the affidavit was presented is executed. After an original order sealing an affidavit is issued under this article, an attorney representing the state in the prosecution of felonies may request, and a judge may grant, before the 31st day after the date on which the search warrant for which the affidavit was presented is executed, on a new finding of compelling state interest, one 30-day extension of the original order.

(c) On the expiration of an order issued under Subsection (b) and any extension, the affidavit must be unsealed.

(d) An order issued under this section may not:

(1) prohibit the disclosure of information relating to the contents of a search warrant, the return of a search warrant, or the inventory of property taken pursuant to a search warrant; or

(2) affect the right of a defendant to discover the contents of an affidavit.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
would i need to hire an attorney or is this something i could request myself?

From what I see, you could request this yourself so long as no extension was granted. It looks to be a matter of public record that you could access yourself from the court clerk:

Art. 18.01. SEARCH WARRANT. (a) A "search warrant" is a written order, issued by a magistrate and directed to a peace officer, commanding him to search for any property or thing and to seize the same and bring it before such magistrate or commanding him to search for and photograph a child and to deliver to the magistrate any of the film exposed pursuant to the order.

(b) No search warrant shall issue for any purpose in this state unless sufficient facts are first presented to satisfy the issuing magistrate that probable cause does in fact exist for its issuance. A sworn affidavit setting forth substantial facts establishing probable cause shall be filed in every instance in which a search warrant is requested. Except as provided by Article 18.011, the affidavit becomes public information when the search warrant for which the affidavit was presented is executed, and the magistrate's clerk shall make a copy of the affidavit available for public inspection in the clerk's office during normal business hours.

_____

Article 18.011 is what allows for the sealing. Once it must be unsealed, it should be a matter of public record. I don't see anything to the contrary once it must be disclosed. If there's a criminal case, it may be discovery material and may require a lawyer, but if you're the defendant, you'd have a right to see it.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
It was my house but i had a tenant that was arrested and the police didn’t question me about my tenant but about someone that came by the week before and want me to help them find....

Yeah, and they don't want the reason they're looking for him out there. Here's why an affidavit might get sealed in your state:

Art. 18.02. GROUNDS FOR ISSUANCE. (a) A search warrant may be issued to search for and seize:

(1) property acquired by theft or in any other manner which makes its acquisition a penal offense;

(2) property specially designed, made, or adapted for or commonly used in the commission of an offense;

(3) arms and munitions kept or prepared for the purposes of insurrection or riot;

(4) weapons prohibited by the Penal Code;

(5) gambling devices or equipment, altered gambling equipment, or gambling paraphernalia;

(6) obscene materials kept or prepared for commercial distribution or exhibition, subject to the additional rules set forth by law;

(7) a drug, controlled substance, immediate precursor, chemical precursor, or other controlled substance property, including an apparatus or paraphernalia kept, prepared, or manufactured in violation of the laws of this state;

(8) any property the possession of which is prohibited by law;

(9) implements or instruments used in the commission of a crime;

(10) property or items, except the personal writings by the accused, constituting evidence of an offense or constituting evidence tending to show that a particular person committed an offense;

(11) persons;

(12) contraband subject to forfeiture under Chapter 59 of this code;

(13) electronic customer data held in electronic storage, including the contents of and records and other information related to a wire communication or electronic communication held in electronic storage; or

(14) a cellular telephone or other wireless communications device, subject to Article 18.0215.

____

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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 30,097
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
Hello Zoey, well I contacted the district clerks office by phone and they didn’t have record of the affidavit for my case so they transferred me to the district attorney’s office whom put me on hold forever and then returned to say they didn’t have record either I would need to call the sherif’s office ..... is this normal it’s 3 days past the 31 days ...? The sherif’s office had a recording where I had to leave my info and someone would call back .... can they just keep my information and not give to the clerk? Wouldn’t the clerk’s office have record if the extension was filed? I feel like because I called to see the affidavit that now an extension will be asked for ....

I can't guess at what's going on here, as nobody but the sheriff seems to know anything. It's strange to me that the prosecutor's office knows nothing of this.

So all I can do is repeat what the statute said -- he sealed warrant should be a public record unless an extension was asked for. You may have to ultimately hire an attorney to compel disclosure.

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
I'm not overreacting to the fact that this hasn't been filed yet ? Or that it's not at least on record at the clerks office ? I've been down this road before in this county 15 yrs ago but back then it was my boyfriend not a tenant that had a run in with the law and I hired a lawyer from a neighboring county a much larger city and that lawyer said he would never take a case here again . basically saying it was corrupt. Which I don't doubt I've heard other stories but I can't afford a lawyer for my tenant and without his car he can't either now. So I need the best advice possible on how to obtain this indictment on my own. I know something is wrong with how this all went down and I'm sure they don't want me to find out.

I agree that something doesn't seem right and that they do not want you to know what's going on. Whether that's justifiable or not, I could not tell you. They may have very good cause for their secrecy or they may be every bit as corrupt as you suspect.

If it's confidential, they're not going to give it to you, nor could you get it yourself from a Freedom of Information request. Again, you'd have to get a lawyer to compel its production or show good cause why.

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Customer reply replied 7 days ago
Ok thank you ! Its discouraging to spend money fighting a town like this.

I am sure you're right. I'm a big city gal myself, so I have no personal experience with small-town justice. But from everything I've heard from various customers here over the years, it's a whole different ball game when there's no system in place to keep law enforcement from abusing their power.

I wish you luck.

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