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Ala Supreme Court VictoryLand Search Warrant Ruling

Ala Supreme Court VictoryLand Search Warrant Ruling

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Published by John S Keppy
RUling of Alabama Supreme Court in reference to search warrant on Victoryland
RUling of Alabama Supreme Court in reference to search warrant on Victoryland

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Published by: John S Keppy on Mar 01, 2013
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03/01/2013

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 Notice:
This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the advancesheets of
Southern Reporter
. Readers are requested to notify the
Reporter of Decisions
,Alabama Appellate Courts, 300 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama 36104-3741 ((334) 229-0649), of any typographical or other errors, in order that corrections may be made beforethe opinion is printed in
Southern Reporter
.
SUPREME COURT OF ALABAMA 
OCTOBER TERM, 2012-2013 ____________________ 1120498 ____________________ Ex parte State of AlabamaPETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS(Macon Circuit Court;Court of Criminal Appeals, CR-12-0607)
PER CURIAM.On January 25, 2013, the State of Alabama, through theAlabama Attorney General, filed with this Court an "EmergencyPetition for Writ of Mandamus," seeking an order directing thepresiding judge of the Macon Circuit Court to issue a searchwarrant as to certain allegedly illegal gambling devices and
 
1120498related items located in a facility commonly known as Quincy's777 Casino at VictoryLand ("the casino") in Shorter. OnFebruary 15, 2013, this Court, by order, granted the State'spetition and issued the writ, instructing the judge to issuethe warrant. Given the inherently ex parte nature of a searchwarrant, and in order that the purpose of the warrant to beissued not be frustrated, this Court issued the writ underseal, with instructions that the order remain under seal untilfurther order of this Court following the execution of thewarrant. The execution of the warrant having beenaccomplished, this Court has removed the seal from thisproceeding and its February 15 order, and now addresses thereasons for issuing the writ.Procedural HistoryAt approximately 7:15 a.m. on January 16, 2013, Howard"Gene" Sisson, who has been a law-enforcement agent for25 years and who is a special agent with the Office of theAlabama Attorney General, approached Judge Ray D. Martin ofthe Fifth Judicial Circuit with an application for a searchwarrant to be executed at the casino. Sisson was accompaniedby, among others, Jesse Seroyer, Jr., who is the deputy chief2
 
1120498of the Investigative Division in the Office of the AlabamaAttorney General. According to affidavits submitted to thisCourt by Sisson and Seroyer, Judge Martin declined to issuethe warrant on the ground that, as of midnight, approximatelyseven hours earlier, he was no longer the presiding judge forthe Fifth Judicial Circuit of Alabama, within which MaconCounty is located, and that Judge Thomas F. Young, Jr., had,as of that time, assumed the position of presiding judge.According to the affidavits, Judge Martin further stated thathe had been assigned responsibility for Chambers County,another county located within the Fifth Judicial Circuit, andtherefore no longer had authority to issue a search warrant to3

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