2Accordingly, even before the search began, the Government should have taken steps toensure that only River Birch was searched. Indeed, in
Maryland v. Garrison
, the Supreme Courtheld that investigators are obligated to discontinue a search when they discover that they may beexceeding the scope of their warrant. 480 U.S. 79 (1987).However, despite its clear knowledge that other businesses were located at 2000 BelleChasse Highway, the Government did not discontinue its search nor restrain its search in anyway. The Government searched every office in the building and seized documents from all butone: the office of a single Shadowlake Management employee.
The Government also pointsout that it did not seize materials from a hallway, a waiting room, a lunch room, and a conferenceroom, none of which contained any files or computers.
The Government also admits that it knew the law offices of Peter J. Butler, L.L.C. werelocated in the building. Indeed, the Government concedes that the point of its “clean team” wasto avoid seizing information that “may relate to his [Mr. Butler’s] clients and be subject toattorney-client privilege.” Rec. Doc. No. 48 at p. 8. Nevertheless, the Government fails toexplain how its warrant authorized the search of that law office.The Government cannot argue that itexercised restraint or even attempted to stay within the scope of the warrant.Now, after the Court has ruled that the Government searched locations it did not haveauthority to enter, the Government contends that it should only return items based on theircontents, rather than the location from which they were seized. Rec. Doc. No. 41 at p. 2. In
Room 7 on the plaintiffs’ floor plan/Room B on the Government’s floor plan.
The Government states that it labeled 19 areas on the third floor of 2000 Belle Chasse Highway as Rooms Athrough S, but Room R is not visible on the Government’s floor plan. The Government also states that it only seizeddocuments from 12 of the 19 areas. However, the Government’s inventory reflects that it seized documents and/orcomputers from 13 areas: rooms D, E, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, and Q. Finally, the Government contends that itdid not seize items from 7 areas. However, as far as the plaintiffs can tell, the Government did not seize items from5 areas: rooms A, B, C, F, and S. However, only one of these rooms, Room B, is an office. Room A is a hallway,C is a waiting room, F is a lunch room, and S is a conference room, none of which contain any files or computers.
Case 2:10-cv-03452-HGB-ALC Document 51 Filed 02/16/11 Page 2 of 12