Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 542
Proceedings to Preserve the Peace--Searches and Seizures
Section 542.276

August 28, 2013


Who may apply for search warrant--contents of application, affidavit--where filed, hearing--contents of warrant--who may execute, return, when and how made--warrant deemed invalid, when.

542.276. 1. Any peace officer or prosecuting attorney may make application under section 542.271 for the issuance of a search warrant.

2. The application shall:

(1) Be in writing;

(2) State the time and date of the making of the application;

(3) Identify the property, article, material, substance or person which is to be searched for and seized, in sufficient detail and particularity that the officer executing the warrant can readily ascertain it;

(4) Identify the person, place, or thing which is to be searched, in sufficient detail and particularity that the officer executing the warrant can readily ascertain whom or what he or she is to search;

(5) State facts sufficient to show probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant;

(6) Be verified by the oath or affirmation of the applicant;

(7) Be filed in the proper court;

(8) Be signed by the prosecuting attorney of the county where the search is to take place, or his or her designated assistant.

3. The application may be supplemented by a written affidavit verified by oath or affirmation. Such affidavit shall be considered in determining whether there is probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant and in filling out any deficiencies in the description of the person, place, or thing to be searched or of the property, article, material, substance, or person to be seized. Oral testimony shall not be considered. The application may be submitted by facsimile or other electronic means.

4. The judge shall determine whether sufficient facts have been stated to justify the issuance of a search warrant. If it appears from the application and any supporting affidavit that there is probable cause to believe that property, article, material, substance, or person subject to seizure is on the person or at the place or in the thing described, a search warrant shall immediately be issued. The warrant shall be issued in the form of an original and two copies.

5. The application and any supporting affidavit and a copy of the warrant shall be retained in the records of the court from which the warrant was issued.

6. The search warrant shall:

(1) Be in writing and in the name of the state of Missouri;

(2) Be directed to any peace officer in the state;

(3) State the time and date the warrant is issued;

(4) Identify the property, article, material, substance or person which is to be searched for and seized, in sufficient detail and particularity that the officer executing the warrant can readily ascertain it;

(5) Identify the person, place, or thing which is to be searched, in sufficient detail and particularity that the officer executing the warrant can readily ascertain whom or what he or she is to search;

(6) Command that the described person, place, or thing be searched and that any of the described property, article, material, substance, or person found thereon or therein be seized or photographed or copied and within ten days after filing of the application, any photographs or copies of the items may be filed with the issuing court;

(7) Be signed by the judge, with his or her title of office indicated.

7. A search warrant issued under this section may be executed only by a peace officer. The warrant shall be executed by conducting the search and seizure commanded. The search warrant issued under this section may be issued by facsimile or other electronic means.

8. A search warrant shall be executed as soon as practicable and shall expire if it is not executed and the return made within ten days after the date of the making of the application. A search and any subsequent searches of the contents of any property, article, material, or substance seized and removed from the location of the execution of any search warrant during its execution may be conducted at any time during or after the execution of the warrant, subject to the continued existence of probable cause to search the property, article, material, or substance seized and removed. A search and any subsequent searches of the property, article, material, or substance seized and removed may be conducted after the time for delivering the warrant, return, and receipt to the issuing judge has expired. A supplemental return and receipt shall be delivered to the issuing judge upon final completion of any search which concludes after the expiration of time for delivering the original return and receipt.

9. After execution of the search warrant, the warrant with a return thereon, signed by the officer making the search, shall be delivered to the judge who issued the warrant. The return shall show the date and manner of execution, what was seized, and the name of the possessor and of the owner, when he or she is not the same person, if known. The return shall be accompanied by a copy of the itemized receipt required by subsection 6 of section 542.291. The judge or clerk shall, upon request, deliver a copy of such receipt to the person from whose possession the property was taken and to the applicant for the warrant.

10. A search warrant shall be deemed invalid:

(1) If it was not issued by a judge; or

(2) If it was issued without a written application having been filed and verified; or

(3) If it was issued without probable cause; or

(4) If it was not issued in the proper county; or

(5) If it does not describe the person, place, or thing to be searched or the property, article, material, substance, or person to be seized with sufficient certainty; or

(6) If it is not signed by the judge who issued it; or

(7) If it was not executed within the time prescribed by subsection 8 of this section.

11. The application or execution of a search warrant shall not be deemed invalid for the sole reason that the application or execution of the warrant relies upon electronic signatures of the peace officer or prosecutor seeking the warrant or judge issuing the warrant.

(L. 1974 S.B. 366 4, A.L. 1983 S.B. 24, A.L. 1989 S.B. 215 & 58, A.L. 2004 S.B. 1211, A.L. 2005 H.B. 353, A.L. 2008 S.B. 932, A.L. 2010 H.B. 1695, et al.)


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