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SEARCH, crim. law. An examination of a man's house, premises or person, for the purpose of discovering proof of his guilt in relation to some crime or misdemeanor of which be is accused.
2. The constitution of the United. States, amendments, art. 4, protects the people from unreasonable searches and seizures. 3 Story, Const. §1895; Rawle, Const. ch. 10, p. 127; 10 John. R. 263; 11 John. R. 500; 3 Cranch, 447.
3. By the act of March 2, 1799, s. 68, 1 Story's L. U. S. 632, it is enacted, that every collector, naval officer, and surveyor, or other person specially appointed, by either of them, for that purpose, shall have fall power and authority to enter any ship or vessel, in which they shall have reason to suspect any goods, wares, or merchandise, subject to duty, are concealed, and therein to search for, seize, and secure any such goods, wares, or merchandise; and if they shall have cause to suspect a concealment thereof in any particular dwelling house, store, building, or other place they or either of them shall; upon proper application, on oath, to any justice of the peace, be entitled to a warrant to enter such house, store, or other place, (in the day time only, and there to search for such goods; and if any shall be found, to seize and secure the same for trial; and all such goods, wares, and merchandise, on which the duties shall not have been paid, or secured to be paid, shall be forfeited.
SEARCH, practice. An examination made in the proper lien office for mortgages, liens, judgments, or other encumbrances, against real estate. The certificate given by the officer as to the result of such examination is also called a search.
2. Conveyancers and others who cause searches to be made ought to be very careful that they should be correct, with regard, 1. To the time during which the person against whom the search has been made owned the premises. 2. To the property searched against, which ought to be properly described. 3. To the form of the certificate of search.
SEARCH, RIGHT OF, mar. law. The right existing in a belligerent to examine and inspect the papers of a neutral vessel at sea. On the continent of Europe, this is called the right of visit. Dalloz, Dict. mots Prises Maritimes, n. 104-111.
2. The right does not extend to examine the cargo; nor does it extend to a ship of war, it being strictly confined to the searching of merchant vessels. The exercise of the right is to prevent the commerce of contraband goods. Although frequently resisted by powerful neutral nations, yet this right appears now to be fixed beyond contravention. The penalty for violently resisting this right is the confiscation of the property so withheld from visitation. Unless in extreme cases of gross abuse of his right by a belligerent, the neutral has no right to resist a search. 1 Kent, Com. 154; 2 Bro. Civ. and Adm. Law, 319; Mann. Comm. B. 3, c. 11.
SEARCH WARRANT, crim. law, practice. A warrant (q. v.) requiring the officer to whom it is addressed, to search a house or other place therein specified, for property therein alleged to have been stolen; and if the same shall be found upon such search, to bring the goods so found, together with the body of the person occupying the same, who is named, before the justice or other officer granting the warrant, or some other justice of the peace, or other lawfully authorized officer. It should be given under the hand and seal of the justice, and dated.
2. The constitution of the United States, amendments, art. 4, declares that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized."
3. Lord Hale, 2 P. C. 149, 150, recommends great caution in granting such warrants. 1. That they be, not granted without oath made before a justice of a felony committed, and that the complainant has probable cause to suspect they are in such a house or place, and his reasons for such suspicion. 2. That such warrants express that the search shall be made in day time. 3. That they ought to be directed to a constable or other proper officer, and not to a private person. 4. A search warrant ought to command the officer to bring the stolen goods and the person in whose custody they are, before some justice of the peace. Vide 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 57, 64; 4 Inst. 176; Hawk. B. 2, c. 13, s. 17, n. 6; 11 St. Tr; 321; 2 Wils. 149, 291; Burn's Just. h. t.; Williams' Just. h. t.


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