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If an officer has a warrant to investigate is it possible for a citizen to get details of that warrant including finding where those officers are? What judge enabled them?

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If an officer has a warrant to investigate is it possible for a citizen to get details of that warrant including finding where those officers are? What judge enabled them?

The name of the judge authorizing a search warrant or arrest warrant, and the court in which that judge serves, will always appears on the face of the warrant document.

It is possible to eventually get a copy of a search warrant or arrest warrant, once it has been served, but search warrants and arrest warrants are frequently issued "under seal" prior to the point in time at which they are served so that the law enforcement can have the element of surprise in executing those warrants.

Search warrants are usually served very shortly after they are issued, so there isn't much of a gap period for them to be under seal. Arrest warrants are frequently made public and widely publicized to law enforcement officers in cases that don't have an organized crime component or co-conspirators who have not yet been arrested, particularly if law enforcement doesn't know where to find the person named in the warrant.

Search warrants and arrest warrants which aren't under seal may be obtained by any member of the public from the clerk of the court that issued the warrant.

Once a search warrant or arrest warrant has been executed, the person searched or arrested and their lawyers are always entitled to a copy of it, and to a copy of the "return" of the warrant to the court, and to a copy of the police report, if any, prepared regarding the execution of the warrant. The "return" of the warrant to the court and the police report, if any, will generally disclose at least some of the officers who were involved in executing the warrant.

Sometimes a search warrant is handed to the person searched. Criminal case warrants and related documents are sometimes made available by law enforcement records departments, sometimes by the clerk of the relevant court, and sometimes by the prosecutor's office as part of "discovery" in a criminal case. Police reports are sometimes made available by the law enforcement records departments and sometimes by the prosecutor's office as part of "discovery" in a criminal case.

But, sometimes these documents remain sealed as to the general public if a criminal investigation is ongoing so that co-conspirators will not be tipped off and so that potential witnesses will not receive information not made available to the general public (allowing law enforcement to distinguish between reliable witnesses who know non-public factors and people just making things up based upon news reports) and so that juries will not be tainted by information which may not be admissible at trial.

Eventually, not later than after a jury has heard the case and all witnesses have testified at trial, the general public has a right to that information.

Officers Providing Probable Cause Affidavits

Another kind of information that someone would often like to have regarding a search warrant is to know who supplied the probable cause statement for the warrant. Usually, there will be a named law enforcement officer's affidavit either attached to the warrant or including as part of that form, or filed under the same court case number even if it does not accompany the warrant itself.

But, while the law enforcement officer preparing the probable cause affidavit or declaration will be named, the law enforcement officer will not infrequently rely in part on unnamed anonymous informants who are described in more or less detail in the probable cause affidavit. The identity of the anonymous informant is not revealed unless the prosecution in the case chooses to do so. Instead, the practice of relying on anonymous informants is regulated with rules of law regarding when information from an anonymous informant can be sufficient, with or without other kinds of corroborating information, to establish probable cause to issue a search warrant or arrest warrant.

If after the search has been conducted, a court determines that the warrant was not supported by probable cause, this sometimes constitutes grounds to suppress the evidence obtained with the search warrant.

If a court later determines that an arrest warrant was not supported by probable cause, this could provide a basis for the suppression of evidence obtained incident to the arrest, for the release of the criminal defendant if no later evidence has established probable cause after the arrest from sources not tainted by the arrest without probable cause, or for a civil lawsuit for wrongful arrest brought by the person arrested.

So, failing to identify officers who are sources of information for an arrest warrant or search warrant is something only done if it serves some worthwhile purpose for law enforcement, because they don't want to have their evidence needlessly suppressed.

Also, while judges usually trust law enforcement officers and issue warrants rather freely based upon their statements, if a particular officer develops a pattern of seeking warrants based upon unreliable anonymous sources in cases that turn out to be baseless, eventually judges may start to view probable cause affidavits from the officers who do that with greater skepticism than probable cause affidavits from other law enforcement officers.

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