This survey is intended to serve as a resource to which Washington lawyers, judges, law enforcement officers, and others can turn as an authoritative starting point for researching Washington search and seizure law. In order to be useful as a research tool, this Survey requires periodic updates to address new cases interpreting the Washington constitution and the U.S. Constitution and to reflect the current state of the law. Many of these cases involve the Washington State Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Washington constitution. Also, as the U.S. Supreme Court has continued to examine Fourth Amendment search and seizure jurisprudence, its decisions and reflections on Washington law are also discussed. Often the rules and approaches in interpreting the Washington constitution differ in certain areas from the analysis used by the U.S. Supreme Court in its Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. Where that occurs, this Survey has identified the independent approach adopted by the Washington State Supreme Court. This Survey contains updated case comments and statutory references that are current through March 2019, and focuses primarily on search and seizure law in the criminal context; it omits discussion of many procedural issues, including those arising under court rules that implement constitutional protections. In addition, all references to Wayne R. LaFave, Search and Seizure: A Treatise on the Fourth Amendment, have been updated to the fifth edition, published in 2012.
Justice Charles W. Johnson and Justice Debra L. Stephens, Survey of Washington Search and Seizure Law: 2019 Update, 42 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 1277 (2019).