On May 23, 2011, the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Police Accountability Project filed an Internal Affairs complaint against an Egg Harbor Township (Atlantic County) police officer who conducted a warrantless search of a motor vehicle. The complaint was filed after two-judge Appellate Division panel found that Officer Michael Bordanaro's search of a vehicle, which resulted in him finding a loaded 9 mm handgun, was illegal because there were no "exigent circumstances" excusing him from first getting a search warrant.

In his November 14, 2011 response to the complaint, Police Chief Michael J. Morris determined that Officer Bordanaro's "actions were ... in compliance with departmental policy and law." He noted that there is "no magic formula" that would enable an officer to know for sure whether a given search requires a warrant, but that each case needs to be "determined on a case-by-case basis."

He also stated that the Appellate Division's ruling is being considered by the New Jersey Supreme Court and that "once an opinion is available [the Police Department] will conduct a review in order to ascertain if there is a need to re-open the investigation, change policy or provide additional training."

The complaint, Appellate Division decision and Chief Morris' response are on-line here: http://ogtf.lpcnj.org/2011322Pd//EggHarbor1t.pdf

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