SEARCH. 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 he is accused. See SEARCH WARRANT.
By act of March 2, 1799, s. 68, it is enacted that every collector, naval officer, and survey or, or other person specially appointed by either of them for that purpose, shall, if they have reason to suspect the concealment of merchandise, in any place, have full power and authority to enter any ship or vessel or any dwelling house in the • daytime, upon a warrant obtained on application from any justice of the peace, etc., or any federal dis trict judge or commissioner, to search for goods forfeited for non-payment of duties ; R. S. § 3066, as amended April 25, 1882.
In England a prisoner arrested for an indictable offence may be searched for the purpose .of finding. upon him any, property which will afford material evidence for the prosecution or any weapon or instrument which might be used for the purpose of es cape or of inflicting injury on himself or others. There does not appear to be any au thority permitting the search of prisoners for other purposes than the above, and there have been cases in which the court has di rected property taken from an unconvicted person and not necessary to be used for the purpose of evidence, to be returned to him. It is said that money not connected with the offence charged should not be taken from a prisoner. Women should be employed to
search female prisoners. The person's lodg ings and effects may also be searched. In England special statutory provisions as to searching are made in the case of numerous specified crimes ; see Haycraft, Ex. Pow. in Rel. to Crime.
Where one was fined for drunkenness and the mayor, as a committing magistrate, found certain money on his person and applied it, against his protest, to the paynient of the fine, and the prisoner insisted upon his right to accept imprisonment in place of a fine, it was held that the mayor was justified ; Mc Cann v. Barr, 19 Pa. Co. Ct. R. 669.
Officers making arrests may seize articles on a prisoner and retain them for the pur poses of evidence against him, though they belong to other parties; 36 Wash. L. Rep. 421. See PRISONER.
An English act (1897) provides that po lice magistrates may order the return of such articles, or, if not claimed, may make such order as to their disposal as they deem proper.
See SEARCH WARRANT; SEARCH, RIGHT OF.
In Practice. An examination made in the proper lien office for mortgages, liens, judg ments, or other incumbrances against real estate. The certificate given by the officer as to the result of such examination is also called a search. See RECORD; JUDGMENT; LIEN.