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Third Circuit: district court erred when it denied motion to suppress where Defendant had standing to challenge warrantless search of rental vehicle

While executing a warrant for a hotel room, officers found car keys. Mr. Montalvo-Flores claimed that the keys were his, but the vehicle was registered to Enterprise, and Mr. Montalvo-Flores’s girlfriend was listed on the rental agreement. The officers received consent to search from Enterprise, and Mr. Montalvo-Flores was convicted of drug charges after his motion to suppress was denied. The Third Circuit remanded holding that Mr. Montalvo-Flores had a cognizable Fourth Amendment interest in the rental car and thus had standing to challenge a warrantless search of the car, even though he did not have a driver’s license and he was not listed on the rental agreement, where his girlfriend was listed on the rental agreement, officers had seen her exchange the car and car keys with him, Mr. Montalvo-Flores claimed that the car’s keys were his, the car was parked outside his hotel room, it was locked, and he was observed by police possessing and operating it. United States v Montalvo-Flores, CA 3, 08-28-23, WL 5521062.