United States v. Caceres case brief summary, 1979
a) The taxpayer met with a Government agent in connection with an audit of his income tax returns. He offered the agent a personal settlement in exchange for a favorable resolution of the audit. Three subsequent conversations between the taxpayer and agent were monitored by the Government through electronic surveillance. Two of the conversations were not monitored in accordance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations requiring Justice Department approval. Criminal charges were filed against the taxpayer for bribing the agent. The taxpayer's motion to suppress the taped conversations was granted. On appeal, a reversal was entered as to the third tape on the basis that adequate authorization had been obtained. Certiorari was granted to decide whether the evidence obtained in violation of the IRS regulations was admissible in the taxpayer's criminal trial. The Court held that all taped conversations were admissible against the taxpayer at his criminal trial because none of his constitutional rights were violated, either by the actual recording or by the agency violation of its own regulations, and the exclusionary rule was therefore not applicable.
b) ∆ was seeking to use the exclusionary rule
(1) Deterrence concern at work here – afraid that agencies won’t make any more rules if they are punished for not following them
c) Marshall’s point (dissent) – government must play by the rules