When magistrates issue a search warrant, they are giving a law enforcement officer authority to conduct a search to aid an official investigation. The officer seeking the search warrant must make a complaint, under oath, stating the purpose of the search to the magistrate. The complaint must be supported by a written affidavit from the officer. In issuing the search warrant, the magistrate must describe the place to be searched, the property or person to be searched for, and state that the magistrate has found probable cause to believe that the property or person constitutes evidence of a crime or tends to show that a person has committed a crime.
After a magistrate issues a search warrant, the magistrate will file the Search Warrant Affidavit with the Circuit Court Clerk's Office. The officer will file the Search Warrant Inventory and Return after the search has been completed. The Search Warrant Affidavit is sealed for 15 days or until the Search Warrant Inventory and Return is filed by the officer, which ever is sooner.