WA: A patdown of a runway juvenile before putting him in the patrol car was reasonable, but the full search of the person was not

A patdown of a runway juvenile before putting him in the patrol car was part of the community caretaking function. A complete search, however, was not. No weapon was found during the patdown, and the search of the pockets afterward finding methamphetamine and marijuana was unreasonable. State v. A.A., 2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 961 (April 30, 2015):
Continue reading

Posted in Community caretaking function, Search incident | Comments Off

KS: Controlled delivery doesn’t have to be hand-to-hand; picking up package from porch and taking it inside is enough

Defendant didn’t raise probable cause from the triggering event in an anticipatory warrant, but the suppression judge did. He directed the parties to litigate and brief it, so the issue was properly before the court. The triggering condition was acceptance of the package. When the delivering officer knocked, nobody answered, and the package stated it could be left. It was, and officers watched. Later, defendant picked up the package and took it inside. An actually hand-to-hand delivery is not required for the triggering condition. State v. Mullen, 2015 Kan. App. LEXIS 33 (May 1, 2015).

The CI made a call to the defendant about him bringing drugs, and the CI reported this to the officer. The CI could be credited. United States v. Silva, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57609 (N.D.W.Va. April 10, 2015).*

Statements from witnesses that defendant was known to possess a sawed off shotgun did not even have to be coupled with a surveillance video and whether it was defendant or not. There was still probable cause. United States v. Evans, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57371 (D.Minn. May 1, 2015).*

Posted in Informant hearsay, Probable cause | Comments Off

W.D.N.Y.: CI actually questioned by judge issuing SW was entitled to more credit

There was good reason to credit the CI here: he was actually questioned by the issuing judge and the information clearly added up to probable cause. The credits the officers that the search did not start until one hour after the warrant issued rather than the defendant’s version that it started 40 minutes before. There was evidence to support that v. defendant’s unsworn assertion in the papers. United States v. Figueroa, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57625 (W.D. N.Y. February 3, 2015).

Pretrial defense counsel’s comments about possession of a firearm in an effort to establish standing to challenge the search that found the gun was not prejudicial to the trial where that never came before the jury. The search issue wasn’t appealed [and wasn’t presented as an IAC claim] so it couldn’t be argued in a post-conviction case as a substitute for appeal. Magness v. State, 2015 Ark. 185, 2015 Ark. LEXIS 303 (April 30, 2015).*

“Therefore, because of the great deference afforded to issuing judges, and due to the informant’s statements being sufficiently corroborated by Sergeant Matthews, the affidavit and complaint for a search warrant were based on probable cause and properly executed under the Fourth Amendment.” And, it “was far from ‘bare bones,’ and included sufficient detail and reasonable corroboration” of the CI such that good faith would apply, too. United States v. Dubrowski, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183687 (W.D. W.Va. April 24, 2014).*

Posted in Burden of proof, Informant hearsay | Comments Off

Photography is Not a Crime: The Terrorists Have Won in Boston

Photography is Not a Crime: The Terrorists Have Won in Boston by Maya Shaffer:

We can win the war on terror today, or we can choose to keep losing it. The success or failure of any terror attack is dependent on the reaction of the group attacked. Thus far, we are losing the war on terror, and the latest failure was on display in the streets of Boston during this year’s marathon.

Posted in Reasonable expectation of privacy | Comments Off

NJ: Surreptitious recording of defendant and counsel in police interview room suppressed

The surreptitious recording of a meeting with defendant and his counsel in a police interview room when defendant turned himself in was suppressed and contrary to clearly established law. It led to discovery of witnesses. The indictment is not dismissed, however, for police misconduct because no strategy about the case was disclosed. Defense counsel told defendant they maybe were being recorded, and played it close to the vest. State v. Mazzarisi, 2015 N.J. Super. LEXIS 68 (April 28, 2015):
Continue reading

Posted in Reasonable expectation of privacy | Comments Off

SC: When responding to a tip of drug activity in the back yard for a knock-and-talk, it’s reasonable to go to the backyard where all the people seemed to be

Officers got an anonymous tip of drug activity in the backyard at a particular house. They could drive on the street near the house and see people in the backyard. They went to do a knock-and-talk and went to the backyard because of the people there. “In the present case, officers’ observations of several individuals in the backyard at the subject property corroborated the anonymous tip. This is less corroboration than the lights and cars observed in Wright. Nevertheless, Wright indicates police had investigatory authority to enter the property, even in the absence of corroboration, and go to the front door to investigate the tip. [¶] Here, police did not approach the front door but instead drove into the grassy area behind the residence where they had observed the individuals. While no South Carolina cases have addressed this point, the Fourth Circuit has adopted the position police may bypass the front door of a residence and proceed to the backyard or other entrance for a knock and talk provided they have reason to believe the person they are attempting to contact will be found there.” State v. Bash, 2015 S.C. App. LEXIS 77 (April 22, 2015).

Posted in Curtilage, Informant hearsay | Comments Off

NY3: Despite suppressed statement, plenty of evidence supported strip search for drugs

Defendant was in a car stopped for a traffic offense, and the driver got out agitated and crying that the passengers had drugs on them. They consented to searches of their persons and drugs were found. On the way to the station house, defendant was asked about other drugs and admitted having some, but that statement was suppressed for a Miranda violation. The strip search finding a package of drugs in his rectum was still valid because of everything else the police already knew even discarding the suppressed statement. People v. George, 2015 NY Slip Op 03574, 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3543 (3d Dept. April 30, 2015).

Tennessee’s mandatory DWI blood draw statute is not unconstitutional under McNeely because warrantless blood draws on exigent circumstances are still required. State v. Brown, 2015 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 312 (April 30, 2015).*

The officer’s testimony and video of the traffic stop show that defendant consented to a search of the cigarette pack on him at the time of the stop. Walker v. State, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 4424 (Tex. App. – Tyler April 30, 2015).*

Posted in Consent, Drug testing / Alcohol testing, Independent source | Comments Off

TechCrunch: Protecting Users’ Location Data From An Unconstitutional Search

TechCrunch: Protecting Users’ Location Data From An Unconstitutional Search by Eric Gunderson:

Location data is highly sensitive. It contains information about where we live, our daily habits and our network of friends. We discover new places to go; avoid traffic on the way there; swipe to meet new friends once we’ve arrived; and even turn up the thermostat before we get home. When data knows this much about us it requires careful protection. The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals is likely just weeks away from a major ruling on whether the Fourth Amendment protects a user’s data, and developers need to be prepared for whatever decision comes down.

Posted in Cell site location information | Comments Off

Politico: The Man Who Foresaw Baltimore: Nearly 40 years ago, the Kerner Commission warned us of all this. We didn’t listen.

Politico: The Man Who Foresaw Baltimore: Nearly 40 years ago, the Kerner Commission warned us of all this. We didn’t listen. by Bruce Western:
Continue reading

Posted in Police misconduct | Comments Off

NY Times: Why the N.S.A. Isn’t Howling Over Restrictions

NY Times: Why the N.S.A. Isn’t Howling Over Restrictions by Peter Baker and David E. Sanger

WASHINGTON — For years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, even as the National Security Agency fiercely defended its secret efforts to sweep up domestic telephone data, there were doubters inside the agency who considered the program wildly expensive with few successes to show for it.

So as Congress moves to take the government out of the business of indiscriminate bulk collection of domestic calling data, the agency is hardly resisting.

Posted in FISA / National security | Comments Off

CA9: No prohibition to placing GPS on car at night

A tracking order was issued with probable cause, and there’s no special requirement that a GPS device can’t be placed at night, compared to the nighttime search requirements. United States v. Brock, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7195 (9th Cir. April 30, 2015).

As officers approached defendant’s stopped vehicle, he was hunched over in the driver’s seat. When they got up to the window, they could see money and drugs in plain view. That justified more. United States v. Cruz, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56756 (D.Minn. April 8, 2015).*

Warrant was not stale where there were multiple telephone calls about multiple drug transactions at the premises. United States v. Ward, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56644 (D.Kan. April 30, 2015).*

Posted in GPS / Tracking Data, Plain view, feel, smell, Staleness | Comments Off

TX7: Riley applied to cell phone search incident where it came down between trial and appeal

Search incident cannot support a cell phone search under Riley. Riley came down between trial and appeal, so it applies here because the issue was preserved. Carter v. State, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 4271 (Tex. App. – Amarillo April 27, 2015).

Defendant had no standing to challenge the search of a car in which he was riding. The case he cites for standing involved standing to challenge a stop, and it’s simply inapplicable. State v. Massas, 2015 Del. Super. LEXIS 214 (April 24, 2015).*

The CI’s statement that he bought meth from the defendant at a trailer was corroborated by observations of the trailer which had all the appearances of a production site for methamphetamine rather than being a residence. The truck outside hadn’t been moved, there were multiple propane tanks and some were discolored. The Franks challenge about the tanks also fails. United States v. Dubrowski, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56639 (N.D. W.Va. April 30, 2015).*

Posted in Cell phones, Informant hearsay, Probable cause, Search incident, Standing | Comments Off

WaPo: Justice Dept. will spend $20 million on police body cameras nationwide

WaPo: Justice Dept. will spend $20 million on police body cameras nationwide by Mark Berman:

The Department of Justice plans to launch a pilot program aimed at expanding the use of body cameras worn by police officers across the country. These cameras are meant to help local and tribal law enforcement agencies improve relationships with the public, a goal that follows a year of protests across the country aimed at the way police officers use lethal force, particularly toward black men and boys.

Posted in Body cameras | Comments Off

OR: Furtive gesture alone in OR not enough, but here there was more

Defendant was smoking in a car in a subdivision being developed, so it couldn’t be called a high crime area. A citizen informant called in that the case was suspicious, so an officer was dispatched to see. When defendant saw the police car, he was startled, and he then made a furtive gesture. While furtive gestures alone are not enough in Oregon, here there was more, and the stop was based on reasonable suspicion that there might be a gun. State v. Clink, 270 Or. App. 646 (April 29, 2015):
Continue reading

Posted in Reasonable suspicion | Comments Off

S.D.Cal.: Parolee executed a “fourth waiver” so only real question was whether there was probable cause to believe he lived in the place searched

Defendant was a California parolee who had executed a “fourth waiver,” and he knew he was subject to a parole search at any time. The only question was whether the officers had probable cause to believe he was living there at the time, and they did, so the search was valid. United States v. Gutierrez, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55606 (S.D.Cal. April 28, 2015):
Continue reading

Posted in Probation / Parole search | Comments Off

Just Security: USA Freedom and the Surveillance Reform That Almost Was

Just Security: USA Freedom and the Surveillance Reform That Almost Was by Elizabeth Goitein:

Committee markups can be a dry affair, an opportunity for political showboating, or both. Yesterday’s markup of the USA Freedom Act in the House Judiciary Committee was neither. It was a rare and fascinating discussion among members wrestling with whether they should vote for an important amendment they all supported — and risk tanking a bill many support as well.

Here’s the background: the USA Freedom Act undertakes to end the bulk collection of Americans’ business records under foreign intelligence authorities. Although observers have differing views over how effectively it does that, a solid bipartisan majority of the House supports ending bulk collection. The bill, however, doesn’t address the other authorities or rules — like Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) and Executive Order 12,333 — under which the NSA conducts much larger surveillance programs that sweep in vast amounts of Americans’ communications and data.

Posted in FISA / National security | Comments Off

ITWorld: House committee approves bill to end NSA phone records program

ITWorld: House committee approves bill to end NSA phone records program by Grant Gross

A U.S. Congress committee has overwhelmingly approved legislation designed to stop the bulk collection of U.S. phone records by the National Security Agency.

The 25-2 vote in the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee sends the USA Freedom Act to the House floor for a vote. The two votes against the bill came from lawmakers who had argued for stronger protections for civil liberties.

Posted in FISA / National security | Comments Off