MO: Two week old information in call to child maltreatment hotline was not stale nor without exigency

A call to a child maltreatment hotline was made two weeks after the observation that motivated the phone call. The exigency still existed for a warrantless entry. State v. Prince, 2017 Mo. App. LEXIS 348 (April 25, 2017).

Defendant’s vehicle was stopped because of a broken taillight but it was circling a block like the driver was looking for a hand to hand deal. Walking up to the car, the officer could smell burnt marijuana. “As long as the police officer had the proper probable cause to make the traffic stop, the officer’s ulterior motives will not render the stop unconstitutional.” The search of the car was thus valid under the automobile exception. Christopher v. State, 2017 Ark. App. 237, 2017 Ark. App. LEXIS 247 (April 19, 2017).*

Posted in Emergency / exigency, Pretext, Staleness | Comments Off

CA4: Exigency didn’t justify search of a car for a weapon where there was no threat and no gun crime

Defendant was stopped and arrested on a police call, but it wasn’t for a gun crime. Therefore, because defendant was cooperative and the scene was completely under control and there were no confederates involved, a search of the car for a weapon couldn’t be justified by exigency or emergency. United States v. Graham, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7260 (4th Cir. April 25, 2017) (2-1 yet unpublished)
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Posted in Emergency / exigency | Comments Off

NYTimes: N.S.A. Halts Collection of Americans’ Emails About Foreign Targets

NYTimes: N.S.A. Halts Collection of Americans’ Emails About Foreign Targets by Charlie Savage:
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Cal.2d: Emergency aid search of wrong house was still objectively reasonable

Based on a police dispatch of a screaming woman who was also moaning in distress, the police went to the address (2314) given and entered. They did not find the woman and kept looking upstairs and in closets and found drugs. It turned out that the police were sent to the wrong house. Following up, they found an Uber driver had called and the report was about the house “across the street from 2314.” The search was still valid based on the emergency search doctrine.
People v. Pou, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 385 (2d Dist. April 26, 2017):
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CA10: Successful suppression of evidence is not a “favorable outcome” for malicious prosecution purposes against the prosecutor; QI granted

Successful suppression of evidence is not a “favorable outcome” for malicious prosecution purposes against the prosecutor. It doesn’t show actual innocence. Margheim v. Buljko, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7421 (10th Cir. April 27, 2017):
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Posted in Qualified immunity, § 1983 / Bivens | Comments Off

D.Kan.: 37 day old knowledge of def’s suspended DL wasn’t stale for RS for a stop

The officer’s prior knowledge that defendant’s license was expired wasn’t considered stale for a stop, even for 37 days. [It’s a stop on reasonable suspicion, not a search on probable cause.] United States v. Bell, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62616 (D.Kan. April 25, 2017).

Defendant’s alleged illegal arrest was purged by the officers telling him he was free to go, yet he was willing to talk and signed consents to search his cell phone and car. During the questioning, he was allowed to go around the building without accompaniment. He was also Mirandized more than once and agreed to cooperate. Commonwealth v. Yandamuri, 2017 Pa. LEXIS 945 (April 26, 2017).*

Posted in Attenuation, Reasonable suspicion | Comments Off

D.Mont.: Possession of a camera phone was violation of release conditions and justified PO search

Defendant had a release condition to stay away from children, but he babysat two and he let them use his cell phone connected to his computer. This was reasonable suspicion for a search of the cell phone and computer for evidence of child grooming. The phone itself had picture capability, and that too was a violation of release conditions. United States v. Howard, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63254 (D.Mont. March 21, 2017),* adopted, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63066 (D.Mont. April 24, 2017).*

Warrantless search of defendant was valid on the merits, so there can’t be IAC. Lee v. United States, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63579 (D. Me. April 20, 2017).*

Posted in Ineffective assistance, Probation / Parole search | Comments Off

W.D.N.Y.: SW materials not yet releasable because investigation is ongoing; defense can get it later

The search warrant materials in this case are not released yet because the case is still pretrial and there is investigative and CI information that shouldn’t be disclosed yet. “In evaluating a common law claim of access to judicial documents, a court should balance the weight of the presumption of access given to the particular document with the competing interest against disclosure.” In time. United States v. Wilson, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62527 (W.D. N.Y. April 24, 2017).

A police helicopter was shot at, and officers converged on defendant’s property and talked to him. He made limited admissions. A search warrant was obtained for the property for weapons, and defendant objected on Franks grounds. First, it isn’t apparent that there were any omissions of material information. Second, if there was an omission, it wasn’t material to the finding of probable cause. United States v. Clausen, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62841 (D.Minn. Feb. 27, 2017).*

Posted in Franks doctrine, Warrant requirement | Comments Off

NYTimes: Do Body Cameras Help Policing? 1,200 New York Officers Aim to Find Out

NYTimes: Do Body Cameras Help Policing? 1,200 New York Officers Aim to Find Out by Ashley Southall:

The New York Police Department – on a mission to put body cameras on all 23,000 of its patrol officers in two years – is poised to join one of the biggest experiments in modern policing. On Thursday, it will begin a court-ordered pilot program that will set the stage for the larger rollout.

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WaPo: Will the Supreme Court agree to hear the Fourth Amendment cell-site cases? (And should they?)

WaPo: Will the Supreme Court agree to hear the Fourth Amendment cell-site cases? (And should they?) by Orin Kerr:

As John Elwood noted recently at SCOTUSblog, the Supreme Court has relisted a set of pending cert petitions on whether the Fourth Amendment protects historical cell-site data. The relisting means that the justices didn’t turn down the petitions at the usual time. They are holding the petitions, deferring a decision on whether to grant them. That’s usually a sign of some interest at the court. How much interest there is, we don’t yet know.

I have mixed views on whether the court should take these cases. On one hand, there’s no split. Every circuit court and state supreme court to rule on the issue has ruled that the Fourth Amendment does not protect historical cell-site data. The cert petitions claim a circuit split with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, but I don’t think that’s right. The 3rd Circuit merely speculated about the possibility of Fourth Amendment protection in the course of making a statutory ruling.

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