- E.D.Mo.: Def consented to four undercover officers who first met him at post office to search house for a wanted man
- N.D.Ala.: No exigency for entry into home to seize gun for alleged safety of children
- Cal.4: Warrantless seizure of def’s dashcam was reasonable on exigent circumstances; three days to get a SW wasn’t unreasonable
- FL2: Anonymous calls about a pick-up truck driving slowly around the block in the middle of the night in a residential low crime area wasn’t RS
- D.D.C.: Collective knowledge doctrine doesn’t require that the officers actually share the information
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
“I am still learning.”
—Domenico Giuntalodi (but misattributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti (common phrase throughout 1500's)).
"Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government."
—Shemaya, in the Thalmud
"A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect results, especially if one's attention is confined to the particular case at bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced."
—Williams v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold, J.), rev'd Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).
"The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence."
—Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).
"Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment."
—Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).
"There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater than it is today."
— Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).
"The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property."
—Entick v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)
"It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth Amendment."
—United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)
"The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated here, has not–to put it mildly–run smooth."
—Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).
"A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable."
—Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)
"For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. ... But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected."
—Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)
“Experience should teach us to be most on guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
—United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)
“Liberty—the freedom from unwarranted intrusion by government—is as easily lost through insistent nibbles by government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark.”
—United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)
"You can't always get what you want / But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need."
—Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
"In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me–and by that time there was nobody left to speak up."
—Martin Niemöller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]
“You know, most men would get discouraged by now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men!”"The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers, is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime."
---Pepé Le Pew
—Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)
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Author Archives: Hall
The entry into defendant’s house to search for a gun lacked exigent circumstances. There was nothing on which the officers could claim there was any risk. Moreover, defendant didn’t consent to their entry into the home. United States v. Mulato-Herrara, … Continue reading
Cal.4: Warrantless seizure of def’s dashcam was reasonable on exigent circumstances; three days to get a SW wasn’t unreasonable
Defendant was convicted of reckless driving with an accident. His dashcam would have a recording of it. The dashcam was reasonably seized without a warrant on exigent circumstances. And, it wasn’t unreasonable to wait three days before getting a search … Continue reading
FL2: Anonymous calls about a pick-up truck driving slowly around the block in the middle of the night in a residential low crime area wasn’t RS
Officers received two anonymous calls about a dark pickup truck with a loud muffler on a residential street in the middle of the night. Once it stopped in the street for a few seconds and then pulled off and turned … Continue reading
D.D.C.: Collective knowledge doctrine doesn’t require that the officers actually share the information
The collective knowledge doctrine doesn’t require that the officers actually share the information. United States v. Devaugh, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196059 (D.D.C. Nov. 12, 2019). The use of a “court ordered subpoena” apparently not issued on probable cause was … Continue reading
NY Daily News: Opinion: Unready for their closeup: The NYPD’s body camera problem (“Last month, outgoing Police Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill quietly released two pages of long-awaited guidelines outlining how and when video from body cameras all cops now wear shall … Continue reading
Police received a 4 am burglary call, and an officer with a dog tracking smell and the officer seeing footprints in the dew on the ground led to defendant’s property. The officer knocked and defendant’s mother let the police in. … Continue reading
D.Mass.: Border searches of electronic devices are non-routine, and they require reasonable suspicion
Border searches of electronic devices are non-routine, and they require reasonable suspicion. Alasaad v. NielsenAlasaad v. Nielsen, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195556 (D. Mass. Nov. 12, 2019):
Defendant’s being merely drunk in the lobby of the sheriff’s office wasn’t reasonable suspicion of a crime because the officers didn’t see how he got there (i.e., did he drive himself). State v. Mast, 2019-Ohio-4644, 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 4698 … Continue reading
Defendant in his 2255 alleges a Franks violation, but he had the ability and method to do it in the district court before conviction and habeas isn’t the place. United States v. Youker, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196001 (E.D. Wash. … Continue reading
M.D.Pa.: Bank records can’t be equated with CSLI in detail, and a subpoena is constitutionally sufficient
Defendant’s bank records cannot be equated with CSLI such that a search warrant is required rather than a subpoena. As Carpenter says: “Our decision today is a narrow one. … We do not disturb the application of Smith or Miller … Continue reading
A Coast Guard port inspection of an incoming vessel led to reasonable suspicion for its more detailed search. United States v. Vastardis, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195486 (D. Del. Nov. 12, 2019):