- N.D.Ga.: Failure to specify how the R&R was deficient on PC finding was waiver
- Ga.Bar J.: Who Should Guard the Attorney-Client Privilege When Documents are Seized by Law Enforcement,
- OR: For particularity in electronic devices, specify what will be found
- W.D.N.C.: Traffic stop for expired tags went right to criminal history and was overlong
- ID rejects “reasonable mistake of law” and Heien under state constitution; state’s exclusionary rule is broader
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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
Search and seizure law consultant
Little Rock, Arkansas
Contact: forhall @ aol.com / The Book
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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
"It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."
—Charles Dickens, “The Old Curiosity Shop ... With a Frontispiece. From a Painting by Geo. Cattermole, Etc.” 255 (1848)
"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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Category Archives: Border search
D.N.J.: No 6A right to have counsel present at execution of a DNA warrant in the jail
There is no Sixth Amendment right for counsel to be present when a DNA sample is taken from defendant at the jail by warrant. United States v. Hubbard, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3661 (D.N.J. Jan. 9, 2023). CBP had reasonable … Continue reading
PA: State’s statement of issues for review didn’t include the precise issue argued so it’s waived
The state in its statement of issues below addressed probable cause but did not mention inevitable discovery. That amounted to a waiver. “The inevitable discovery doctrine is not a subsidiary issue to a claim of adequate probable cause to support … Continue reading
WaPo: Customs officials have copied Americans’ phone data at massive scale
WaPo: Customs officials have copied Americans’ phone data at massive scale by Drew Harwell (“Contacts, call logs, messages and photos from up to 10,000 travelers’ phones are saved to a government database every year.”)https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/09/15/government-surveillance-database-dhs/ And weren’t we told when this … Continue reading
CA3: Customs searches occur to and from VI; here bag was put into baggage claim to see who claimed it
Customs can search bags coming to and from the Virgin Islands. Here, bags on an airplane were searched and it was returned to baggage claim to see who picked it up, and that was reasonable. United States v. Forde, 2022 … Continue reading
WaPo: As lethal fentanyl flows across Mexico border, CBP tries powerful scanning technology
WaPo: As lethal fentanyl flows across Mexico border, CBP tries powerful scanning technology by Nick Miroff (“With fatal drug overdose deaths in the United States soaring to record levels, Congress has directed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to come up … Continue reading
CA7: RS present for border search of thumb drives of convicted sex offender
Defendant had a prior sex offense with a minor from 1997. HSI started investigating him in 2015 for his travels to Ukraine. “Skaggs frequently traveled overseas; Skaggs was the director of the Ukrainian Angels Resource Network, according to his LinkedIn … Continue reading
W.D.N.Y.: Failure to preserve a recording of issuance of a SW required by NY law is not a 4A issue
Failure to preserve a recording of issuance of a search warrant as required by New York law is not a Fourth Amendment issue. United States v. Bailey, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212869 (W.D.N.Y. Nov. 3, 2021). “Recognizing that this case … Continue reading
Law360: Biden’s Embrace Of Border Tech Raises Privacy Concerns
Law360: Biden’s Embrace Of Border Tech Raises Privacy Concerns by Mike LaSusa
N.D.Ill.: Officer watching video of street radioing officer on the street about seeing a gun was RS
A Chicago PD officer was watching the streets with surveillance cameras, and he observed defendant apparently with a firearm under his shirt. That report to others who conducted the frisk was collective knowledge for a stop [although that phrase isn’t … Continue reading
E.D.N.Y.: Stop in the recheck line at JFK shortly after clearing customs was still within the border search area
Defendant’s stop in the recheck line at JFK shortly after clearing customs was still within the border search area. United States v. Newton, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195145 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 8, 2021). Reversed yet again for lack of proper findings … Continue reading
D.Md.: Exit border search doesn’t require particularized suspicion
The exit border search of defendant’s bags and computers was reasonable in this government fraud investigation. Particularized suspicion wasn’t even required, albeit present. United States v. Nkongho, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184402 (D.Md. Sept. 27, 2021). Plaintiff’s stop for allegedly … Continue reading
VT: Roving CBP patrol stop one mile from Canadian border violated state const. even though probably not 4A
A roving border patrol stop a mile from the Canadian border led to state charges against defendant. The court holds the state constitution was violated even if the Fourth Amendment was not, and the evidence should be suppressed. State v. … Continue reading
Stan. L. Rev.: The Chinese Exclusion Cases and Policing in the Fourth Amendment–Free Zone
The Chinese Exclusion Cases and Policing in the Fourth Amendment–Free Zone by Trillium Chang (2021 Student Essay Competition Winner), 73 Stan. L. Rev. (Sept. 2021):
OH1: Years-old information of trafficking with current info of personal use isn’t PC for trafficking
Where the officer’s affidavit consisted only of years-old stale information and present evidence of personal drug use, there was no probable cause to search the defendant’s residence for evidence of drug trafficking, and the trial court erred in applying the … Continue reading
OH2: Specific 4A claim not made to trial court is waived
The specific Fourth Amendment argument made on appeal wasn’t made to the trial court, so it’s waived. On the merits, officers getting defendant in to talk on basis of a ruse didn’t make it an unreasonable seizure. State v. Luther, … Continue reading
TN: Consent in the face of a threat to get a SW is invalid where no PC
Defendant’s consent in the face of the officer’s threat to get a search warrant was involuntary where there was no probable cause for a warrant. State v. Cohen, 2021 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 356 (July 29, 2021). There was reasonable … Continue reading
W.D.Wash.: Test-firing a firearm to help identify it is a reasonable search
“The Court concludes the test-firing of the weapon was a search. It was test-fired for one sole purpose and that was to gain identifying data on the retained shell casing for subsequent submission to a database of shell casings obtained … Continue reading
CA1 upholds border search of electronic devices
Alasaad v. Mayorkas, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 3586 (1st Cir. Feb. 9, 2021):