- S.D.N.Y.: OFAC sanction blocking transaction wasn’t a 4A seizure
- MS: Def’s evasiveness during a patdown justified it being more intrusive
- NM & N.D.Iowa: Arrest or stop after NCIC check was reasonable
- Massachusetts SJC revises and loosens its standard for claiming racial motivation for traffic stops under state constitution
- CA10: EPA subpoena to determine cost of cleanup was within agency jurisdiction and was reasonable
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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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Category Archives: Admissibility of evidence
“The State’s questions about Appellant having given a false name to authorities during the execution of a search warrant earlier in the summer of 2015 was relevant as a general matter to impeach Appellant’s credibility.” Knapper v. State, 2020 OK … Continue reading
D.Minn.: Two SWs on consecutive days were part of same investigation so they aren’t severed for trial
Two search warrants on consecutive days produced drug counts against defendant. They are part of the same investigation, so they are joined for trial. United States v. Martin, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141845 (D. Minn. July 6, 2020). Ineffective assistance … Continue reading
“[L]aw enforcement officers had probable cause to obtain a warrant to search the cell phone because it was found in a truck with two kilograms of heroin and $24,000 of loose currency during the investigation into the heroin-distribution conspiracy.” CoA … Continue reading
“We first find that the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding portions of testimony from two of Albert’s expert witnesses—Richard Lichten, a police-procedure expert, and Dr. Kris Sperry, the former Chief Medical Examiner for the State of … Continue reading
“Given that the Defendant admitted that he had used the laptop to view child pornography previously, it appears beyond dispute that Couch had such probable cause. … [¶] Defendant instead argues that the Government failed to prove that an exigent … Continue reading
TN: Motion to suppress wasn’t decided but state didn’t offer evidence at trial until defense opened the door; admitted as 404(b)
The state sought a search warrant for cell phones and then lost the product before trial. They still had the phones and looked again without a warrant just before trial. Defendant moved to suppress but argued that the phones weren’t … Continue reading
A typographical error in the date of the application for search warrant could be overlooked where the actual date can be determined from the whole. State v. Benson, 305 Neb. 949 (May 29, 2020). Defendant moved to suppress his DNA … Continue reading
TX13: Affidavit for SW shouldn’t have been admitted at trial, but it was harmless error as cumulative
The state conceded error that the affidavit for defendant’s blood search warrant should not have been admitted into evidence at trial. (Defendant objected to a paragraph of hearsay.) It was, however, harmless error and merely cumulative to what the officer … Continue reading
CSLI information obtained by warrant still requires a witness to explain them for confrontation purposes. State v. Lawson, 2020-Ohio-3004, 2020 Ohio App. LEXIS 1952 (10th Dist. May 19, 2020). Defense counsel wasn’t ineffective for not moving to suppress CSLI three … Continue reading
Just because hotel tenants leave the room and carries bags to their car at 8 am and saying nothing doesn’t indicate they have checked out and abandoned the room. Hotel room renters commonly do that and go to meetings and … Continue reading
CA7: Even though the 4A was complied with, if the question is relevance or prejudice, a motion in limine is proper, not a motion to suppress
Just because the Fourth Amendment was complied with doesn’t mean that the evidence seized is relevant (Rule 401) or the evidence could be more prejudicial than relevant (Rule 403). Then, suppression isn’t the remedy – a motion in limine is. … Continue reading
A filter team isn’t required just because a Facebook account search warrant is alleged to be overbroad. United States v. Sam, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79023 (W.D. Wash. May 5, 2020). Hearsay in a search warrant isn’t less believable solely … Continue reading
ID: Def’s probationary status was admissible at trial to show context for probation search, not as propensity evidence
The fact defendant was on probation was admissible at trial, not as propensity evidence, but to show context for the probation search and why defendant’s underwear was searched. State v. Jones, 2020 Ida. LEXIS 95 (May 4, 2020). Automatic license … Continue reading
AR: Error in officers’ testimony as to place actually searched was properly excluded at trial as potentially confusing where it was clearly def’s place
Police confusion at trial as to the address actually searched wasn’t relevant, and the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in foreclosing questions about that for confusion of the issues. “But his argument ignores the undisputed proof that the drugs … Continue reading
GA: Officers had PC a knife used in a murder was in a well; the SW said “curtilage” and didn’t have to say “well” to be valid
Officers obtained a search warrant involving a 34½ year old murder. After charges were filed the state sought a second search warrant to search a well for evidence. There was a substantial basis for searching the well based on the … Continue reading
E.D.N.C.: On a video that’s integral to the PC, the reliability of the time stamp isn’t to be inquired into or it becomes a “hypertechnical” review
Defendant was on a surveillance video 33 days before a search warrant was sought for the weapon since he was a felon. The warrant was not stale because people almost always keep firearms for a long time. Defendant’s challenge to … Continue reading