- D.Nev.: Affidavits for SWs don’t have to prove the underlying crimes
- D.V.I.: Flyover of curtilage from navigable airspace was reasonable
- NJ: Disputes in the facts on appeal show trial court should have held a hearing
- NY: Second SW for phone a year later after first SW failed to show PC wasn’t timely
- GA: Not objecting to mention of “probation” search at trial was not IAC
ABA Journal Web 100, Best Law Blogs (2017); ABA Journal Blawg 100 (2015-16) (discontinued 2018)
by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
Search and seizure law consultant
Little Rock, Arkansas
Contact: forhall @ aol.com / The Book
online since Feb. 24, 2003 Approx. 350,000 visits (non-robot) since 2012 Approx. 45,000 posts since 2003 (25,700+ on WordPress as of 12/31/22)
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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: Video surveillance
ADG: Little Rock police moving into second phase of real-time crime center integrating citizen video feeds
Ark. Dem.-Gaz.: Little Rock police moving into second phase of real-time crime center by Grant Lancaster (new LRPD HQ “Crime Center will use cameras of residents” feeding into central video database). Networking video surveillance and doorbell cams. If we are … Continue reading
Wired: Face Recognition Software Led to His Arrest. It Was Dead Wrong
Wired; Face Recognition Software Led to His Arrest. It Was Dead Wrong (“Alonzo Sawyer’s misidentification by algorithm made him a suspect for a crime police now say was committed by someone else—feeding debate over regulation.”)
NYT: Can My Neighbor Point a Video Doorbell at My Apartment Door?
NYT: Can My Neighbor Point a Video Doorbell at My Apartment Door? by Ronda Kayse (“Ubiquitous in many suburban neighborhoods, the devices have been slow to catch on in city apartments, but that is changing as New Yorkers warm to … Continue reading
CA6: SW for home DVR failed to allege criminal evidence would be found and violates 4A
There was a fire in a shed that was likely caught by defendant’s home surveillance camera. He declined to turn it over to investigators investigating the cause of the fire. They don’t even know that the fire was arson. The … Continue reading
Intelligencer: Amazon’s New Car Cam Takes Personal Surveillance on the Road
Intelligencer: Amazon’s New Car Cam Takes Personal Surveillance on the Road by John Hermann (“Amazon on Thursday opened preorders for a long-awaited addition to its vast catalogue of Ring personal surveillance devices: the Car Cam. Starting at $200, the car … Continue reading
D.Mass.: No REP in video surveillance in an apartment building hallway that covered def’s door
“Defendants may have held a subjective expectation that activity in and around the doorway of the apartment would remain private but such an expectation was not objectively reasonable because their activity took place in a common area exposed to the … Continue reading
WaPo: Lawsuit alleges D.C. Housing’s cameras could ‘capture intimate details’
[I don’t normally bother to mention lawsuits until resolved, but SCOTUS is considering a pole camera case for conference in the next month or so.] WaPo: Lawsuit alleges D.C. Housing’s cameras could ‘capture intimate details’ by Justin Wm. Moyer:
WaPo: They got a Ring doorbell alert, then opened fire on a bystander, police say
WaPo: They got a Ring doorbell alert, then opened fire on a bystander, police say by Justine McDaniel (“The incident may provide an extreme example of the type of neighborhood vigilantism sometimes cited by critics of doorbell cameras, the benefits … Continue reading
The Guardian: Surveillance shift: San Francisco pilots program allowing police to live monitor private security cameras
The Guardian: Surveillance shift: San Francisco pilots program allowing police to live monitor private security cameras (“The trial would give law enforcement access to live footage by consenting residents, a departure from the city’s previous stance.”)
Wired: The ‘Surveillance Solutionism’ of Putting Cameras in NYC Subways
The ‘Surveillance Solutionism’ of Putting Cameras in NYC Subways (“When ‘if you see something, say something’ becomes ‘we see everything,’ everyone loses.”) WMATA in DC has cameras everywhere. Presumably all the others do. All major subway systems in the world … Continue reading
N.D.Ohio: University exam proctor’s requirement of room scan before video test violates REP under 4A
The proctor of this university examination on video required a room scan to prove the student was alone. The room scan violated plaintiff’s reasonable expectation of privacy. CSU’s reliance on Wyman v. James is rejected. That case is 51 years … Continue reading
Reason: Pennsylvania Poaching Police Warrantlessly Installed Camera on Private Land To Surveil Hunting Club
Reason: Pennsylvania Poaching Police Warrantlessly Installed Camera on Private Land To Surveil Hunting Club by Jon Lancaster (“Evidence turned over in a lawsuit shows that wildlife officers set up a trail camera at a private club to surveil hunters who … Continue reading
S.D.Iowa: Video surveillance of an apartment door from a camera planted in a common area was subject to GFE
Officers planted a video camera hidden in a fake fire alarm in defendant’s apartment building hallway aimed at his door to record his comings and goings. The government argues whether this was reasonable doesn’t need to be decided because, even … Continue reading