- Boston CBS: Justice Department: Springfield Police Narcotics Bureau Regularly Used Excessive Force
- Gizmodo: Law Enforcement Is Buying Its Way Into Our Breaches
- MT: Field test of seized drugs is a reasonable search
- CA11: Govt waives abandonment by not pleading it in the district court
- D.C.Cir.: Applications for orders under SCA and ECPA presumptively public judicial records
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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: Curtilage
“We consider whether the use of a drug-sniffing dog to sniff the door seams of the apartment was, under the reasoning of Jardines, an illegal search in violation of Earl’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches. We … Continue reading
Just because defendant’s girlfriend rented a motel room and he was with her doesn’t make the motel parking lot their curtilage. “[N]ot even a hotel’s owner, to say nothing of its transitory guests, has a reasonable expectation of privacy in … Continue reading
CA4: State court suppressed SW for lack of nexus, and then feds indicted; GFE applies to the state warrant
Defendant was prosecuted in state court for a drug related murder, and the state court suppressed the search of his house finding lack of nexus. State v. Miller, 2016 S.C. Unpub. LEXIS 28 (Mar. 30, 2016). Defendant was then prosecuted … Continue reading
Defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in a package shipped to and then received by another. Moreover, there was probable cause for a search of the car the package was in and the package, too. United States v. Moore, … Continue reading
Officers attempted to stop defendant’s car but he drove to his driveway. There ultimately was a dog sniff of the car. The court finds that, by driving to his driveway with police behind him, his actions were consent for police … Continue reading
A report of gunshots from defendant’s backyard justified exigency entry into yard. “In response to Officer Gali’s statement that they could do it the easy way or get a search warrant, Pouncey responded, ‘go ahead, bro.’ The Court reviewed the … Continue reading
Pre-Jardines case law held that putting a key in a lock wasn’t a search. Here, the police did that to help establish probable cause. Whether Jardines changed that rule or not, it’s not decided here because the good faith exception … Continue reading
OH5: Knock-and-talk led to smell of MJ grow; entry for protective sweep before getting SW wasn’t unreasonable
Police came to do a knock-and-talk, and they could smell a marijuana grow from outside. They decided to do a protective sweep for people before they left to get a search warrant because they heard music from inside the home. … Continue reading
Birchfield came down day before defendant’s arrest, and good faith exception isn’t applied. “Although it is understandable that a police officer might be unaware of the holding of a controlling court opinion within a day or two of its issuance, … 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
D.Mont.: Testing a key in house locks to see if it works was a trespass under Jones and Jardines requiring a SW
Defendant was admitted to a mental hospital after a police call to an erratic person. Because of his apparent mental condition, his backpack was searched by hospital guards. That revealed a knife, a gun, and a house key. ATF was … Continue reading
WA: Affidavit and SW didn’t need to specify statutes of crimes under investigation when it was apparent it was murder
The search warrant of defendant’s place for trace evidence of a dead body rather than the body itself was reasonable because the police had information that the body had been burned in a fire pit. In addition, the affidavit and … Continue reading
Police received a 4 am burglary call, and an officer with a dog tracking smell and the officer tracking 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
VT: Game wardens’ entry on def’s curtilage to investigate deer jacking was reasonable as was look through detached garage window
Defendant was suspected of “deer jacking,” shooting a deer from outside the window of a homeowner before 4 am on Thanksgiving Day 2017. A game warden investigated at the scene finding deer blood and hair. The game warden had a … Continue reading
Defendant’s handgun was hidden in a doghouse on the curtilage. The court distinguishes other cases allowing a search for a firearm, particularly one where a loaded shotgun was publicly put in the trunk of a car and the keys left … Continue reading
Officers investigating stolen property found the thieves who said they traded the property to defendant for drugs. They went to his apartment in a quadplex to talk to him. Getting no answer at the front door, they walked on the … Continue reading