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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
Defendant was stopped for a traffic offense, but he made it to his mobile home and parked outside the chain link fence. The court finds the car was outside the curtilage under Dunn when the stop and dog sniff occurred. … Continue reading
A 2014 dog sniff at a motel room door violates the Fourth Amendment, and a reasonably well-trained officer in Illinois would know that. Suppressed. People v. Lindsey, 2018 IL App (3d) 150877, 2018 Ill. App. LEXIS 807 (Oct. 30, 2018). … Continue reading
AZ: Opaque fence, no trespassing signs, and security cameras might bar entry to curtilage; remanded for more findings
Defendant had an opaque privacy fence and allegedly had no trespassing signs. His mailbox was outside the fence and there were security cameras. The officer passed both to come to the door to knock, and then he could smell marijuana. … Continue reading
IL refuses to differentiate between homes and apartment buildings for dog sniffs at the door because an apartment is still a “house” under the Fourth Amendment, and a different rule is unfair. An apartment dweller’s curtilage is his or her … Continue reading
Officers could enter defendant’s driveway to conduct a knock-and-talk, and they didn’t “linger” long in violation of Jardines. They smelled marijuana coming from the garage, and that was sufficient to get a search warrant. Defendant’s argument about the sign on … Continue reading
CA6: Officer spent 90 minutes at plaintiff’s house on the curtilage trying to get him to come out for a probation breath test; that violated 4A but officer gets QI
Plaintiff is a probationer who had a police officer show at his house to get a breath sample per his probation conditions. Despite repeated knocking and use of the police car’s PA system, plaintiff didn’t come to the door and … Continue reading
The police had a defective search warrant to bring them to defendant’s house to search the car in the driveway. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held the year before Collins v. Virginia that the automobile exception didn’t apply in one’s driveway, … Continue reading
Officers arrived with a search warrant for a house on rural property, and a vehicle was leaving. It was reasonable to stop the vehicle to determine whether it or an occupant belonged at the house and was covered by the … Continue reading
A car parked on the street next to a house was not on the curtilage as a matter of law. Based on undisputed facts in the record, however, the officer had probable cause to search the car on the street. … Continue reading
Sending the SWAT team to surround a house for a knock-and-talk violated the Fourth Amendment. Having officers in the backyard for officer safety may serve that function, but it’s still a violation of the curtilage under the Fourth Amendment. There … Continue reading
Defendant’s pre-Carpenter CSLI gathering was challenged under the theory that the SCA statute was unconstitutional. It was done in good faith reliance on the statute under Krull v. Illinois, and there would be no exclusion. (Davis good faith is not … Continue reading
Dog sniff in the common hallway of an apartment building wasn’t unreasonable because it’s not curtilage under Jardines. State v. Edstrom, 2018 Minn. LEXIS 446 (Aug. 15, 2018). There was nexus: “Here, the investigating officer had significant experience. The officer … Continue reading