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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’s home was subjected to a dog sniff a year before Jardines. Relying on that, the trial court suppressed. Because enough Texas cases held similar searches were valid prior to Jardines, the court concludes that the exclusionary rule would not … Continue reading
In 2010, police broke into the outer door of a two unit apartment building and looked in defendant’s open door. By then, the state courts had already held there was a reasonable expectation of privacy in the common hallway of … Continue reading
Officers arrested defendant’s housemate at a motel for attempting to buy oxycontin. Somehow, not described, this led to probable cause to search her house. While other officers were obtaining a search warrant, two officers went to the house for a … Continue reading
MN: Officer’s entry on def’s property to look at serial number of an allegedly stolen camper violated curtilage; entry suppressed
Defendant was a suspect in having a stolen pop-up camper on his property. The victim saw it and called the police. The police entered to look at the serial number on the camper, but it was curtilage under Dunn. The … Continue reading
Defendant was found to have abandoned property on the common area of the duplex. The privacy of the curtilage is reduced when there are others on the joint property of a duplex. United States v. Lucero, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading
Defendant was speeding, and he was followed by the police. He failed to signal and turned into a long driveway that turned to unpaved, and the officer followed and defendant never slowed despite the police car having its lights on. … Continue reading
Defendant was arrested in the lobby of his college dorm at WSU. His room was on the fourth floor. The lobby was not part of his curtilage because hundreds come through there, residents and non-residents alike. State v. Bannon, 2018 … Continue reading
SCOTUSblog: Argument analysis: Rental cars, reasonable expectations of privacy and property rights by Amy Howe. Transcripts: Byrd & Collins
D.Minn.: Def was a suspect in a stabbing, and police entered his property without a warrant claiming exigency; there was no exigency
Police came to defendant’s house because he was alleged to have stabbed somebody. They entered the curtilage without a warrant to look for evidence, and they found a bent bloody knife out in the rain. The warrantless entry was not … Continue reading
VA: P2P file sharing to access CP wasn’t a trespass on the curtilage; def consented to entry into the computer
The officer’s actions in accessing defendant’s computer files by peer-to-peer file sharing did not constitute a trespass to his curtilage in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Defendant demonstrated his consensual participation in the file sharing community by installing file sharing … Continue reading
IN: Officers jumping over a locked gate to investigate a noise complaint was unreasonable under Indiana Constitution
Defendant was at a conservation club he was a member of, and, during a party at the club, members were shooting at a pizza box made into a target. Because it was a weeknight and late, a neighbor was disturbed … Continue reading