Category Archives: Probable cause

D.Mass.: Transit worker in safety sensitive position could be drug tested for an “incident” short of an “accident”

The Boston MTA did not violate the Fourth Amendment by requiring a drug test of an employee involved in an “incident” short of an “accident.” The employee was in a safety sensitive position. Cabral v. Mass. Bay Transp. Auth., Boston … Continue reading

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E.D.Pa.: Information from a Sept. ’17 SW made it into Oct. ’18 SW affidavit and it wasn’t stale becuase of ongoing nature

Defendant’s property had been searched in September 2017. Information from that made it to a search warrant issued in October 2018, and it wasn’t stale because of the ongoing nature of the facts. United States v. Harmon, 2019 U.S. Dist. … Continue reading

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CA4: Single click on a CP website’s URL is PC for the clicker’s computer

A single click on a URL on a website devoted to child pornography is probable cause for a search warrant for defendant’s computer. United States v. Bosyk, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22973 (4th Cir. Aug. 1, 2019):

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CA6: Attacks on facts of PC with “what-ifs” are question for jury on proof BRD

There was probable cause for defendant’s arrest. “Ruffin offers a parade of what-ifs in response” to that, but they’re all questions for the jury on guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, not probable cause. United States v. Ruffin, 2019 U.S. App. … Continue reading

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W.D.Ark.: The “traffic stop” was actually a PC stop for drugs

This was not even a traffic stop, although it appeared one to the defendant. Actually, it was based on a CI’s information involving drugs and was with probable cause, so the extension of the stop with reasonable suspicion didn’t even … Continue reading

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E.D.Mich.: Ptf’s guilty plea was collateral estoppel to his § 1983 search claim

Plaintiff’s civil search claim was barred by collateral estoppel by his guilty plea that there was sufficient evidence to convict. The officer gets qualified immunity for relying on a search warrant. Dabish v. McMahon, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121399 (E.D. … Continue reading

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M.D.Fla.: When the automobile exception applies and def is in custody, a SW still isn’t required

There was probable cause by a plain view so the automobile exception applies. The fact defendant as in custody doesn’t require a search warrant. United States v. Lightsey, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121669 (M.D. Fla. July 3, 2019). There was … Continue reading

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OH5: PC is determined on the totality, not each isolated fact

Defendant’s challenge to probable cause for the search warrant isolates each fact. Applying the totality of circumstances, there is probable cause. State v. Beightler, 2019-Ohio-2946, 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 3037 (5th Dist. July 18, 2019).* Defendant doesn’t meet the Franks … Continue reading

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Cal.1: Application of community caretaking function doesn’t require police to know who is inside; just that somebody reasonably might be

The community caretaking function was satisfied here: “Although in the present case the officers were not aware of a specific, known individual who might be in danger or might pose an imminent threat to others, as in some of these … Continue reading

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E.D.Va.: No evidence defendant “is a collector of child pornography,” so no PC; remanded for factual determination of GFE

The government did not show probable cause to believe that child pornography was on defendant’s electronic devices. The officer’s experience is one thing, but no facts suggest that defendant “is a collector of child pornography.” The record is inadequate to … Continue reading

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MA: PC was shown for cell phone search on admission there were timely videos that could help explain

There was probable cause for a search warrant for photos and videos on defendant’s cell phone in a home invasion case based on all the evidence in the case to that point and, pointedly, admission there were videos on the … Continue reading

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VA: Lying to police during consensual encounter then refusing admittance to home isn’t obstruction

Obstruction conviction reversed: “[T]here is no statute or case law that stands for the proposition that lying to law enforcement officers during a consensual encounter, or failing to admit them to one’s home on request, constitutes an obstruction of justice … Continue reading

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