Category Archives: Probable cause

NC: Police exceeded private search of thumb drive, and it’s suppressed

Defendant’s wife opened a thumb drive in defendant’s briefcase looking for pictures of herself and his housekeeper when he was overseas. She found a picture of her daughter asleep unclothed from the waist up, and took it to the police … Continue reading

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N.D.Ga.: Def’s removal for questioning and 8 hour detention could’t be justified under Summers

Defendant’s handcuffing and removal to the police station for interrogation could not be justified by Summers and was without probable cause. He was held eight hours and interrogated. United States v. Mitchell, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139026 (N.D. Ga. June … Continue reading

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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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