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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: Consent
OH11: Not objecting to police officer following def into hotel room to retrieve paperwork was implied consent
Police came to defendant’s motel room door and knocked without saying who they were. They asked about a stolen truck defendant had, and he turned and went in to get paperwork, and the officer followed him. Defendant never objected to … Continue reading →
NC: Race may be relevant to determining whether defendant consented to a search, but it isn’t determinative; record shows consent
Race may be relevant to determining whether defendant consented to a search, but it isn’t determinative. The record as a whole, however, shows that consent was completely voluntary. State v. Bartlett, 2018 N.C. App. LEXIS 775 (Aug. 8, 2018):
Defendant was validly stopped for a suspected traffic violation and the officer couldn’t see the state on the temporary tag. Once he stopped the car he could see it. Still, the officer could inform the motorist of the reason for … Continue reading →
CA2: Def called 911 about a prowler; when police arrived he at least implicitly if not explicitly consented to police and dog entry
Defendant called 911 about a prowler possibly inside, and he consented at least implicitly if not explicitly to entry of the responding officer and his dog which then alerted to drugs. The entry was reasonable and consensual. United States v. … Continue reading →
The search of the hotel room was by consent. “Based on the foregoing, we find that the trial court did not err in finding that the consent to search was ‘voluntary, uncoerced and valid’ and that the detectives ‘[c]ontinually refreshed … Continue reading →
ICE surveillance on defendant’s road into his property was not on the curtilage because it went to parts of defendant’s rural property other than the home. “Just as with the barn in Dunn, there is ample evidence that the road … Continue reading →
The body cam video of the encounter on the street shows that the consent was voluntary. United States v. Polnitz, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120364 (E.D. Wis. July 19, 2018).* “[T]he trial court erred in determining that, following the Birchfield … Continue reading →
CA11: IRS summons to bank would be enforced; the summons was reasonable under the 4A: info sought was reasonable and narrowly tailored, and it was to a bank
The district court did not err in enforcing the IRS summons under 26 U.S.C.S. § 7602 to the taxpayers’ bank because the taxpayers did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the financial records held by the bank. The … Continue reading →
The officer continued the stop without reasonable cause and testified he decided to search the car only because he was concerned about officer safety and not getting shot. But, the search didn’t occur until well into the stop [and was … Continue reading →
D.Minn.: Def’s lawyering up prior to giving statement didn’t prevent her from being asked for consent
Defendant was Mirandized and lawyered up. The officer then asked for consent in writing and got it. Her lawyering up didn’t prevent her from being asked to consent, and it was voluntary on the totality. United States v. Unpradit, 2018 … Continue reading →
S.D.Tex.: Ct credits def’s version; on govt’s: “Hypothetical could-haves or would-haves simply will not do.” Govt conceded gamma ray scan was search.
Defendant was stopped at the I-35 immigration check point near Laredo. The video is soundless and 14 seconds long. The officer’s version doesn’t seem possible within the time of the video, but the defendant’s does. The officer had the defendant … Continue reading →
N.D.Fla.: Def consented to providing pass code to his phone when police seized his phone pending getting SW
“The defendant delivered a package to a post office for mailing. A postal inspector caused the package to be held overnight and then, with the defendant’s consent, opened it. Finding cash and pills that appeared to be illicit, the postal … Continue reading →