- N.D.Ga.: Failure to specify how the R&R was deficient on PC finding was waiver
- Ga.Bar J.: Who Should Guard the Attorney-Client Privilege When Documents are Seized by Law Enforcement,
- OR: For particularity in electronic devices, specify what will be found
- W.D.N.C.: Traffic stop for expired tags went right to criminal history and was overlong
- ID rejects “reasonable mistake of law” and Heien under state constitution; state’s exclusionary rule is broader
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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
Search and seizure law consultant
Little Rock, Arkansas
Contact: forhall @ aol.com / The Book
online since Feb. 24, 2003 Approx. 350,000 visits (non-robot) since 2012 Approx. 45,000 posts since 2003 (25,700+ on WordPress as of 12/31/22)
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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
"It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."
—Charles Dickens, “The Old Curiosity Shop ... With a Frontispiece. From a Painting by Geo. Cattermole, Etc.” 255 (1848)
"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: Search incident
CA10: Overlong stop didn’t cause independent search incident
Defendant was subjected to a search incident for false identification. His overlong stop otherwise didn’t cause that. United States v. Anderson, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 5997 (10th Cir. Mar. 14, 2023).* “Teixeira struggles to throw shade on the reliability of … Continue reading
AR: Search incident to sex offense produced microSD cards that could be seized
Defendant was arrested for a sex offense, and his search incident produced three microSD cards that fell to the ground. They were properly seized and then searched with a warrant finding child porn. Lewis v. State, 2023 Ark. 12, 2023 … Continue reading
WY: In felony domestic battery case, state showed nexus that evidence could likely be found in def’s journal
Defendant was convicted of strangulation of a family member. The family member reported to the police that he had been in counseling and was keeping a detailed journal trying to break the cycle of domestic abuse. The affidavit for the … Continue reading
NC: Officer who had knowledge of driver’s medical disqualification from driving could make a stop
“Therefore, a law enforcement officer with either probable cause or reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver of a vehicle is driving with a medically canceled license may conduct a lawful traffic stop of that vehicle without running afoul of … Continue reading
DC: “Handcuffing is ordinarily improper in a Terry stop absent an objective safety concern.”
“Handcuffing is ordinarily improper in a Terry stop absent an objective safety concern. See United States v. Smith, 373 F. Supp. 3d 223, 241 (D.D.C. 2019); Haynes v. Minnehan, 14 F.4th 830, 835 n.4 (8th Cir. 2021) (‘[A]bsent an objective … Continue reading
D.Mass.: Park ranger’s arrest of def outside park wasn’t 4A violation, even if statute violated
“Ruiz argues that, because Carozzi lacked the statutory authority to arrest him outside the park, the arrest violated his Fourth Amendment rights, and therefore all evidence collected subsequent to his arrest (i.e., the breathalyzer results) must be suppressed. In the … Continue reading
NY2: Franks claim has to be fully developed; it’s more than just a false statement
Franks claim fails for failure to show how the alleged false statements undermined the probable cause. “The defendant failed to meet his burden of controverting the warrant, as he failed to analyze, must less establish, that after the excise of … Continue reading
DC: Gant search incident for open containers did not permit search of a small plastic box
A Gant search incident of a vehicle authorized for open containers of alcohol didn’t permit a more intense search of a plastic “otter box” finding PCP. Smith v. United States, 2022 D.C. App. LEXIS 326 (Sep. 29, 2022). The state … Continue reading
CA1: Road rage incident day before justified search incident of car for weapon involved
Defendant was driving a white Corvette and he allegedly was involved in a road rage incident with occupants of a landscaping truck where he flashed a gun. An APB was put out for him, and he was stopped the next … Continue reading
CT: Blood draw by nurse at hospital was not 4A search
The taking of a blood sample by a nurse at a hospital is not a Fourth Amendment search. State v. Ragalis, 2022 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2025 (New Britain Sept. 8, 2022). Custody under Miranda is not the same as a … Continue reading
N.D.Ohio: PC showing raises the inference a cell phone was involved in crime for SW
“The affidavit also attempts to establish the link between the use of cell phones and the drug trafficking under investigation. Metzger’s warning to McFaul on social media, which presumably was accomplished through the use of an electronic device like a … Continue reading
D.Minn.: Police delay in responding to 911 call in part belied exigency
There no longer was exigency, in part here from the police delay in responding to 911 call, and what was observed was innocuous. No exigency on the totality. Cotten v. Miller, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139360 (D. Minn. Aug. 5, … Continue reading
N.D.Ohio: Small closed container in a gun case was properly searched incident to arrest
Officers entered the home on an arrest warrant and consent. Inside, they saw a gun case. A search of a small closed container in the gun case was reasonable incident to arrest. If it was in a dresser drawer or … Continue reading
CA9: Having handgun in open carry state not RS without more
Washington is an open carry state, and the allegation defendant had a weapon on him was insufficient for a stop without some showing he was a danger to others per state law. United States v. Willy, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS … Continue reading
WI: Search incident for shoplifting permitted search of small canister on keychain
Defendant was arrested for shoplifting, and, on her arrest, a search incident of a small canister attached to her keychain was reasonable, despite it being so small no evidence of theft would be there. State v. Meisenhelder, 2022 Wisc. App. … Continue reading
CA8: Shoplifting arrest supported search incident of backpack; inevitable anyway
The search of defendant’s backpack incident to a shoplifting arrest produced a firearm. Even if the search incident wasn’t proper, it was inevitable the backpack would be inventoried at the jail.United States v. Trogdon, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 15860 (8th … Continue reading
E.D.Tenn.: Finding ammo not matching seized firearm justifies further search
Officers finding ammunition from a different caliber gun than the one found justifies a further search. United States v. Berry, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98684 (E.D.Tenn. May 3, 2022), adopted, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98639 (E.D.Tenn. June 2, 2022). Plaintiff’s … Continue reading
S.D.Ohio: Attempted search incident well after arrest when duffle bag was away from def was not “incident to arrest”; govt overspinned the facts
The officer lacked exigency for a warrantless entry to arrest. Defendant put his duffle bag outside a second story window on the roof to conceal it. It was not abandoned because the public didn’t have access to it. All he … Continue reading
CA7: There is no “one-frisk-only rule”
“‘[A] one-frisk-only rule would create a privacy-adverse Fourth Amendment incentive’ for officers to perform ‘the most intrusive frisk possible the first time around, knowing that no more would be allowed.’” Here, there was reasonable suspicion for both frisks. United States … Continue reading