- D.Nev.: Affidavits for SWs don’t have to prove the underlying crimes
- D.V.I.: Flyover of curtilage from navigable airspace was reasonable
- NJ: Disputes in the facts on appeal show trial court should have held a hearing
- NY: Second SW for phone a year later after first SW failed to show PC wasn’t timely
- GA: Not objecting to mention of “probation” search at trial was not IAC
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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
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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: Dog sniff
OH7: Officer taking the Fifth at suppression hearing because of other matters doesn’t prove Franks violation
At defendant’s suppression hearing, one of the officers was relieved of duty due to other misconduct, and he took the Fifth. On what remains in the affidavit and on the totality doesn’t otherwise show a Franks violation. State v. Hartung, … Continue reading
W.D.Tex.: Def’s calling for proof of insurance delayed the stop while drug dog came and alerted
The dog sniff did not prolong the stop – the dog arrived while defendant was calling his girlfriend about bringing his proof of insurance. Moreover, there was reasonable suspicion on the totality. United States v. Lincoln, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading
CA11: Roadside dog sniff during the records check was reasonable and did not extend the stop
A roadside dog sniff during the records check was reasonable even without reasonable suspicion and did not extend the stop. United States v. Ramirez-Rivera, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 10325 (11th Cir. Apr. 27, 2023). On collective knowledge: “As the surveillance … Continue reading
D.Kan.: “The opening of the driver’s door had no effect or impact on the dog’s alert.”
“The opening of the driver’s door had no effect or impact on the dog’s alert.” United States v. Anderson, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73033 (D. Kan. Apr. 26, 2023). The facts in the record support the automobile exception as the … Continue reading
IL4: Despite legalization of possession of small amounts of MJ, dog alert still PC
The drug dog’s “positive alert on the vehicle in this case established a fair probability that drugs or evidence of a crime would be found in the vehicle. This is true despite recent changes in the law regarding the legalization … Continue reading
CA8: Omission of fact CI lied about prior murder for hire schemes wasn’t material enough where one recorded ptf
This was a murder for hire scheme. The affiant had good information that the CI was a notorious liar, having falsely alleged other schemes in the past. Here, however, there was “powerful” evidence of probable cause in recordings to back … Continue reading
ID: Drug dog putting feet on car door and window during stiff was a trespass on the chattel and the search should have been suppressed
A warrantless Fourth Amendment “search” occurred when the police drug-sniffing dog trespassed against defendant’s vehicle for the purpose of obtaining information about, or related to, the vehicle. When the dog approached the driver’s side on his second pass, he clearly … Continue reading
CA8: GFE applies to dog sniff at apt door before law changed
Defendant’s apartment door was subjected to a dog sniff at his apartment door before the court limited it in United States v. Perez, 46 F.4th 691 (8th Cir. 2022). The good faith exception applies. United States v. Hines, 2023 U.S. … Continue reading
OR: Cell phone SW in part for “evidence related to the crimes under investigation” was overbroad
The search warrant for defendant’s cell phone was specific as to particular images but general as to others, and it is suppressed as to the others. “The fact that the media command limited the media search to ‘evidence related to … Continue reading
S.D.Tex.: Exigency still remained for a second protective sweep of the premises
Enough exigency still remained for a second protective sweep of the premises. United States v. Beard, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29007 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 22, 2023). Collective knowledge from another police department can be relied up to show probable cause. … Continue reading
W.D.N.Y.: Using flashlight to look in bag tossed in flight in a house was reasonable on protective sweep
Use of a flashlight in a protective sweep of a black bag tossed by a fleeing suspect in the house was reasonable for safety reasons. Inside, methamphetamine was found. United States v. Adams, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28537 (W.D.N.Y. Feb. … Continue reading
D.Neb.: DTF officer’s moving luggage out of an interstate bus luggage hold wasn’t an unreasonable interference with possessory interest
Defendant was riding on an interstate bus, and at the stop at Omaha, a DTF officer pulled defendant’s bag out of the luggage hold to see who would claim it. This interference with the luggage was minimal and did not … Continue reading
CA6: Being a drug dealer is not per se nexus to one’s home; more required
Defendant was a drug dealer, but the affidavit for warrant did nothing to show a reason to believe (nexus) that drugs would be found at his house. No case in this circuit supports nexus on these facts. Moreover, the information … Continue reading
N.D.Ill.: Border search exception doesn’t permit cell phone search for proof of a prior domestic crime
The border search exception does not apply to searching defendant’s cell phone at Customs for proof of a domestic crime, here mail theft. United States v. Carpenter, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11014 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 23, 2023). The drug dog … Continue reading
OH6: State could get a jury instruction that defendant refused to submit to a DNA search
The state could get a jury instruction that defendant refused to submit to a DNA search. State v. Roberts, 2023-Ohio-142, 2023 Ohio App. LEXIS 131 (6th Dist. Jan. 18, 2023). The facts in isolation may not show reasonable suspicion but … Continue reading
W.D.N.Y.: Moving car without PC for later dog sniff hours later tainted SW based on dog alert
Defendant’s vehicle was stopped and ultimately removed to another location for a dog sniff to get probable cause for a search warrant for the car. The removal was unreasonable and justified under the Fourth Amendment. The dog sniff was several … Continue reading
M.D.Pa.: Refusal to show hands when ordered shows no seizure
Defendant’s refusal to show his hands when ordered to by the officer was not a seizure. United States v. Garner, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5400 (M.D. Pa. Jan. 11, 2023).* Defendant’s stop was justified and it escalated to reasonable suspicion … Continue reading
CA3: SOL for arrest and search under § 1983 runs from then
The SOL begins with plaintiff’s arrest and search, not the prosecution. Here it was time-barred. (Plaintiff also doesn’t establish any grounds for equitable tolling other than the library was inaccessible during Covid, and he did nothing for over two years.) … Continue reading