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Fourth Amendment cases,
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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: Emergency / exigency
Officers came to an apartment with an arrest warrant. When the door inside was opened, they could see drugs in plain view within five feet of the door. It was reasonable for them to open the screen door to preserve … Continue reading
Police “froze” a house and searched the second floor for evidence of alleged prostitution; couldn’t be justified on this record. What physical evidence would there be? Commonwealth v. Owens, 480 Mass. 1034 (Nov. 7, 2018). There was a mistake in … Continue reading
The government failed to prove that exigency justified its warrantless entry. United States v. Caballero, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182505 (D. Mass. Oct. 24, 2018)*:
Defendant was stopped on a motorcycle and had a backpack. An arrest warrant was found for defendant, and his backpack was subject to a search incident. State v. Crager, 2018 Ind. App. LEXIS 385 (Oct. 25, 2018). There was no … Continue reading
The state showed by a preponderance of the evidence that there were exigent circumstances for a warrantless blood draw. Natural dissipation of alcohol alone is not an exigency under McNealy. The first blood draw was potentially contaminated, so a second … Continue reading
Motion for return of cell phones is denied. The government intends to keep them pending the outcome of defendant’s 2255 or the running of the statute of limitations, which ever occurs first. That’s sufficient need to deny the motion. United … Continue reading
NJ: Officer had RS def was armed; refusal of patdown justified exigent strip search at station house
The officer had reasonable suspicion that defendant was armed, and he attempted to perform a frisk, which defendant refused. This led to a warrantless strip search which was justified by the Fourth Amendment exigency exception and by state statute and … Continue reading
As an “intended recipient” of a parcel, defendant has no standing. His name isn’t on the package as sender or recipient. United States v. Williams, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177669 (D. Haw. Oct. 16, 2018). Officers could reasonably believe that … Continue reading
After a few bizarre sexual Aol chat sessions, defendant was seeking communication from minors for sex. The police were informed and did a knock-and-talk, and he admitted the communiques and that the laptop in the room was the one involved. … Continue reading
MN: Another’s outside storage unit at an apartment building found because its key was found during a search of the apt couldn’t be searched under apt SW
An apartment of another was searched under a warrant, and a key to a storage unit was found. The storage unit was nearby but not in the apartment, and it was in defendant’s name. Searching the storage unit in another … Continue reading
A warrantless entry into a house under the emergency aid exception does not permit a reentry for administrative tasks. Accurate record keeping can’t be a justification for a warrantless entry. Commonwealth v. Wilmer, 2018 Pa. LEXIS 4917 (Sep. 21, 2018) … Continue reading
Cal.4th: Retroactive conversion of felony MJ conviction to civil infraction didn’t require lawfully collected DNA be purged from database
California’s retroactive conversion of personal use felony marijuana convictions to civil infractions does not warrant removal of defendant’s DNA from the system. People v. Laird, 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 841 (4th Dist. Aug. 30, 2018), ordered published Sep. 21, 2018. … Continue reading