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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: Apparent authority
After defendant fired an assault rifle in his house, the police were called. A protective sweep to see if anyone was injured was reasonable. Commonwealth v. Coughlin, 2018 PA Super 304, 2018 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1221 (Nov. 14, 2018). “‘Probable … Continue reading →
Defendant’s vehicle had been burglarized and USB drives were also stolen. The police report omitted them. Later, another guy acquired the USB drives when he was buying drugs. When he was busted, he turned them over to the police telling … Continue reading →
Defendant was allegedly involved in a hit and run accident with injury. A license plate fell off his car and was found at the scene of the accident. An officer went to his address and found the apparent damaged vehicle … Continue reading →
D.Me.: Where a couple shared a closet, her apparent authority extended to whole closet, not just his side
Defendant and his girlfriend shared a closet where they were staying, and she had apparent authority to consent to a search of the whole closet, not just her side of it. United States v. Lawson, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137966 … Continue reading →
D.N.M.: Def lived with his grandfather, and the “presumption of consent” in a familial relationship was apparent to officers
Defendant lived with his grandfather, and the familial relationship is different than that of a co-tenant. The evidence apparent to the officers was that the grandfather had control of the premises, and the grandson slept either in a bedroom or … 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 →
E.D.Va.: Manafort storage building search sustained: Employee with free access had apparent authority to consent to entry
The FBI reasonably relied on a person with apparent authority to consent to an entry into a storage locker to look around. The consenter had free access to the storage room as an employee, and the employer-employee relationship can permit … Continue reading →
TPM: Manafort Loses Fight Over Storage Unit Search In Virginia Case by Tierney Sneed (opinion in story):
CA11: Def was outside while consent sought from cotenant inside; consent valid and Randolph doesn’t help him
The consent of a cotenant was voluntary and valid, and she clearly had apparent authority to do so. Defendant was nearby and outside, but the police made no effort to ask him for consent nor to segregate him to prevent … Continue reading →
M.D.Pa.: Three robberies was a pattern sufficient to allow a broader search period and thus overcame this staleness challenge
Three armed robberies showed a pattern of activity that allowed a broader period in the application for the warrant, and thus overcame a staleness challenge. The affidavits for search warrant provided a substantial basis for finding probable cause, especially considering … Continue reading →
D.D.C.: Manafort DC search valid: The person on the lease of a storage unit and with the keys had [apparent] authority to consent
The search of Paul Manafort’s storage unit was with the consent of the person on the lease and did not violate the Fourth Amendment. It was reasonable for the FBI to believe that the person with the keys had the … Continue reading →
D.N.M.: Protective sweep valid to look for other pressure cooker bombs; parent has presumptive apparent authority to consent to search of adult child’s room
Defendant was suspected of making a pressure cooker bomb, which was found. (1) A protective sweep was proper to determine whether there were others in the house. (2) The house was owned by defendant’s father, and defendant merely lived there. … Continue reading →