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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: Inventory
Defendant’s Franks challenge fails because, even accepting it as true, there’s still probable cause. United States v. Barclay, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12061 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 25, 2018).* “Probable cause ‘is not a high bar.’ Kaley v. United States, 134 … Continue reading
“This case addresses whether a law-enforcement agency’s policy that an arrestee’s personal effects must accompany the arrestee to jail can, on its own, justify the warrantless retrieval of an arrestee’s personal effects from a location that is protected under the … Continue reading
Defendant was arrested at someone else’s home, and he had a bag. The homeowner wouldn’t take responsibility for the bag, so it went with defendant, and its inventory was reasonable on the totality. “Thus, whether or not the Officers’ testimony … Continue reading
D.S.D.: General description of a handyman’s tools as “miscellaneous tools” did not make the inventory “defective”
General description of a handyman’s tools as “miscellaneous tools” did not make the inventory “defective.” United States v. Bruce, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7387 (D.S.D. Jan 17, 2018). “Although the affidavit in the instant case could have provided more information … Continue reading
The Salem inventory policy requires inventory of closed containers that might have something valuable in them. In defendant’s backpack was a nylon case which the officer believed might contain a computer harddrive or a computer gaming device. The inventory was … Continue reading
The inventory in this case “deviated greatly” from the impoundment policy. When a gun was found, it turned into a criminal investigation and the officer ignored the inventory. No inventory was made. Sansbury v. State, 2017 Ind. App. LEXIS 804 … Continue reading
D.N.M.: Govt’s rationale for impoundment failed: car was in a safe residential neighborhood in front of a friend’s house who said he’d watch it
Defendant was buying the car searched from his sister, although it was still in her name and registered to her. He had standing to challenge its search. The government’s rationale for impoundment was community caretaking, but the car was parked … Continue reading
D.Colo.: Officer’s near complete failure to follow inventory policy showed it was an investigative search
The inventory of defendant’s car was clearly an investigative search, and the lack of any paper inventory and the body camera video prove it. Defendant’s cell phone wasn’t logged in, the officer said, because it was taken into the station … Continue reading
NM: Backpack on def when he was arrested was subject to inventory even though he was separated from it when searched
Defendant’s backpack was on him when arrested, and it was still subject to police inventory for all the policies of inventory. State v. Davis, 2017 N.M. LEXIS 86 (Nov. 9, 2017), revg, 2016-NMCA-073, 387 P.3d 274 (posted here):