- CA3: Finding suspect near bank that was just robbed generally matching description but with short sleeves in winter was RS
- CA9: UA in prison is reasonable
- Boston CBS: Justice Department: Springfield Police Narcotics Bureau Regularly Used Excessive Force
- Gizmodo: Law Enforcement Is Buying Its Way Into Our Breaches
- MT: Field test of seized drugs is a reasonable search
online since Feb. 24, 2003
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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: Qualified immunity
The affidavit for the search warrant here was adequate to show nexus and probable cause for a search. The reliance on other officers’ information didn’t require this officer to independently corroborate it. United States v. Velazquez, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading
Lawfare: Hold Police Accountable by Changing Public Tort Law, Not Just Qualified Immunity by Paul Stern:
Courthouse News Service: Colorado Blocks Qualified Immunity for Police by Amanda Pampuro (“Colorado commemorated Juneteenth on Friday by passing an enormous police reform bill, which includes blocking qualified immunity as a defense for police officers in state court. Colorado Governor … Continue reading
“We hold that the district court abused its discretion by denying the Plaintiff any opportunity to conduct discovery in this case before being made to respond to McFarlane’s motion for summary judgment” on qualified immunity. Defendants are not entitled to … Continue reading
Officers executing a search warrant detained an innocent person in handcuffs for two hours, and that doesn’t state a claim. Also, just being at the warrant execution meeting before the officers went to the scene doesn’t make all those officers … Continue reading
CA9: Clearly established by 2014 for QI that chokehold on nonresisting detainee could be excessive force
It was clearly established at the time that a chokehold on a no longer resisting detainee was excessive force and all officers participating were potentially responsible. Martinez v. City of Pittsburg, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19207 (9th Cir. June 19, … Continue reading
CA6: QI denied officers who Tased a man for not getting out of his car fast enough; he had recent surgery and a colostomy bag
Plaintiff was Tased when he slowly got out of a car after officers flashed badges on him. He was recovering from surgery and had a colostomy bag and staples in his stomach. While the use of force does not require … Continue reading
Cato.org: Supreme Court Refuses to Reconsider Qualified Immunity:
WSJ: How the Warren Court Enabled Police Abuse by David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman (“‘Qualified immunity’ lets cops avoid accountability. It’s an invention of the liberal chief justice.”):
NPR: Supreme Court Will Not Reexamine Doctrine That Shields Police In Misconduct Suits by Nina Totenberg (“Amid the tumult over police brutality allegations across the country, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to reexamine the much-criticized, modern-day legal doctrine … Continue reading
Starting a fire during a police standoff is an exigent circumstance permitting a police entry after the fire was put out. “The entry and search occurred immediately after firefighters extinguished the fire that defendant had set during a standoff with … Continue reading
CA4: “a reasonable jury could find that Jones was both secured and incapacitated” when police shot him; QI denied
“In 2013, Wayne Jones, a black man experiencing homelessness, was stopped by law enforcement in Martinsburg, West Virginia for walking alongside, rather than on, the sidewalk. By the end of this encounter, Jones would be dead. Armed only with a … Continue reading
Inconsistent travel plans coming from the driver and passenger justified a 15 minute call to EPIC to see if the vehicle had crossed the border recently, and this was not unreasonable. United States v. Morales, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 17865 … Continue reading
Courthouse News Service: New House Bill Would Revoke ‘Qualified Immunity’ for Police by Thomas Harrison (“The bill would eliminate qualified immunity, the ability of police officers to argue they acted in good faith when they violated someone’s constitutional rights. It … Continue reading
Probably the results of the conference on Monday. See WaPo: Supreme Court asked to reconsider immunity available to police accused of brutality
CA2: Police actions showed warrantless entry wasn’t for emergency purposes sufficient to create jury question
Decedent was a mentally ill veteran who accidentally activated an at home alarm and police responded. He was ultimately shot and police came in, not responding to a wounded man but as a criminal. There was a plausible claim that … Continue reading