- AK: Search of def’s rifle case was unreasonable; he was doing nothing wrong
- D.N.M.: Failure to mention the CI’s criminal history is less important when the affidavit shows extensive corroboration
- S.D.N.Y.: Emails from CIs provided PC, and the SW was limited to categories of information
- E.D.Mich.: Illegally obtained evidence cannot be used to establish probable cause
- W.D.La.: Officers’ subjective belief in def’s standing at time of search isn’t material to the court’s determination on objective facts
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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
W.D.Mich.: In a prison male group strip search, def female guard doesn’t show QI from how it was done
In a prison group strip search, “Defendant has failed to properly support her motion for summary judgment with relevant evidence showing the existence of a legitimate penological need for the group strip search and why her presence inside the Chapel … Continue reading
In this § 1983 case, the officer provided false information in the affidavit for the search warrant that was critical to the finding of probable cause. Without that information, there was no probable cause. The district court’s finding that qualified … Continue reading
NYTimes: Advocates From Left and Right Ask Supreme Court to Revisit Immunity Defense by Alan Feuer:
D.Md.: Officer gets QI for arresting person with same name but it turned out warrant was for far younger woman of different race
Plaintiff was legally blind but owned her car. She was a passenger in the back seat. After the vehicle was stopped, the officer found a warrant for a person with the same name as her. She protested she wasn’t the … Continue reading
CA5: Mass suspicionless strip search of a class of 6th grade girls was clearly unreasonable with a failure to train on policy that would have prevented it
“During a sixth-grade choir class, an assistant principal allegedly ordered a mass, suspicionless strip search of the underwear of twenty-two preteen girls. All agree the search violated the girls’ constitutional rights under Texas and federal law. Even so, the district … Continue reading
An electronic signature on a search warrant application is still an oath for an affidavit required under state law, and the motion to suppress was properly denied. State v. Bowers, 2018 SD 50 (June 27, 2018). Juvenile defendant was interrogated … Continue reading
SCOTUS: Too many facts in dispute to grant QI dismissal on a claim of interference with right to pray after entry into the house; 4A claim revived after being waived
This pro se plaintiff alleged police came into her house for a complaint of her radio being too loud, and she was told to stop praying. The district court dismissed her First and Fourth Amendment claims for failure to state … Continue reading
Plaintiff was held without a hearing as an alleged material witness, but never presented to a court. The district court granted qualified immunity, and the court of appeals reversed. Her rights were clearly established that she was entitled to be … Continue reading
CA7: In the private search doctrine and QI, it’s not clearly established that the actors knowing each other isn’t enough
“But for purposes of official immunity, the question is whether existing law clearly establishes that a private search is treated as a governmental search when the public and private actors are friends and potential future coworkers.” It does not. There … Continue reading
CA11: The officer received easily verifiable information that the tattoo on the suspect didn’t match the tattoos of the perpetrator; the arrest was without PC
Before the arrest the officer received easily verifiable exculpatory information from a witness, that the citizen’s single tattoo did not match the multiple tattoos visible on the perpetrator in the crime scene photograph that the officer showed the witness. Despite … Continue reading
The officers here saw a sawed off shotgun through the windows of defendant’s van, and it was not unreasonable to use the key fob to open the door to seize it. State v. Ortiz, 2018 Conn. App. LEXIS 235 (June … Continue reading
Law.com: “Deciding that qualified immunity has evolved to the point where it can protect police officers who intentionally flout constitutional rights, a federal judge in Brooklyn declined to grant it to four police officers who broke into a man’s house … Continue reading