- DC Cir.: The mere fact a person has a cell phone isn’t PC to search it; must be PC evidence would be found
- CA1: No RS for a protective sweep just because def was suspected of drugs
- CA8: RS on totality to frisk a gang member in the middle of a rival gang’s territory
- CA7: Plainclothes officers have to ID themselves when making a stop
- CA6: Def consented to search of person when he came out of bathroom and was accosted by two officers
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Fourth Amendment cases,
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Section 1983 Blog
"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)
Category Archives: Qualified immunity
CA8: A 1 in 11 chance homeowner had CP on computer was enough for qualified immunity; search turned up nothing and he lost job then home
Child pornography was able to be downloaded from plaintiff’s IP address, so Minot police got a search warrant for plaintiff’s address, which appeared to be a single family dwelling. When they got there, however, they learned that 11 people lived … Continue reading
The taking of plaintiff’s photograph and fingerprints after an apparently valid arrest was not a clearly established violation of the Fourth Amendment where he was innocent of a crime. Plaintiff did not contest his arrest, but he contended that the … Continue reading
This § 1983 case arose from a shooting death by police during execution of a drug search warrant. The pre-search briefing told the officers that the suspect inside was involved in drug dealing and was likely armed, so a no-knock … Continue reading
A police dog can’t be sued under § 1983, although the handler can. Here, the handler has qualified immunity for this use of force. Jones v. Fransen, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8816 (11th Cir. May 19, 2017):
CA6: Officer arresting on warrant for failure to perform community service that was mistakenly issued had QI
The officer executing a warrant that should not have been issued by the court in the first place for plaintiff’s failure to perform his community service had qualified immunity. Beckham v. City of Euclid, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8453 (6th … Continue reading
CA10: Successful suppression of evidence is not a “favorable outcome” for malicious prosecution purposes against the prosecutor; QI granted
Successful suppression of evidence is not a “favorable outcome” for malicious prosecution purposes against the prosecutor. It doesn’t show actual innocence. Margheim v. Buljko, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7421 (10th Cir. April 27, 2017):
The officer saw defendant recklessly driving, but wasn’t able to stop him. Staleness for arrest for that did not dissipate within three hours before he saw defendant again. Hairston v. Commonwealth, 2017 Va. App. LEXIS 99 (April 11, 2017) (see … Continue reading
The district court erred in not granting summary judgment to the officer in this § 1983 case for his use of handcuffs on the plaintiff in his mid-60’s. There was reasonable suspicion for his stop as a suspect in a … Continue reading
It was not sufficiently clear that the officers’ actions here in aiding a repossession violated the Fourth Amendment, so they get qualified immunity. “However, there is sufficient daylight between the Officers’ conduct here and the conduct in Cochran and Hensley … Continue reading
Plaintiff’s nolo plea established probable cause for his arrest. Plaintiff’s excessive force claim, however, is established by clearly established law and the district court erred in finding it was de minimus. It appears that plaintiff was handcuffed and compliant but … Continue reading