- LA5: Parole officers were stalking horses for police acting without RS
- WA: Where ptf didn’t know he was being pursued, act of force to knock him from motorcycle doesn’t get qualified immunity
- D.Minn.: No right to being stopped at earliest time
- NYTimes: Calling Your Lawyer’s Cell From Jail? What You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You.
- OR: Def adequately pled 4A and argued substance to preserve issue for appeal
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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
CA4: Officer who obtained court order for minor ptf to be detained and to get an erection so police could photograph it gets no QI; this isn’t remotely reasonable
Plaintiff was a 17 year old that allegedly sent a picture of his erection to his 15 year old girlfriend. Defendant obtained a court order for plaintiff to be transported to a juvenile detention center to masturbate to get an … Continue reading
D.Minn.: PO knowing def’s history saw a bulge in def’s pocket, and this was justification for a search
Defendant was on supervised release. The officer “then saw a bulge in Becerra’s pocket that he suspected could be a weapon. [He thus] had probable cause at the time he arrested Becerra to believe that Becerra was violating his supervised … Continue reading
KS: Stop-and-frisk was a factually justified “discretionary function” and the officer couldn’t be sued
With a due comparison to Det. Martin McFadden’s actions in observing John W. Terry and Richard D. Chilton in Terry v. Ohio, the officer on the totality was justified in inquiring of defendant what he was doing. Plaintiff wasn’t arrested, … Continue reading
“When reviewing the information known to Seidl at the time of Zavatson’s arrest, we conclude that no reasonable officer could have believed, based on anything more than speculation, that Zavatson had committed the purported theft. As an initial matter, there … Continue reading
CA10: Defs did not violate clearly established 4A law by accessing the Utah Controlled Substance Database on plaintiffs’ prescriptions
Defendants did not violate clearly established Fourth Amendment law by accessing the Utah Controlled Substance Database on plaintiffs’ prescriptions (and the Fourth Amendment claim goes undecided). Pyle v. Woods, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21713 (10th Cir. Nov. 1, 2017):
CA5: Search of wrong house leads to liability: “An officer who makes no reasonable effort to correctly identify the place to be searched does not get immunity merely because someone else was leading the search.”
Sloppy police work leading to a search of the wrong house on a warrant leads to loss of qualified immunity: “An officer who makes no reasonable effort to correctly identify the place to be searched does not get immunity merely … Continue reading
Deleting the allegedly false information from the affidavit for search warrant leaving it as a “corrected” affidavit under Franks, there still was a fair probability for probable cause. That there might be other explanations doesn’t undermine probable cause. Therefore, defendants … Continue reading
CA1: QI for excessive force doesn’t require a case exactly on point; Garner is close enough for a jury to find liability
The district court denied qualified immunity to an officer who shot the victim in the head with an AR-15 without warning for allegedly brandishing a firearm. The victim had been wandering in and out of his house with a gun … Continue reading
SCOTUSBlog: Argument preview: Parties, probable cause and the Fourth Amendment (DC v. Wesby) by Amy Howe: When District of Columbia police officers Andre Parker and Anthony Campanale responded to reports of unauthorized goings-on at a supposedly vacant home nearly a … Continue reading
CA9: Arrest on mistaken identity gets QI, but continuing the arrest after learning mistake doesn’t; Summers doesn’t apply to arrest warrants
Plaintiff’s initial arrest on mistaken identity was not in violation of clearly established law, and, thus, the officers had qualified immunity. After learning, however, that plaintiff was not the person sought, officers did violate the Fourth Amendment by keeping him … Continue reading
Crediting the plaintiffs’ complaint and the proof thus far, the defendant officer did not show an excuse for dispensing with the warrant requirement for a warrantless entry into the plaintiffs’ home. Thus, summary judgment on qualified immunity was erroneously granted … Continue reading