- E.D.Pa.: Use of flashlight on backseat of car at night not a search
- OH5: Dog was called two minutes into stop of RV and it didn’t prolong the stop
- M.D.Fla.: No 4A protection for non-citizen stopped by CG at sea
- E.D.N.C.: When there is RS, officers do not need to rule out innocent explanations
- WV: Emergency order of protection was not functional equivalent of SW for entry into home
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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: Private search
The observations of a private person returning something to defendant’s dwelling for him were a private search. The police had nothing to do with it. State v. Lake, 2020 Wash. App. LEXIS 1925 (June 30, 2020).* Reasonable jurists would not … Continue reading
CA11: Def’s wife’s search of his cell phone finding child pornography and then taking the phone to the police was a private search
Defendant’s wife’s search of his cell phone finding child pornography and then taking the phone to the police was a private search for her personal reasons. United States v. Rivera-Morales, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 17116 (1st Cir. May 29, 2020):
This anonymous tip revealed nothing but identifying characteristics, and it didn’t show reasonable suspicion. “Additionally, the tip itself contained no further indicia of the informant’s reliability. It also offered nothing but a barebones description of the suspect: the caller identified … Continue reading
The police likely exceeded the private search of a computer, but the product will not be suppressed. A search warrant was issued, and the police relied on it in good faith. The private search doctrine as to computers is more … Continue reading
OH11: “Hand swabs” in SW for person fairly includes fingernail scrapings; no REP in clothing removed at ER by nurses
Defendant was brought to a hospital for alleged injuries. He was exceedingly drunk for a juvenile and covered in blood. He was cleaned up at the ER and no injuries found. The nurses there took his clothes. Police later seized … Continue reading
Three adults worked to get access to defendant’s cell phone because he was sexting a minor. “Moreover, even assuming solely for the sake of argument that Dustin Clark had wrongfully taken Minor A’s phone from Defendant Walsh and Deputy Bennett … Continue reading
Appellant’s challenge to the search warrant was to one in the trial court and then tried to expand the issue on appeal. Moreover, she tried to distance herself from the places to be searched to the point she had no … Continue reading
Livingston Ledger: FBI allegedly paid Geek Squad technicians as ‘confidential human sources’ in child porn case
Livingston Ledger: FBI allegedly paid Geek Squad technicians as ‘confidential human sources’ in child porn case:
Cal.: Privately recorded conversation in violation of state law admissible in a criminal case under 1982’s Proposition 8
A private party recorded a telephone call with defendant admitting a criminal sex act. Proposition 8 on “Truth in Evidence” adopted by voters in 1982 made the exclusionary rule follow the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule. The legislature amended it by … Continue reading
E.D.Mich.: Private security guards conducting search for weapon and turning over to police was private search
Two private security guards searched defendant, allegedly without probable cause, and seized a gun off of him which they turned over to the police. This was purely a private search not implicating the Fourth Amendment. The court also declines to … Continue reading
NCMEC was a private entity and not a government actor. The government didn’t exceed the private search. United States v. Kendall, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192442 (E.D. Ky. Nov. 6, 2019). Defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in an … Continue reading
W.D.Wash.: A private actor who stole evidence as “insurance” was not an agent of the state for 4A purposes
“The evidence at best suggests that Young was securing the information he eventually turned over to the FBI from NWTM as a form of personal insurance against any action he suspected might be taken against him. There is no evidence … Continue reading
Defendant’s laptop was stolen for the purpose of turning it over to the police who accessed it by search warrant. The person who took it was not acting as a government agent, and it’s clear since Burdeau (1921) that this … Continue reading
OH2: Hotel housekeeper found a gun and drugs and the mgr called the police who got a search warrant; that was a private search
Defendant was staying at a hotel, and the housekeeper found a gun and drugs in his room while cleaning it. She told the manager who looked and then called the police. The police told him to secure the room, and … Continue reading
Defendant’s wife opened a thumb drive in defendant’s briefcase looking for pictures of herself and his housekeeper when he was overseas. She found a picture of her daughter asleep unclothed from the waist up, and took it to the police … Continue reading
NJ: Warrantless entry into common area of a rooming house violated REP; it was private as to the tenants
The officer’s warrantless entry into the common area of a rooming house, even though the door was unlocked, intruded into a private area where defendant retained a reasonable expectation of privacy. This was not an area open to the public. … Continue reading
An attempt at a post-trial suppression motion in a motion for new trial was denied where the defense couldn’t show any merit to the motion in the first place. United States v. Baylor, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129708 (D.D.C. Aug. … Continue reading
In this child pornography case, defendant argued that NCMEC was not a private actor citing Ackerman from the Tenth Circuit, but the record was not sufficiently developed for the court to conclude that. There was probable cause for the search … Continue reading
The exclusionary rule does not apply to drug testing in a termination of parental rights case. In the Interest of L.C.L., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 6018 (Tex. App. – Houston (14th Dist.) July 16, 2019). The smell of marijuana during … Continue reading
Defendant’s disclaiming ownership of her purse twice when asked about it was abandonment and a waiver of any reasonable expectation of privacy. State v. Martin, 2019-Ohio-2792, 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 2898 (12th Dist. July 8, 2019).* The search warrant for … Continue reading