- 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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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)
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Category Archives: § 1983 / Bivens
The statute of limitations for an illegal search is from when it happens, not when a court declares it unreasonable. Nguyen v. Pennsylvania, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 28524 (3d Cir. Oct. 10, 2018). Off topic but important: “Egregious” Brady and … Continue reading
Plaintiff’s § 1983 case is a replay of his search issue he lost in state court, so it’s barred by Heck v. Humphrey. Wells v. Martin, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162564 (W.D. Va. Sep. 24, 2018). Because plaintiff’s decedent was … Continue reading
A prosecutor and state investigator subpoenaed plaintiff’s work emails from Penn State. They get qualified immunity because there was no clearly established law that the subpoena was invalid. Plaintiff argues the evolving standards of the reasonable expectation of privacy in … Continue reading
CA9: Police supervisor’s alleged after-the-fact acquiescence in an alleged illegal search isn’t a § 1983 claim
A police supervisor’s post-hoc alleged acquiescence that he didn’t participate in an alleged illegal search doesn’t state a claim against the supervisor. Hunt v. Davis, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 26265 (9th Cir. Sep. 17, 2018). The officers corroborated enough of … Continue reading
CA11: Tasering elderly man suffering a severe hypoglycemic episode five times and while trying to comply was excessive
“Mr. Glasscox, [an apparently elderly man] who lives with Type 1 diabetes, suffered a severe hypoglycemic episode while driving his pickup truck on Interstate 59 South near the City of Argo, Alabama. His condition caused him to begin driving erratically. … Continue reading
Defendant was booked on two misdemeanors, and his backpack was searched. If his backpack wasn’t subject to a search incident, it was subject to inevitable discovery for a search at booking. Also, for what it’s worth, defendant twice attempted to … Continue reading
Stopping plaintiff merely for giving a police officer the finger violates clearly established Fourth Amendment law. Clark v. Coleman, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136749 (W.D. Va. Aug. 14, 2018):
Defendant argues that the execution of the arrest warrant on him in his own house was invalid because he had an alibi for the time of the crime. That’s not up to the executing officers. The warrant was facially valid. … Continue reading
Defendant stated a Fourth Amendment claim for false arrest by a false affidavit for arrest, and the statute of limitations started to run on defendant’s acquittal. A Franks violation generally defeats qualified immunity. Winfrey v. Rogers, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS … Continue reading
CA7: Searching wrong apt on ambiguous SW (apt 1 where there were 1A & 1B) gets qualified immunity here
When the officer arrived at plaintiff’s address with a search warrant for apartment 1, he instead found apartments 1A and 1B. The officers attempted to clear up the ambiguity before the search, and they searched 1A finding nothing, and the … Continue reading
CA9: Excessive search of car 20 years ago was relevant to show officer “would have taken any means necessary to secure” plaintiff’s wrongful conviction
Plaintiffs were actually innocent of murder and served 20 years in prison before securing habeas relief for knowing Brady violations. They sued the police officer responsible for their conviction for clear Brady violations in withholding exculpatory information. As a part … Continue reading
Plaintiff’s claim that he was the subject of unlawful surveillance with a Stingray survives a Heck challenge and can proceed. Marcantoni v. Bealefeld, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22798 (4th Cir. Aug. 16, 2018):