- N.D.Iowa: A “Brinks box” in the house being searched with a warrant for drugs was subject to the search
- TN: Failure to include the search warrant and affidavit in the record on appeal waives the search issue
- W.D.Tex.: Def shows a “substantial question” of the legality of his search for bail pending appeal of his conviction
- CA9: Three month old information about where probationer lived wasn’t stale for probation search
- M.D.Ala.: One day’s GPS monitoring reasonable under Knotts, all things considered
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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)
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Category Archives: § 1983 / Bivens
Plaintiff was arrested for drunk driving and convicted in local court after raising his Fourth Amendment claim there. He sued everybody involved in his arrest. The court finds him precluded from relitigating it in federal court under § 1983. Novotny … Continue reading
CA11: Factual dispute as to where misd arrest occurred, in the house or out, denies QI; it appears force used was excessive
Arguable probable cause supported plaintiff’s misdemeanor arrest, but there is a factual dispute denying qualified immunity to the officers of where exactly the arrest started and how it ended up indoors. That remains for trial. The complaint also survives on … Continue reading
CA11: RS supported a protective sweep for def after a police foot chase and officers having reason to believe he could have doubled back to the hotel room from where he started
Defendant discovered he was under surveillance at his motel and he fled. Officers came back to his room in 10 minutes, and seeing his car entered his room thinking he had doubled back. He did not abandon his privacy interest … Continue reading
CA10: When the police destroy your house in aid of the police power because of a barricaded suspect, it’s not a taking under the 5A
When the police destroy your house in aid of the police power because of a barricaded suspect, it’s not a taking under the Fifth Amendment. [The Fourth Amendment is not cited.] Lech v. Jackson, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 32393 (10th … Continue reading
CA7: Police officers who obtained def’s blood work from a hospital under an Indiana statute didn’t violate the 4A
Plaintiff sued under § 1983 because police got his blood work from the hospital albeit under Indiana statute. “We turn next to Stewart’s Fourth Amendment claim. The district court entered summary judgment for the defendant police officers on the basis … Continue reading
Plaintiff was arrested for capital murder based on an affidavit for arrest that omitted serious doubts about the eyewitness’s identification. Later, the charge was dropped, and plaintiff sued the affiant for a “civil Franks violation.” Franks doesn’t neatly apply in … Continue reading
The parties got into an argument, and plaintiff went back into his house. The defendant came in after him. “Without deciding whether Bailey’s arrest was supported by probable cause—or, as it goes in the qualified-immunity context, ‘arguable probable cause’—we reverse. … Continue reading
One other excessive force claim investigated by the City is not evidence of pattern and practice or failure to train. Stewart v. City of Memphis, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30491 (6th Cir. Oct. 11, 2019).* Defendant’s successor 2255 also raises … Continue reading
CA6: Merely alleging pat-down search was done “without a legitimate reason” doesn’t state a 4A claim; more required
“Merely alleging that Jones’ conducting pat-down searches ‘without a legitimate reason’ is insufficient to state a plausible claim of a Fourth Amendment violation. Under the Fourth Amendment, ‘[t]he touchstone of whether a given search or seizure is reasonable is whether … Continue reading
Plaintiff paid his fine for a speeding ticket and that was to avoid probation. The probation officer was in court and heard all that. Some clerk, however, entered into the computer system that he was on probation. Plaintiff was later … Continue reading
WV Gazette: Officers found his $25K of heroin. He walked free, and now he’s suing police [for raiding the wrong house]
WV Gazette: Officers found his $25K of heroin. He walked free, and now he’s suing police by Jake Zuckerman. Police raided a house after falsely stating that one Figueroa lived there and made several drug deals. It was the wrong … Continue reading