- 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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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
Zooming in on a pole cam video, officers determined that defendant had a blunt in his hand when he was getting in his car. The question is reasonable suspicion, and officers don’t have to exhaust the innocent possibilities before acting … Continue reading
A jury needs to decide whether this officer’s use of deadly force on a suicidal suspect was reasonable. it was “clearly established — and possibly even obvious — that an officer violates the Fourth Amendment if he shoots an unarmed, … Continue reading
SCOTUS: Shooting at and hitting a person fleeing is a 4A seizure: “The required corporal seizing or touching the defendant’s body … can be as readily accomplished by a bullet as by the end of a finger.”
Shooting at and hitting plaintiff with the intent to stop her flight is an attempted seizure under the Fourth Amendment. She made it 75 miles to a hospital, was airlifted back, and was arrested. (Qualified immunity is not decided here.) … Continue reading
Failure to object on Fourth Amendment grounds at the agency level before the zoning board in a zoning administrative case was waiver for appeal. Forsyth County v. Mommies Props. LLC, 2021 Ga. App. LEXIS 145 (Mar. 11, 2021). “The first … Continue reading
Court declines to extend Bivens to a search in parking lot because it thinks SCOTUS would agree. Bivens was a search of the home. Byrd v. Lamb, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 6844 (5th Cir. Mar. 9, 2021). “Henriquez-Perez has not … Continue reading
Qualified immunity is denied officers for excessive force in a violent take down on a passively resisting plaintiff in a traffic stop without there being any exigency justifying it. “Viewing the facts, as we must, in the light most favorable … Continue reading
The officers do not get qualified immunity in this 1983 case. “Certainly, this was not an ‘obvious case’ where the officers so blatantly violated the Fourth Amendment that recourse to factually analogous case law is unnecessary. Wesby, 138 S. Ct. … Continue reading
HomeAway.com and AirBnb.com were prevailing parties in their Fourth Amendment claims against the City of New York for sweeping data production, and they are awarded $595,000 in attorneys fees. HomeAway.com, Inc. v. City of New York, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading
CA5: Tasering a man threatening suicide who doused himself in gasoline was subject to qualified immunity when the Taser set him on fire
Plaintiff’s decedent doused himself in gasoline and threatened to burn the house down with six people inside. He had a lighter in hand. The officers used their Tasers on him as a last resort, and that caused him to burst … Continue reading
CA3: Failure to factually plead lack of PC or malice for a 4A malicious prosecution claim makes it fail
Karkalas v. Marks, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 3868 (3d Cir. Feb. 11, 2021):
Defendant’s misdemeanor vandalism arrest while officers were inside his house was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. Common law on misdemeanor arrests applies, too. United States v. Barajas, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21651 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 4, 2021). Defendant was convicted … Continue reading
“Under [Ohio statute] an unconscious driver is deemed to have consented to a blood draw,” and that doesn’t violate the Fourth Amendment. State v. Albright, 2021-Ohio-292, 2021 Ohio App. LEXIS 301 (1st Dist. Feb. 3, 2021).* 2255 petitioner’s Fourth Amendment … Continue reading
An actual traffic offense overcomes defense claims the stop was actually a motive for searching for drugs. Defendant didn’t produce current proof of insurance, and that led to extension of the stop. The officer wasn’t just obliged to have noted … Continue reading
“This is one of those cases. A witness told Detective Keith Roberts that her former boyfriend, Eugene Baker, and one of Baker’s friends whom she knew as ‘Desean’ had robbed and murdered a competing drug dealer. After this witness identified … Continue reading
Plaintiff failed to show a Franks violation in the affidavit for warrant. “To be sure, if the affiant for a warrant possesses information that would cast substantial doubt on the existence of probable cause, that information should not be intentionally … Continue reading
“Even if plaintiff had correctly labeled this claim as a Fourth Amendment one, he could not show that he is entitled to a preliminary injunction. ‘Speculative, remote or future injury’ is not enough to show irreparable harm. Phelan v. Sullivan, … Continue reading
Plaintiff’s 1983 unreasonable search claim is untimely. He brought the claim after his state appeal reversed his conviction on a bad search. “Dibrell’s claim is untimely under these rules. His detention ended on February 18, 2014, when he was released … Continue reading