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Fourth Amendment cases,
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.”
–Josh Billings (pseudonym of Henry Wheeler Shaw), Josh Billings on Ice, and Other Things (1868) (erroneously attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson, among others)
“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
"It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."
—Charles Dickens, “The Old Curiosity Shop ... With a Frontispiece. From a Painting by Geo. Cattermole, Etc.” 255 (1848)
"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
A person acquitted at trial but arrested with probable cause has no claim. Probable cause for arrest survives an acquittal. Davis v. City of Apopka, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 22680 (11th Cir. Aug. 28, 2023):
“But this court concluded that ‘Plaintiff-Appellees’ claims against Officer Currie … fall under the Fourth Amendment.’ [Mayfield, 976 F.3d at 486 n.1.] As that opinion explained, ‘in order to bring a First Amendment claim for retaliatory arrest, a plaintiff generally … Continue reading
Plaintiff didn’t have standing to raise someone else’s rights in a § 1983 case. Appeal dismissed. Jordan v. City of Toledo, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 22063 (6th Cir. Aug. 21, 2023). Drug officers’ executing search warrants and stealing property was … Continue reading
Plaintiff raised questions of fact and law as to the officer’s authority to arrest him in his front yard on the curtilage. Summary judgment denied on the merits, but remanded for further qualified immunity analysis. Sauceda v. City of San … Continue reading
In executing a search warrant unreasonably causing excessive and unnecessary property damage, the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment almost never applies, but the Fourth Amendment’s unreasonable search clause may. Slaybaugh v. Rutherford Cty., 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149105 (M.D. … Continue reading
Exceptions to the warrant requirement do not appear to be affirmative defenses required to be pled in a § 1983 case under F.R.C.P. 8(c) waived by not pleading in first response. Szappan v. Meder, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 19485 (6th … Continue reading
The plaintiff is confined in the Texas Civil Commitment Center. He has no privacy interest in the files he’s saved on TCCC common computers for his cases. Rogers v. McLane, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125554 n. 11 (N.D. Tex. June … Continue reading
A police ride-along with a student led to a sexual assault § 1983 suit. “It is well established that sexual assault by a government official acting under color of law violates the Constitution. Cases from different circuits have relied on … Continue reading
Defendant’s stop was unreasonably extended without reasonable suspicion. A DL and EPIC check on both driver and passenger came up clean, and the stop should have ended then. Nervousness alone wasn’t enough. United States v. Funk, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading
N.D.Ind.: “If six law enforcement officers testify credibly to a story that doesn’t make sense, is the Court bound to accept that testimony?” Yes.
“If six law enforcement officers testify credibly to a story that doesn’t make sense, is the Court bound to accept that testimony? That’s the question facing the Court on Defendant’s motion to suppress. Because the Court has no basis to … Continue reading
There is no reasonable expectation of privacy against video recording by an informant when the informant was invited into the home. United States v. May, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 14734 (8th Cir. June 14, 2023). “Upon review, the Court finds … Continue reading
“Although Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment claims survive initial review, the Amended Complaint indicates that Plaintiff is currently involved in state criminal proceedings related to the arrest and seizure that form the basis of those claims. In these circumstances, the Court finds … Continue reading
Defendant’s vehicle was not parked within the curtilage of his home. The officer’s observations of the vehicle did not constitute a search under the Fourth Amendment or the Mass. Const. Decl. Rights art. 14. Defendant’s house was set back from … Continue reading
Three informants’ overlapping information corroborated one another such that establishing their veracity was unnecessary. The affidavit in support of the warrant contained enough indicia of probable cause that an officer’s reliance was not unreasonable as it sufficiently linked the residence … Continue reading
OH7: Officer taking the Fifth at suppression hearing because of other matters doesn’t prove Franks violation
At defendant’s suppression hearing, one of the officers was relieved of duty due to other misconduct, and he took the Fifth. On what remains in the affidavit and on the totality doesn’t otherwise show a Franks violation. State v. Hartung, … Continue reading
The district court improperly dismissed plaintiff’s case under Younger because of ongoing state proceedings it implicated. It should have stayed it instead. Neal El v. Showman, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 12604 (6th Cir. May 22, 2023). The Fourth Amendment does … Continue reading
Case over search dismissed on SOL grounds. Plaintiff on notice from the time of the search. Reyes v. Cty. of Wash., 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 9353 (9th Cir. Apr. 19, 2023). The officers obtaining and executing the warrant for defendant’s … Continue reading