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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
“Both parties and the district court failed to address qualified immunity’s second question. The district court did not consider whether Defendants’ conduct—even assuming it violated the Fourth Amendment—violated clearly established law. See Morrow, 917 F.3d at 874. McDonald points to … Continue reading
The defendant officers’ actions were justified and subject to qualified immunity. They were patrolling an area known for daytime burglaries and saw plaintiff lurking along the side of homes and stopped to inquire and found that one house was open. … Continue reading
Plaintiff’s suit against his search and seizure that led to his conviction is barred by Heck v. Humphrey. “The appropriate vehicle for such a challenge is not § 1983 litigation, but direct or collateral appeal.” Gonzalez v. Yepes, 2019 U.S. … Continue reading
The state argued and showed abandonment, but the trial court didn’t decide it. On appeal, the court finds that defendant abandoned his car after a police chase and he bailed out of the car and ran. State v. Guidry, 2019 … Continue reading
CA8: Lack of knock-and-announce for parole search gets QI despite fact no case says it’s lawful; no “robust consensus of cases of persuasive authority”
Plaintiff absconded parolee was subjected to an unannounced entry into his hotel room about 6 am for a parole search. He was in bed with his girlfriend and a gun. The Arkansas Supreme Court held the entry violated the Fourth … Continue reading
FTCA doesn’t provide a damages remedy for how a search warrant is executed. Lopez v. United States, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102516 (D. Ariz. June 19, 2019) The officer’s body camera video showed one of the passengers wasn’t wearing a … Continue reading
The automobile exception is intact as it always was, and Jones didn’t do anything to change the calculus. United States v. Lee, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99900 (E.D. Mich. June 14, 2019). The government proved that it would have otherwise … Continue reading
CA6: No QI immunity in an alleged unreasonable opposite sex strip search at jail with alleged unreasonable touching
Plaintiff overcame qualified immunity in her suit against five male jailers who stripped searched her and allegedly touched her genitalia and breasts when she was nude in wrestling her on the floor at book-in. Because of a spit mask they … Continue reading
CA6: No QI for a baseless stop, strip search, and body cavity search and then tightening handcuffs for ptf’s complaining about his treatment
The officer gets no qualified immunity in his interlocutory appeal. On the complaint, plaintiff stated a claim that his stop was not objectively reasonable in the first place. A police dog was put into plaintiff’s vehicle, then it was searched … Continue reading
The district court erred in finding for officers who conducted a warrantless search of plaintiff’s house. It was not her burden to plead around qualified immunity—it was the defendant’s burden to show qualified immunity. “It was clearly established in October … Continue reading
Cert. granted: Hernández v. Mesa: Whether the cross-border murder of a Mexican citizen states a Bivens claim
Cert. granted: Hernández v. Mesa, No. 17-1678 (ScotusBlog) Issue: Whether, when the plaintiffs plausibly allege that a rogue federal law-enforcement officer violated clearly established Fourth and Fifth amendment rights for which there is no alternative legal remedy, the federal courts … Continue reading