- E.D.Tenn.: Collective knowledge doesn’t require the stopping officer even know about it
- D.Kan.: Police responding to a shooting call did a protective sweep for other victims and saw a mushroom grow; it was a reasonable look in the room
- CA2: SI of backpack for a subway fare violation was unreasonable, but a search was inevitable as inventory
- S.D.Fla.: Tip of man brandishing a gun was more like Navarette than J.L.
- MI: Def’s lying about smell of MJ was PC despite state’s medical MJ law
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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 Heck bar is to the cause of action; it isn’t jurisdictional. Teagan v. City of McDonough, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 4055 (11th Cir. Feb. 11, 2020):
Shooting at plaintiff’s car was reasonable when he refused to respond to officers who showed up for a shots fired call and then plaintiff fled squealing his tires. Smith v. Adams, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 4066 (7th Cir. Feb. 11, … Continue reading
CA9: Juvenile detainee’s sexual harassment by guard stated a 14A claim; 4A not raised, and it likely could have been
Sexual harassment of a juvenile detainee stated a violation of the inmate’s right to privacy and bodily integrity under the Fourteenth Amendment. (A Fourth Amendment claim was not raised which the court notes could have been. n.6, below.) Vazquez v. … Continue reading
Defendant claims his stop for boating under the influence wasn’t valid under the Fourth Amendment and Iowa Constitution because the body of water sat over private lands. Navigable waters belong to the state, and the officer had reasonable suspicion to … Continue reading
CA11: 49 days for presentment to a USMJ after arrest on the high seas of a foreign national wasn’t unreasonable
“In this drug trafficking case under the MDLEA, we too must follow Verdugo-Urquidez and conclude that defendant Guagua-Alarcon, who is a non U.S. citizen and non-U.S. resident, and who has no significant connection to the United States, cannot challenge under … Continue reading
Plaintiff was arrested for possession of cocaine and obstructing justice when he allegedly swallowed the baggie of drugs. He was taken to a hospital and drank charcoal and other liquids to pass it and he was x-rayed. Nothing was recovered. … Continue reading
Three men convicted in Alaska state court got their convictions vacated and dismissed when someone else confessed to the crime. The lack of a criminal judgment rendered the Heck bar inapplicable. Roberts v. City of Fairbanks, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS … Continue reading
A Franks violation can support a § 1983 claim. Manuel v. City of Joliet, Ill., 137 S. Ct. 911, 919 (2017). Carter v. Bryant, 2020 S.C. App. LEXIS 6 (Jan. 15, 2020). The arresting officers were entitled to qualified immunity … Continue reading
D.Utah: Defendant in prior dismissed federal action by state consumer protection agency refiled in state court won’t prevent state from using evidence obtained for that action
The state sued in federal court for relief, and it got a TRO, but the claim was later dismissed. Copies of records were made and originals returned. After the state sued in state court, the defendants sought application of the … Continue reading
CA7: Handcuffing winded obese man behind his back led to death because of unknown heart condition; not excessive force
Plaintiff’s decedent was in a foot chase with officers after a shoplifting incident. He was winded, obese, and, unknown to officers, had a heart condition. He was handcuffed behind his back and died from lack of oxygen in his blood. … Continue reading
D.Utah: Unlatching but not opening car door to look inside then shutting it was attenuated from dog sniff that gave PC
Officers unlatched the door of a suspicious car parked on an cul-de-sac away from houses, and the car was suspected of a theft from a Sam’s store. The door was shut without looking inside and then a drug dog was … Continue reading
Three officers were involved in defendant’s stop. Two were involved in the decision to stop, but, based on the factual dispute in the record, they do not get qualified immunity on the decision to make the stop. The third officer, … Continue reading