- CA8: RS on totality to frisk a gang member in the middle of a rival gang’s territory
- CA7: Plainclothes officers have to ID themselves when making a stop
- CA6: Def consented to search of person when he came out of bathroom and was accosted by two officers
- CA6: Jail group strip searches invasive, but penologically justified; ptf must answer defs’ proffered justification
- W.D.Mo.: Parked RV hooked up to water and electricity with satellite dish on roof with grill and trashcan outside wasn’t subject to automobile exception
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"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)
Category Archives: § 1983 / Bivens
CA5: Ptf doesn’t show that city’s alleged failure to use SWAT teams “threat matrix” properly led to any constitutional violation
Plaintiff failed to show a pattern of unconstitutional actions or that the SWAT teams’ use of a “threat matrix” to determine when they would be called out was unconstitutional. Plaintiff doesn’t show that the failure to implement that matrix properly … Continue reading
Punching plaintiff in the face was objectively reasonable on these facts, and the officer is entitled to qualified immunity. “Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Avery, Davis saw a brawl break out between two groups of young … Continue reading
Plaintiffs’ neighbor made a 911 call about a possible altercation with a gun. The Pima County AZ Sheriff’ Office arrived, beat on the door and ordered the plaintiffs out, handcuffed them and placed them in police cars, and then searched … Continue reading
CA3: Ptfs dismissed their 4A claims to appeal 1A claim of right to video police in action, and they prevailed
There is a First Amendment right to video or photograph the police doing their jobs. Plaintiffs were arrested for doing that, despite a city policy saying it was legal, and the district court ruled against them on the First Amendment … Continue reading
The El Paso-Ciudad Juarez cross border shooting case remanded by SCOTUS to the Fifth Circuit for reconsideration in light of a decision from the Court on June 19th on whether Bivens applies. Hernández v. Mesa, 2017 U.S. LEXIS 4059 (June … Continue reading
Parents alleged Fourth Amendment violations under § 1983 in the fatal shooting of their son by a police officer. Based upon a bystander’s video of the incident, a reasonable officer in defendant’s position could have concluded that the son posed … Continue reading
Bivens actions beyond what the Supreme Court has already found must be found by Congress and not the courts. Qualified immunity applies as in 1983 actions: “The qualified-immunity inquiry turns on the ‘objective legal reasonableness’ of the official’s acts, Harlow … Continue reading
Bexar County jail’s acceptance of ICE detainers without a showing probable cause for the detention violates the Fourth Amendment. The collective knowledge doctrine doesn’t apply where there isn’t any communication between ICE and the jail other than the jail taking … Continue reading
“In their second amended complaint, the Garwoods did assert a Fourth Amendment claim. … It is unclear what became of it, as it was still live when the State moved for summary judgment and survived that motion. In any event, … Continue reading
M.D.Fla.: Unauthorized driver of rented car with suspended DL had no REP in car even if driving with permission of renter
Defendant had a subjective reasonable expectation of privacy in a rental vehicle he was driving with permission of the renter and potentially the implicit permission of the rental company because he was seen in it by them. [Whether they knew … Continue reading