- Lawfare: Implementing Carpenter by Orin Kerr
- FL5: Apparent ongoing animal abuse is an exigency permitting entry onto curtilage
- CA7: State law right of privacy as to another prison inmate isn’t within the 4A
- OH2: CSLI raised first in appeal reply brief isn’t timely; harmless on this record anyway
- W.D.Pa.: Court doesn’t find running away from a wrecked car was unequivocally an abandonment
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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
CA7: Searching wrong apt on ambiguous SW (apt 1 where there were 1A & 1B) gets qualified immunity here
When the officer arrived at plaintiff’s address with a search warrant for apartment 1, he instead found apartments 1A and 1B. The officers attempted to clear up the ambiguity before the search, and they searched 1A finding nothing, and the … Continue reading
CA9: Excessive search of car 20 years ago was relevant to show officer “would have taken any means necessary to secure” plaintiff’s wrongful conviction
Plaintiffs were actually innocent of murder and served 20 years in prison before securing habeas relief for knowing Brady violations. They sued the police officer responsible for their conviction for clear Brady violations in withholding exculpatory information. As a part … Continue reading
Plaintiff’s claim that he was the subject of unlawful surveillance with a Stingray survives a Heck challenge and can proceed. Marcantoni v. Bealefeld, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22798 (4th Cir. Aug. 16, 2018):
After the first round of discovery, officers who seized children from a home on a bizarre and unsubstantiated allegation from a sibling don’t yet get qualified immunity. “Thus, although the investigators went to the home with the intent to remove … Continue reading
CA9: Bivens permits cause of action against Border Patrol agent for shooting a Mexican citizen across the border who posed no threat
In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit held Bivens permitted an action against a US Border Patrol agent who shot from the U.S. into Mexico and killed a Mexican teenager. In addition, there was no qualified immunity. Rodriguez v. Swartz, … Continue reading
D.S.C.: Delegating to Drug Enforcement Unit how it executes no-knocks was municipal policy, MSJ denied
The Drug Enforcement Unit’s de facto policy not to properly knock-and-announce as a municipal policy survive defendants’ motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff was rendered a paraplegic during the no-knock entry. Plaintiff alleged that the DEU essentially failed to knock-and-announce at … Continue reading
W.D.Mich.: In a prison male group strip search, def female guard doesn’t show QI from how it was done
In a prison group strip search, “Defendant has failed to properly support her motion for summary judgment with relevant evidence showing the existence of a legitimate penological need for the group strip search and why her presence inside the Chapel … Continue reading
In this § 1983 case, the officer provided false information in the affidavit for the search warrant that was critical to the finding of probable cause. Without that information, there was no probable cause. The district court’s finding that qualified … Continue reading
“A jury could reasonably find that the Kovacics suffered no actual damages from an unreasonable search of the home. See George v. City of Long Beach, 973 F.2d 706, 708-09 (9th Cir. 1992). Although Jared Kovacic was detained for 20 … Continue reading
D.Md.: Officer gets QI for arresting person with same name but it turned out warrant was for far younger woman of different race
Plaintiff was legally blind but owned her car. She was a passenger in the back seat. After the vehicle was stopped, the officer found a warrant for a person with the same name as her. She protested she wasn’t the … Continue reading
TSA screeners are not “investigative or law enforcement officers” for purposes of the Federal Tort Claims Act. Therefore, they are covered by the discretionary function exemption. Pellegrino v. United States Transp. Sec. Admin., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 18821 (3d Cir. … Continue reading
D.Ore.: Even if ptf’s 4A violated in stop at Portland airport, exclusionary rule doesn’t apply in § 1983 case
“First, even assuming that Flinn had no lawful basis to stop and talk to Plaintiff in the first place, Plaintiff’s argument is not viable in a § 1983 claim. In a 2016 Ninth Circuit case, the court noted that the … Continue reading