- S.D.N.Y.: Def in MCC now prosecuted for leaking classified SW information via contraband cell phone
- CA8: Officer’s training and experience not needed in SW affidavit if it shows PC
- CA10: Walking up to def sitting on parked car to talk to him wasn’t a stop
- VA: Running the serial number of a seized firearm isn’t a “search”
- NY Times: The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It
online since Feb. 24, 2003
WebPage Visits: real non-robot hits since 2010; approx. 25k posts since 2003
Fourth Amendment cases,
citations, and links
Latest Slip Opinions:
U.S. Supreme Court (Home)
Federal Appellate Courts Opinions
FDsys, many district courts, other federal courts
Military Courts: C.A.A.F., Army, AF, N-M, CG, SF
State courts (and some USDC opinions)
Advanced Google Scholar
Google search tips
LII State Appellate Courts
LexisONE free caselaw
Findlaw Free Opinions
To search Search and Seizure on Lexis.com $
S. Ct. Docket
Solicitor General's site
Briefs online (but no amicus briefs)
Oyez Project (NWU)
"On the Docket"–Medill
S.Ct. Monitor: Law.com
S.Ct. Com't'ry: Law.com
General (many free):
Google Scholar | Google
LexisOne Legal Website Directory
Lexis.com (criminal law/ 4th Amd) $
Findlaw.com (4th Amd)
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Resources
FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (2008) (pdf)
DEA Agents Manual (2002) (download)
DOJ Computer Search Manual (2009) (pdf)
Stringrays (ACLU No. Cal.) (pdf)
Congressional Research Service:
--Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012)
--Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012)
--Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012)
--Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012)
--Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions (2012)
ACLU on privacy
Electronic Frontier Foundation
NACDL’s Domestic Drone Information Center
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Criminal Appeal (post-conviction) (9th Cir.)
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)
Website design by Wally Waller, Little Rock
Category Archives: Plain view, feel, smell
When defendant got out of the car, the officer could see the butt of a gun sticking from his coat pocket, so a frisk was reasonable for officer safety. Looking at the serial number and then running it to see … Continue reading
injusticewatch.org: Illinois Supreme Court to decide whether smell of pot is grounds to search a car
injusticewatch.org: Illinois Supreme Court to decide whether smell of pot is grounds to search a car by John Seasly (“With marijuana now legal in Illinois, the state high court heard arguments Tuesday on whether the smell of marijuana grants police … Continue reading
Defendant consented to a protective sweep, and, looking under a bed, the officer saw a duffle bag with money showing. That was a reasonable search. United States v. Stanton, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 778 (E.D. Tenn. Jan. 3, 2020).* “To … Continue reading
The exclusionary rule does not apply to revocation of supervised release conditions. While SCOTUS hasn’t ruled on that precise question, its parole and probation search cases are a clear sign it will follow them there. United States v. Hill, 2020 … Continue reading
BIA petitioner’s rights were not violated because she can’t show her arrest was an egregious violation of the Fourth Amendment. “The fact that agents detained and arrested Echeverria without first establishing her identity and alienage is of no moment. All … Continue reading
Birchfield came down day before defendant’s arrest, and good faith exception isn’t applied. “Although it is understandable that a police officer might be unaware of the holding of a controlling court opinion within a day or two of its issuance, … Continue reading
The officer was observing defendant and suspected he’d be engaged in a drug transaction. Finally there was a patdown, and in defendant’s pocket was a small ball of something, which the officer reached for. It was obvious it was not … Continue reading
Defendant made a Fourth Amendment challenge then pled to the indictment without a plea agreement. He still waives his Fourth Amendment claim because he could have appealed. Dunbar v. United States, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 217464 (N.D. Tex. Nov. 14, … Continue reading
E.D.Tenn.: Knock-and-talk wasn’t drawn out to become a seizure at def’s own door; good Franks example
That the knock-and-talk was too long drawn out to turn into a seizure is rejected. The officers testified they smelled marijuana at the door. “The Court finds Defendants’ next two contentions, that the officers’ ability to smell marijuana at the … Continue reading
The officer approached a parked car that a known felon was in, and he saw a gun. “Once Buchanan saw the firearm located on the floor in the rear passenger area where a known felon had just been sitting, he … Continue reading
D.Kan.: Consent search of truck led to PC it was hauling a lot of cash; use of a drill then to try to find it was reasonable
Defendant was stopped and consented to a search of his truck. The consent search led to probable cause to believe the truck was transporting a lot of cash. Using a drill to find the cash was reasonable once there was … Continue reading
Defendant claimed a Franks violation from the officer’s failure to include things that were true about defendant before things went south that night. It wasn’t material to defendant’s state of mind at the time of the occurrence. United States v. … Continue reading