- VA: Search of speeder’s purse violated Gant and denied sovereign immunity
- M.D.Ala.: No constitutional requirement that the SW be served on the target of the search, so the missing attachment didn’t matter
- D.N.J.: What witnesses to call at a suppression hearing is strategic call under Strickland
- CA1: No exigency for warrantless entry on a DV complaint even with a known gun in the house, and unconnected to the complaint
- CA11: Two CoAs denied same day
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: Excessive force
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
CA10: Causing a handcuffed unseatbelted arrestee to be bounced around the back seat while driving fast and recklessly states an excessive force claim; no QI
“McCowan based his excessive-force claim on his assertion that Officer Moralez placed McCowan in the back seat of a patrol car, handcuffed behind his back and unrestrained by a seatbelt, and then drove recklessly to the police station, knowing his … Continue reading
Police shooting at a car that just fired at others was not an unreasonable use of deadly force against the occupants. Ybarra v. City of Chicago, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 62 (7th Cir. Jan. 3, 2020):
WaPo: Police used a stun gun on a grandmother three times after she wouldn’t let them enter her home
WaPo: Police used a stun gun on a grandmother three times after she wouldn’t let them enter her home by Lateshia Beachum (“She is facing two felony charges of resisting arrest and battery on an officer after an interaction with … Continue reading
Plaintiff was restrained in school for behavioral problems. The case law is not clear as to whether this was a Fourth Amendment violation or not because some restraint in school is reasonable. The district court found a Fourth Amendment violation … Continue reading
CA9: Not clearly established that shooting a bloody man waving a sharp stick at adults and children at a soccer field was clearly established
Plaintiff was bloody and wielding a sharp stick at adults and children at a soccer field. He disobeyed police commands. He was finally shot when he was kneeling and far enough away from others that he was a lesser threat. … Continue reading
Clearly exigent circumstances for a warrantless entry into a motel room: “Based on the facts in this case, the court finds that the officers had a reasonable basis to believe that there was an immediate need to protect the safety … Continue reading
“We conclude that Detective Minium is entitled to qualified immunity. It was not clearly established in August 2014 that an officer uses excessive force when he tackles and uses a taser in “drive stun” mode on an individual he is … Continue reading
Philadelphia Inquirer: It should be unconstitutional when police officers kill fleeing felony suspects, Philly DA’s office says
Philadelphia Inquirer: It should be unconstitutional when police officers kill fleeing felony suspects, Philly DA’s office says by Chris Palmer:
E.D.Mich.: Private security guards conducting search for weapon and turning over to police was private search
Two private security guards searched defendant, allegedly without probable cause, and seized a gun off of him which they turned over to the police. This was purely a private search not implicating the Fourth Amendment. The court also declines to … Continue reading
OH5: Officer doesn’t need to be able to quote a statute in court to issue a ticket for violation of it
Even if the officer had an ulterior motive for defendant’s stop, it was based on probable cause of a traffic offense. The fact the officer couldn’t quote the statute in court doesn’t show that the stop was unreasonable or without … Continue reading