- D.Nev.: Affidavits for SWs don’t have to prove the underlying crimes
- D.V.I.: Flyover of curtilage from navigable airspace was reasonable
- NJ: Disputes in the facts on appeal show trial court should have held a hearing
- NY: Second SW for phone a year later after first SW failed to show PC wasn’t timely
- GA: Not objecting to mention of “probation” search at trial was not IAC
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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
Search and seizure law consultant
Little Rock, Arkansas
Contact: forhall @ aol.com / The Book
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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
"It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."
—Charles Dickens, “The Old Curiosity Shop ... With a Frontispiece. From a Painting by Geo. Cattermole, Etc.” 255 (1848)
"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: Knock and announce
CA11: Mental health seizures require objective reasonableness of danger
Mental health seizures under Florida’s Baker Act comply with the Fourth Amendment when it’s objectively reasonable to believe that the person is a danger to himself or others. Here the officers had that from defendant’s threats to shoot people. United … Continue reading
IA: Violation of knock-and-announce statute requires suppression
When the target of an arrest warrant opens the door, state statute requires announcement and not just barging in. Here, defendant was compliant and opened the door. The officers needed to announce their purpose. The alleged plain view inside is … Continue reading
NY3: No-knock permitted by circumstances at scene
The warrant application and warrant did not mention no-knock, but the facts and circumstances at the scene justified it. People v. Hayward, 2023 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 464, 2023 NY Slip Op 00461 (3d Dept. Feb. 2, 2023). Exigency justified … Continue reading
GA: Sound of shuffling of feet after announcement of raid justified entry in 3 seconds; no weapons found
Officers entered within about three seconds after announcing and hearing shuffling of feet. Defendant was sitting on the couch, and there were no firearms. The test is whether there is a reasonable possible fear of firearms in the house that … Continue reading
UNC: The Law and Practice of No-Knock Search Warrants in North Carolina
UNC School of Government: The Law and Practice of No-Knock Search Warrants in North Carolina by Jeffrey B. Welty:
CA5: No suppression for no-knock violation
There is no suppression remedy for an unjustified no-knock warrant. United States v. Bryant, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 355 (5th Cir. Jan. 6, 2023). Defendant didn’t enter a conditional plea, so his guilty plea waived his Fourth Amendment claim. United … Continue reading
techdirt: Mississippi Courts Are Helping Cops Keep Search Warrants Out Of The Public’s Hands
techdirt: Mississippi Courts Are Helping Cops Keep Search Warrants Out Of The Public’s Hands by Tim Cushing (“No-knock warrants remain under fire as they continue to needlessly increase the death toll of residents who often have no idea who’s violently … Continue reading
ProPublica: Mississippi’s Missing Search Warrants Prevent Scrutiny of No-Knock Raids
ProPublica: Mississippi’s Missing Search Warrants Prevent Scrutiny of No-Knock Raids (“No-knock warrants authorize police to burst into someone’s home unannounced. Search warrants are supposed to be filed at the courthouse, but they’re missing from many of Mississippi’s justice courts.”)
NJ: Arrest warrant executed at home of third-party requires SW
Police entering defendant’s neighbor’s house to arrest him when he was visiting violated the Fourth Amendment. There was no exigency justifying it. State v. Bookman, 2022 N.J. LEXIS 678 (Aug. 24, 2022). Even if the knock-and-announce rule applies to entries … Continue reading
M.D.Pa.: No QI for violation of knock-and-announce; fact question for trial
Defendant officers’ motion for summary judgment on qualified immunity for violating the knock-and-announce rule is denied. The law is well settled for 25 years and there are no blanket exceptions. The rest is fact bound. Murphy v. Grochowski, 2022 U.S. … Continue reading
WaPo: When the sheriff waged a war on drugs in a Mississippi county
WaPo: When the sheriff waged a war on drugs in a Mississippi county by Jenn Abelson and Reena Flores (“No-knock raids were the rule rather than the exception, and they led to serious allegations against the department. The sheriff defended … Continue reading
WaPo: 5 takeaways from The Post’s investigation into no-knock warrants
WaPo: 5 takeaways from The Post’s investigation into no-knock warrants by Courtney Kan, Jenn Abelson, and Nicole Dungca (“After police killed Breonna Taylor in her home in 2020 during a botched raid, The Washington Post spent more than a year … Continue reading
WaPo: No-knock raids have led to fatal encounters and small drug seizures
WaPo: No-knock raids have led to fatal encounters and small drug seizures by Nicole Dungca and Jenn Abelson WaPo: What to know about no-knock warrants by Courtney Kan (“Amir Locke and Breonna Taylor were killed while police executed no-knock warrants. … Continue reading
Rawstory: ‘Outrageous’: Judges slam FBI for not breaking down rich suspect’s front door to preserve ‘aesthetics’
Rawstory: ‘Outrageous’: Judges slam FBI for not breaking down rich suspect’s front door to preserve ‘aesthetics’ by Matthew Chapman (argument video, too):
WaPo: What to know about no-knock warrants
WaPo: What to know about no-knock warrants by Courtney Kan, Nicole Dungca, and Jenn Abelson (“No-knock raids, considered one of the most dangerous and intrusive policing tactics, have been at the center of a debate in recent years over police … Continue reading
W.D.Tex.: A dog sniff on federal property was reasonable; MMJ not an issue
“Defendant argues that given the evolving laws regarding marijuana (and other cannabinoid products or derivatives), dog sniffs are increasingly becoming unreliable and therefore violative of the Fourth Amendment because dog sniffs cannot discriminate between contraband and marijuana that is legally … Continue reading
NY: No-knock warrant execution creates “special duty” for NY negligence law
For purposes of NY negligence law, execution of a no-knock warrant creates a “special duty” between the police and the public. Ferreira v. City of Binghamton, 2022 NY Slip Op 01953, 2022 N.Y. LEXIS 392 (Mar. 22, 2022):
N.D.Okla.: Misdemeanor arrest warrant permits forcible entry in this circuit
Plaintiff’s claim that a forcible entry for a misdemeanor warrant fails because this circuit has held for 25 years that Payton applies to misdemeanor warrants. Plaintiff does state a claim, however, for failure to knock-and-announce before entry. First v. Hokett, … Continue reading