- W.D.N.C.: Traffic stop for expired tags went right to criminal history and was overlong
- ID rejects “reasonable mistake of law” and Heien under state constitution; state’s exclusionary rule is broader
- CA6: Even if harassment was a basis to exclude a parole search, it wasn’t shown here
- ID: Drug dog putting feet on car door and window during stiff was a trespass on the chattel and the search should have been suppressed
- OH5: Drone flyover found car hidden in def’s open fields
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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
online since Feb. 24, 2003 Approx. 350,000 visits (non-robot) since 2012 Approx. 45,000 posts since 2003 (25,700+ on WordPress as of 12/31/22)
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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: Scope of search
W.D.N.C.: Def must state phone is his to have standing to contest SW
Without acknowledging the cell phone police searched was his, defendant did not show standing to contest the search. Even so, the use of forensic software to bypass the password protection on the phone didn’t make the search unreasonable. United States … Continue reading
TN: SW for cell phone images of drugs supported accidental finding of CP
Officers had a search warrant for defendant’s phone to look for images and messages about drug transactions. That led them to stumble upon child pornography as well. The warrant and search were valid. State v. Greenman, 2022 Tenn. Crim. App. … Continue reading
N.D.Cal.: Attic apt and treehouse not specified in SW, but searches there still reasonable
An attic apartment and a treehouse were not specifically within the terms of the warrant, but the search was still reasonable. United States v. Ayala, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 227976 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 19, 2022). Defendant didn’t timely challenge his … Continue reading
CA8: SW in CP case can include whole house, not just def’s room
In a child pornography case, the search warrant need not be limited to only defendant’s room. It can be the whole house. United States v. Schave, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 34757 (8th Cir. Dec. 16, 2022). Officers got a warrant … Continue reading
D.S.C.: Court is “troubled” by methods of search, but exclusion isn’t remedy
Defendant’s claim there wasn’t any search warrant and that he wasn’t shown one is rejected. He came out of the house with his hands up and empty, and an officer is shown on bodycam handing him a paper and him … Continue reading
D.R.I.: Church rectory was subject to a SW and it was treated as a single-family dwelling with separate bedrooms
A church rectory was the subject of a child pornography search warrant. Multiple people lived there, but there was no sign that it was a multi-family type dwelling: “A more detailed description of the building, however, is not provided. From … Continue reading
WV: Juvenile “pick-up” order issued on PC was equivalent of warrant for Payton purposes for entry into mom’s home
Entry on a juvenile “pick-up” order here “was founded upon probable cause to believe that her ‘health, safety and welfare’ demanded it …. was the functional equivalent of an arrest warrant and was lawfully issued.” Therefore, the entry was valid … Continue reading
M.D.Fla.: Cross-examining officer about mistakes in SW affidavit was mentioned in not finding IAC
All defense lawyers have likely done this: Cross-examining an officer over factual mistakes in the search warrant affidavit. This was mentioned in rejecting other parts of defense counsel’s representation at trial as not deficient under Strickland. Neiheisel v. United States, … Continue reading
E.D.Ky.: Guns found during drug seizable as instrumentality of crime
In a drug search warrant, firearms found during the search are seizable as an instrumentality of a drug crime. United States v. Wilkins, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200342 (E.D. Ky. Oct. 19, 2022). Defendant’s running from his car during a … Continue reading
CA6: Search of building next door to def’s building wasn’t reason to suppress def’s search
Officers with a search warrant for 8537 Old Rutledge Pike, Knox County, Tennessee also searched what they believed was an outbuilding at 8533 with a power cord running between them with no indication it was different property. At worst, this … Continue reading
CO: Basement apt could be searched on SW for premises based on CP coming from IP address of premises
“When Dhyne encountered police outside the house, he told them that he (1) rented a separate unit in the basement and (2) used the same IP address as the subscriber. In our view, this second piece of information is critical. … Continue reading
D.D.C.: DC USMJ can issue SW for iPhone in Texas in domestic terrorism investigation
A USMJ in the District of Columbia has authority to issue a search warrant for an iPhone in Texas in a domestic terrorism investigation tied to the January 6th attack on the Capitol. In the Matter of the Search of … Continue reading
D.D.C.: SW for documents permitted search of any place they could be, not just where def said they were
Officers executing a search warrant for evidence of animal abuse in Washington D.C. used a battering ram on the door without waiting for defendant to come to the door. They had a warrant for veterinary documents on the animals and … Continue reading
M.D.La.: Car could be searched when it was stopped near home being searched with SW
“[O]fficers were entitled to search the car pursuant to the warrant because Defendant was stopped within the immediate vicinity of his residence.” United States v. Clayton, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116345 (M.D. La. June 30, 2022).* During a traffic stop, … Continue reading
CA11: Anonymous tip of bad driving corroborated by seeing it themselves
Anonymous report of bad driving led officers to observe defendant who saw it themselves. The stop was justified. United States v. Menendez, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 18232 (11th Cir. July 1, 2022). Defendant was suspected of building, buying, and selling … Continue reading
MD: Smell of marijuana from a group of juveniles was RS for patdown but not PC
Even with marijuana being partly legal, possession of more than 10 grams was a crime. The smell of marijuana from a group permitted a frisk, and a gun was found on one. “Although that odor, without more, does not provide … Continue reading
TN follows Kimmelman for 4A IAC claims
Tennessee follows Kimmelman: “Upon our review of the record and applicable law, we conclude that to establish prejudice with this type of claim, the petitioner must prove that ‘his Fourth Amendment claim is meritorious and that there is a reasonable … Continue reading
OH2: Def had no standing to challenge pings of another’s phone
Defendant had no standing to challenge pings of another’s phone. State v. Farra, 2022-Ohio-1421, 2022 Ohio App. LEXIS 1321 (2d Dist. Apr. 29, 2022). Even a locked safe in a car is subject to the automobile exception. State v. Malone, … Continue reading