Category Archives: Reasonableness

Quarantines and the Fourth Amendment

Is a government quarantine order for a person or group of people a violation of the Fourth Amendment as a reasonable seizure? Despite being an ardent civil libertarian, I must conclude the Constitution means: No.   Protection from infectious diseases … Continue reading

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M.D.Fla.: “The Court should stop imbuing the ‘objectively reasonable’ officer with a cloak of constitutional comfort for justifications …”

The court finds the stop was unjustified and any mistake on the officer’s part was not objectively reasonable. “The Court should stop imbuing the ‘objectively reasonable’ officer with a cloak of constitutional comfort for justifications that strain credulity and discount … Continue reading

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CA6: The fact the officer was investigating a misdemeanor that didn’t happen in his presence doesn’t confine the 4A inquiry despite the common law

The Fourth Amendment does not prohibit officers from investigating misdemeanors and making stops based on that, even if the common law prohibits arrests for misdemeanors not committed in the officer’s presence. United States v. Jones, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 9038 … Continue reading

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CA7: Running warrants on stopped panhandlers was reasonable

Chicago PD officers stopped panhandlers and ran warrants once they had their IDs. “We conclude that officers may execute a name check on an individual incidental to a proper stop under Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 16, 88 S. … Continue reading

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MA: GPS monitoring as a condition of pretrial release unreasonable under state constitution; doesn’t serve proper state interests

GPS monitoring as a condition of pretrial release violated the state constitution’s search and seizure provision. It was a great intrusion on privacy, and it did not serve the purposes of pretrial release: the return of the accused to court. … Continue reading

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CO: Opening door to confirm VIN of possible stolen car was reasonable when the dashboard VIN was covered

The officers had reasonable suspicion that the car was stolen. They exhausted all the possibilities without confirming one way or the other, and the VIN on the dashboard wasn’t visible. Opening the door to see the VIN on the door … Continue reading

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W.D.Mo.: Govt couldn’t rely on Strieff where there was no RS to begin with

The government’s motion to reconsider is denied. It can’t justify the stop under Strieff because “[a]t the time the officer activated his lights and ordered Mullins to approach, he not only lacked reasonable suspicion to conduct a Terry stop, he … Continue reading

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E.D.Ky.: Def’s jacket was subject to search incident even though he was handcuffed and couldn’t reach it

Defendant’s jacket was subject to search incident, and his handcuffing didn’t eliminate the officer’s ability to do so. United States v. Certain, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42273 (E.D. Ky. Mar. 11, 2020), adopting, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44077 (E.D. Ky. … Continue reading

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W.D.Ky.: Even if putting key in lock violated Jardines, its use in SW application was in good faith

Pre-Jardines case law held that putting a key in a lock wasn’t a search. Here, the police did that to help establish probable cause. Whether Jardines changed that rule or not, it’s not decided here because the good faith exception … Continue reading

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NC: Ordering traffic detainee to get in police car and shut door after stop should have been over unreasonably extended it

The officer unreasonably extended the stop past the time for resolving the alleged traffic violations. He told defendant to get into the police car, and defendant did, but left the passenger door open with his right leg out. The officer … Continue reading

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D.Mont.: Tracking warrant issue date was a typo; whether state law was complied with doesn’t matter in federal court

The tracking warrant issue date was mistaken. The court finds it was the latter of two dates, and the tracking occurred for only five days, within the requirements of Rule 41(e)(2)(C). Whether the tracking warrant complied with state law is … Continue reading

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SC: Search of cell phone abandoned at crime scene was reasonable since just to determine ownership

A shooting occurred in a Taco Bell parking lot, apparently a drug deal gone bad. Three cell phones were found in the car. The police searched them without a warrant and one was defendants. The state argued abandonment (which it … Continue reading

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