- IL: Circumstances made SW affidavit admissible at trial
- Professional Responsibility in Criminal Defense Practice (4th ed. 2023) now on Westlaw
- IN: Fundamental (plain) error of S&S claims requires the evidence be fabricated, not just unconstitutionally obtained
- USA Today: A camera mounted on a light pole took video of police beating Tyre Nichols. What to know about ‘SkyCop.’
- Galveston Co. Daily News: Galveston SWAT team wrecks wrong house in search for wrong suspect
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)
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
"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)
Website design by Wally Waller, Little Rock
Category Archives: Particularity
In a RICO prosecution of MS-13, the search warrant included “MS-13 paraphernalia, photographs, and/or graffiti” and this satisfied particularity. United States v. Saenz, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 231895 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 27, 2022):
The attachment to a warrant can provide particularity. While one ground to suppress was mostly litigated, it was apparent the other ground wasn’t waived or abandoned. Commonwealth v. Young, 2022 PA Super 220 (Dec. 23, 2022).* “Here, the record demonstrates … Continue reading
“In this case, by contrast, there is no indication that law enforcement had a wealth of detailed information that was not reflected in the search warrant. The Premises Warrant was not required to provide more details regarding the specific electronic … Continue reading
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
OR: SW omitted apt. no. but affidavit had it; they both were present at the search and that was sufficient
The affidavit for this warrant mentioned only defendant’s apartment building. The affidavit mentioned the apartment number. “The warrant did not incorporate or otherwise reference the affidavit and did not identify defendant by name. Green testified that the omission was an … Continue reading
Defendant’s bedroom and bathroom were separate in the dwelling, walled off, but there was no outward appearance that it was an independent living unit: One address, one mailbox, one kitchen, a single-family dwelling on the tax rolls. He went out … 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
The officers didn’t say they had probable cause at the beginning of the search of the vehicle, but on the totality they did. United States v. Wesley, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200320 (N.D. Tex. Nov. 3, 2022).* The Fourth Amendment … Continue reading
D.Minn.: “‘The Fourth Amendment’s particularity requirement is a standard of practical accuracy rather than a hypertechnical one.'”
“’The Fourth Amendment’s particularity requirement is a standard of practical accuracy rather than a hypertechnical one.’” Defendant’s particularity argument fails. It was particular enough, and good faith exception applies. United States v. Jones, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185980 (D. Minn. … Continue reading
The information in a drug search warrant was six months old. No reasonable officer would believe it showed probable cause, despite a magistrate signing off on it. It is “so lacking” in its showing that the good faith exception does … Continue reading
The search warrant here was for three separate locations which is not per se unreasonable. However, the probable cause showing was lacking because it was based on mere suspicion that a firearm was in one of three possible places. The … Continue reading
“We hold that the smell of the burnt cannabis, without any corroborating factors, is not enough to establish probable cause to search the vehicle, and the court did not err in granting the motion to suppress. This finding comports with … Continue reading
CA9: Oral amendment to SW to add a place to be searched never incorporated violates 4A, but GFE here because no controlling authority
Officers had a search warrant for plaintiff’s hotel room searching for evidence of a drug operation. They called the issuing judge for permission to search plaintiff’s home under the same affidavit, which was orally granted, but the warrant was not … Continue reading
MD: Full searches of cell phones can be a general search; there must be particularity or time limitation
Blanket full searches of cell phones without a particularity or time limitation can violate the Fourth Amendment and become a general search. It is suggested there be a search protocol if possible to limit the officers’ discretion. Despite all those … Continue reading
CA5: Multiple cell phones found with a quantity of drugs creates inference phones are for drug trafficking
When multiple cell phones and drugs are found together in a car, it’s a reasonable conclusion the cell phones are related to drug trafficking. The search of the phones reasonably led to child porn. United States v. Morton, 2022 U.S. … Continue reading
D.S.D.: SW for shallow grave didn’t describe location well enough to easily find it, but GFE applies
The warrant’s direction to search for a shallow grave was not particularly described, and it was found a mile away from where the warrant directed. The attachment wasn’t incorporated. Still, however, the good faith exception applies. This was negligent at … Continue reading
The warrant here was for computer files created in a one week period. That was particular. United States v. Riego, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130233 (D.N.M. July 22, 2022). The district court’s findings of fact support the finding of exigent … Continue reading
CT: John Doe DNA arrest warrant based on touch DNA is too general to satisfy the particularity requirement
A John Doe DNA arrest warrant based on touch DNA is too general to satisfy the particularity requirement. State v. Terrance Police, 2022 Conn. LEXIS 123 (May 10, 2022):