- Cal: Victim and witness’s public social media pages subject to subpoena by defense (with a history of the SCA)
- PA: 9 month delay between issuance of SW for content of seized cell phone and actual search wasn’t unreasonable where nothing changed
- N.D.Ohio: Merely alleging the affiant never appeared before the issuing magistrate to sign it is nothing without proof to support it
- The Marshall Project: Your Home is Your…Snitch?
- M.D.Fla.: No prejudice for IAC where alleged 4A violation produced nothing for trial
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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
"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: Rule 41(g) / Return of property
A motion for return of property under Rule 41(g) is properly denied where the defendant has complete electronic versions of the records. United States v. Womack, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39097 (W.D.Mo. March 25, 2016). Defendant was pulled over because … Continue reading
D.Conn.: While def should have presented affidavit of standing, the SW inventory supports his standing
In a corporate office search, defendant should have presented an affidavit to show his standing in the office space. Despite that, however, the government’s search inventory strongly supports his standing because it shows documents taken from what was described as … Continue reading
AL: Federal adoption of a forfeiture deprives the state court of jurisdiction to order return of property
Federal adoption of a forfeiture deprives the state court of jurisdiction to order return of property. Gray v. City of Opelika, 2015 Ala. Civ. App. LEXIS 254 (Nov. 6, 2015). A traffic offense justified this stop, then “the smell of … Continue reading
Somebody was denied a job at a hospital, and complained to the Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office who sought a search warrant for the letter received that apparently caused the job denial. A judge pro tem issued the search warrant … Continue reading
A state motion for return of property does not require a motion to suppress. “Additionally, the State’s argument that the trial court lacks jurisdiction because the judgment has become final is misplaced. The Defendant is not seeking to challenge his … Continue reading
Defendants moved for return of their property after conviction and the appeal was affirmed. The government gets to keep it pending conclusion of any collateral review which might be filed. United States v. Banks, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107994 (D.Colo. … Continue reading
Defendant’s PO received a daily brief from the police that mentioned that defendant was in a car stopped and identified as a gang member. One of his conditions of parole was to avoid gang activity. That was justification for a … Continue reading
Defendant is entitled to return of property originally seized 7½ years ago to prosecute him that is not contraband and no longer needed. United States v. Green, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85174 (E.D.Pa. June 30, 2015). A state law enforcement … Continue reading
CA9: Once criminal proceedings are over, the original search isn’t an issue in Rule 41(g) proceedings for return of property
Defendant’s Rule 41(g) motion was granted in part and denied in part. The district court did not err in refusing to reconsider the original search question. “[I]n the context of Rule 41, that after criminal proceedings are completed, ‘the legality … Continue reading
Treating an examination of an insurance company’s unclaimed property as an administrative search, “reason to believe” in the California unclaimed property law is no greater than probable cause to get a search warrant, following Lincoln Bank & Trust Co. v. … Continue reading