- Boston CBS: Justice Department: Springfield Police Narcotics Bureau Regularly Used Excessive Force
- Gizmodo: Law Enforcement Is Buying Its Way Into Our Breaches
- MT: Field test of seized drugs is a reasonable search
- CA11: Govt waives abandonment by not pleading it in the district court
- D.C.Cir.: Applications for orders under SCA and ECPA presumptively public judicial records
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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: Overbreadth
E.D.Ky.: SW can compel persons present at time of seizure of cellphone to provide biometrics to unlock it on mere RS; PC not required
“Modern day biometric authentication features for electronic devices allow once trivial gestures, such as a momentary stare or touch, to be the barrier between the outside world and an individual’s most intimate, private details. The United States has applied for … Continue reading
A filter team isn’t required just because a Facebook account search warrant is alleged to be overbroad. United States v. Sam, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79023 (W.D. Wash. May 5, 2020). Hearsay in a search warrant isn’t less believable solely … Continue reading
A 911 call reported that defendant pointed a gun at two people and threatened them in his house. Responding, they talked to the victims outside. They entered to do a protective sweep for the weapon, and saw drugs. They got … Continue reading
DE: SW for CSLI in murder case was overbroad as to seizures more than 24 hours after the murder; limited to that time period
The search warrant for defendant’s CSLI was for 4 days before a murder and 2 weeks after. He pleads overbreadth. The warrant is particular as to the subject matter, just the time is excessive. Thus, it does not permit a … Continue reading
OH2: Def was shot and the SW for his house where it happened included searching for drugs without PC; still it was in good faith
In an investigation of defendant’s shooting, officers obtained a search warrant for his premises and the warrant included search for drugs. The warrant was overbroad, but the court declines to apply the exclusionary rule finding it was in good faith. … Continue reading
Pawnbrokers are “pervasively regulated” for consumer protection. City of Los Angeles v. Patel is way different because that industry was not so regulated. Collateral Loanbrokers Assn. of N.Y., Inc. v City of New York, 2019 NY Slip Op 09354, 2019 … Continue reading
N.D.Ga.: Even if SW was not particular enough, it wasn’t so defective or obvious that the GFE should not apply
Even if the search warrant for defendant’s cell phone was overbroad, which isn’t even decided, it was not so overbroad that the good faith exception to the exclusionary should be applied. United States v. Obie, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 216350 … Continue reading
D.Minn.: Broad SW in tax investigation on one false return justified breadth of SW because it was likely other taxes were not paid, too
The nature of the probable cause and when it was found was justification for broad search warrant for records in a tax investigation. “But, unlike in Rickert, the investigation in this case began with broader data collected by the IRS … Continue reading
GA: Downloading entire cell phone in rape case where time line and text messages were only issues wasn’t prejudicial
Defendants were arrested for kidnapping and raping an unconscious woman they took out of a Savannah nightclub, and they were caught in the act when a bystander called the police. Police seized one cell phone after the interrogation and got … Continue reading
CA2: Govt doesn’t get GFE in forfeiture search and seizure for overbreadth and particularity problem it created
In a forfeiture case initiated with a search warrant, defects in the warrant process denied the government resort to the good faith exception for failure to apprise all the officers what they were looking for and not attaching exhibits to … Continue reading
CA9: Officer who drafted clearly overbroad SW doesn’t get qualified immunity just because a judge signed off on it
The officer who drafted a clearly overbroad warrant that a judge approved that sought diaries and other papers wasn’t entitled to qualified immunity. Estate of Brown v. Lambert, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22087 (9th Cir. July 24, 2019). Plaintiff’s decedent … Continue reading
In a complex tax avoidance scheme, the IRS obtained search warrant was overbroad as to one category of things to be seized in ¶ u but it was mooted by the fact that items arguably seized under that category were … Continue reading
S.D.N.Y.: SW for the entire contents of a cell phone isn’t per se overbroad; depends on the crime involved
“The fact that the warrant authorized law enforcement agents to access all the data on the phone does not automatically render it overbroad.” Moreover, defendant doesn’t suggest that the good faith exception does not apply. United States v. Dawkins, 2019 … Continue reading
Defendant moved to suppress his cell phone search for lack of probable cause. He did not challenge the scope of the warrant. Therefore, the district court erred in deciding that the search warrant was overbroad. “The District Court erred when … Continue reading