- NJ: Once SW issues for cell phone, foregone conclusion exception to self-incrimination applies and password can be compelled
- CA7: Prison inmates have 4A reasonableness protection against abusive strip and body cavity searches
- CA11: Def’s failure to claim cell phone once it was released was abandonment
- N.D.Ill.: Reasonable reliance on apparent authority is good faith in itself
- CA11: While unclear whether 4A applies to pretrial detainees, 14A does and standards the same
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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
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
The search warrant for defendant’s cell phones had inserted “no charge at this time” for the crime under investigation. The phone was seized without a warrant from a traffic stop, then searched under the warrant, but you can’t tell what … Continue reading
The search warrant was challenged as a general warrant, but the court finds that it specified the crime under investigation, and that limited it. “Although the specific electronics recovered were not part of [one] burglary, those devices were nevertheless well … Continue reading
S.D.Tex.: SW for entire cell phone in auto burglary is suppressed as both without nexus and overbroad
An arrest warrant doesn’t give authority to search a cell phone with the arrest. After a search warrant was issued for the phone for the crime of auto burglary, there is no nexus to the crime, and the search warrant … Continue reading
The probable cause for the search warrant of defendant’s cell phone was only for specific location information. “However, the search warrant authorizes a search and seizure of information broader than GPS location information. Specifically, the search warrant allows the State … Continue reading
D.Ore.: Seizing house title records from house officers already had copies of wasn’t overbroad; it shows control
The search warrant was not overbroad because officers seized title records on the property that they already apparently had copies of. It shows control. United States v. Cramer, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34959 (D. Ore. Mar. 5, 2019). There is … Continue reading
D.D.C.: Two story building with barbershop on first floor and residence above appeared to officers as one structure for SW purposes
The building searched was two stories. Defendants argued that the first floor was a barbershop and the second floor was a “warren of rooms” which were residential in character. Thus, two search warrants were required. The court disagrees because the … Continue reading
ME: SW for all computers in house in a CP case wasn’t overbroad; digital images are easily moved and secreted
In a search warrant for child pornography, a request for all computers and electronic media on the premises wasn’t unreasonable, considering the ease with which digital images can be moved from one device to another and hidden. State v. Roy, … Continue reading
The pen register request under § 3124(b) is overbroad for the service provider to tell the government about changes in the account. In re Application of the United States, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209036 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 29, 2018):
N.D.W.Va.: SW for computer hard drive for evidence of murder or plans was necessarily broad and not unreasonable
Defendant was being held on a murder charge, and he made a jail call to his parents to have his computer hard drive wiped clean. Hearing that, police obtained a search warrant for the computer believing that it might have … Continue reading
“Given the scope and pervasiveness of the fraud alleged, the search warrant issued for Ms. Natysin’s home was not overly broad.” “This finding is supported in part by the fact the affidavit accompanied the warrant to the search and was … Continue reading
“Even assuming that the warrant’s authorization for the seizure and search of cell phones and other electronic devices was somewhat overbroad, the balance of the warrant, pursuant to which evidence implicating defendant in two of the charged robberies was recovered, … Continue reading
S.D.N.Y.: “Particularity is not to be confused with breadth — they are ‘related but distinct concepts.’”
A broad Facebook warrant for electronically stored information was not unconstitutionally overbroad. “Particularity is not to be confused with breadth — they are ‘related but distinct concepts.’” A Facebook warrant can be issued in New York and served on Facebook’s … Continue reading
The search warrant could have been way more clear that it was seeking child pornography. It did say that it was looking for evidence of coercion and enticement of a minor and transfer of obscene materials. Taken as a whole, … Continue reading
One month old information received from Microsoft to NCMEC was not stale. (That is settled everywhere.) The search warrant was not too vague, and, even it if was, the court’s ability to sever invalid parts makes this search valid. State … Continue reading