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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
One overbroad clause in the search warrant didn’t require exclusion of the rest that was specifically covered. Defendant also didn’t show that which was seized under the overbroad section to have it excluded. United States v. Traum, 2016 U.S. Dist. … Continue reading
OR: State didn’t show PC to seize all cell phones, cameras, and computers def might have to get one audio recording on his cell phone
There was an alleged domestic assault at defendant’s home. There was reason to believe the home security system and his cell phone would have evidence of it in an audio recording. He could also access the security system with his … Continue reading
D.N.M.: CA10 recognizes blanket suppression for a “general search,” but this doesn’t measure up; “excessive photographing” not violation of 4A
Defendant doesn’t adequately explain why complete suppression is required for the search being allegedly excessive. It is a remedy under United States v. Medlin, 842 F.2d 1194 (10th Cir. 1988), when the officers’ search is overly excessive, but this just … Continue reading
OR: Def didn’t abandon backpack by not affirmatively claiming ownership of it during vehicle search by consent
The officer had reasonable suspicion something was up and the driver of a van already stopped consented to a search of the van, but that did not include a backpack that didn’t belong to him. Defendant did not abandon the … Continue reading
OR: Search of computer’s browser history limited to the PC; here, 15 minutes, not two months; a computer is more of a “place to be searched” rather than a “thing to be seized”
Defendant was convicted of murder by child abuse. The only relation of a computer was his admission that he used a computer to search for symptoms when the child was sick 15 minutes before his 911 call. When the computer … Continue reading
ME: CSLI info properly seized by warrant on PC, rest of cell information suppressed because warrant was severable
The state obtained a search warrant for defendant’s CSLI and practically everything else it could get from the cell provider in an effort to link him and another to a structure arson. The trial court suppressed it all. On appeal, … Continue reading
“Here, the seizure of Fulton’s cell phone during his arrest fell squarely within the exception articulated in Chimel and Robinson as a seizure incident to arrest.” United States v. Fulton, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83014 (S.D.Tex. June 23, 2016). The … Continue reading
D.Md.: Fact the SW sought drugs necessarily permits a detailed search of small places; doesn’t make it a general warrant
The fact the search warrant sought drugs necessarily permits a detailed search of small places, but that doesn’t make it a general warrant. The good faith exception applies, too. United States v. Minnick, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80897 (D.Md. June … Continue reading
W.D.N.Y.: Accidental inclusion of another address in SW papers wasn’t prejudicial where the correct address was prominent
A typo in the address from including an address from a prior warrant at the end but where the correct address was at the time was hardly prejudicial. If the latter address had been searched, that would be really important, … Continue reading
CA10: GFE applies throughout: arguable PC overcomes allegation of lack of neutral detached magistrate, overbreadth, and even staleness
“This case calls for us to apply Leon where the judge who issued the search warrant was arguably not neutral and detached. Although we are unaware of any court applying the good faith exception in such circumstances, it is apparent … Continue reading
N.D.Cal.: It’s generally not good to include “all” before the documents to be seized in a SW; PC must be shown for what “all” modifies in SW, and here it was
It’s generally not good to include “all” before the documents to be seized in a search warrant, but it is valid if it can be shown to relate back to something for which there is a showing of probable cause. … Continue reading
D.Kan.: USMJ scholarly opinion on history of email SWs; “Needless to say, a person’s email account may reveal their ‘privacies of life.’”
The government’s email account search warrant request is overbroad as to what is being seized. The court analogizes Riley and notes that email accounts can provide a detailed picture of a person’s life the same as a cell phone search. … Continue reading