- W.D.Pa.: Generic motion to suppress denied
- D.N.M.: Detention hearing argument that there were “dispositive” 4A issues goes nowhere
- CA9: Inaccuracies in SW’s place to be searched didn’t misdirect officers; QI applies
- M.D.Pa.: Franks hearing denied for speculation on what video evidence might show
- AR: One can’t change 4A argument from trial court to appeal
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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: Forfeiture
W.D.N.Y.: Calling def to scene of SW execution does not permit search of def’s phone in SW for house
Defendant came to meet the police at their request after talking to them on his cell phone. They had probable cause to believe that the phone had evidence on it. Since he came in without the phone on him, it … Continue reading
Reason: After the Cops Seized Her Car, the Government Waited Five Years Before Giving Her a Chance To Get It Back
Reason: After the Cops Seized Her Car, the Government Waited Five Years Before Giving Her a Chance To Get It Back by Jacob Sullum (“In Massachusetts, Malinda Harris argues, civil asset forfeiture routinely violates the right to due process.”)
Reason: Civil Forfeiture Does Not Seem To Reduce Drug Use or Help Fight Crime by Jacob Sullen (“A new study provides further evidence that property seizures are driven by financial motives rather than public safety concerns.”) Contingent fee law enforcement?
ProPublica: Police Say Seizing Property Without Trial Helps Keep Crime Down. A New Study Shows They’re Wrong.
ProPublica: Police Say Seizing Property Without Trial Helps Keep Crime Down. A New Study Shows They’re Wrong. By Ian McDougall (“Civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow police to seize property without trial, are frequently justified as tools to seize millions … Continue reading
The Appeal: With Little Evidence, Pennsylvania State Police Seized $600,000 From Drivers (“An investigation by The Appeal and Spotlight PA found that troopers in three counties have taken big money from drivers, many of whom were never charged.”)
Defendant in a criminal case will get the benefit of a motion in limine to prevent alleged admissions under the Fifth Amendment in his forfeiture case from being used against him. United States v. Mendoza, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166898 … Continue reading
Reason: After the DEA Robbed Her of $43,000 at an Airport, She Joined a Class Action Challenging the Agency’s Cash Grabs
Reason: After the DEA Robbed Her of $43,000 at an Airport, She Joined a Class Action Challenging the Agency’s Cash Grabs by Jacob Sullum (“The lawsuit argues that the DEA is violating the Fourth Amendment by seizing money from travelers … Continue reading
The city failed in its burden of proof for seizure for forfeiture that the owner was aware. Matter of Smith v. City of New York, 2020 NY Slip Op 03600, 2020 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3687 (1st Dept. June 25, … Continue reading
Miami Herald: Feds grab $15,000 from Miami mom’s ‘quince’ savings for daughter. Now she’s fighting back
Miami Herald: Feds grab $15,000 from Miami mom’s ‘quince’ savings for daughter. Now she’s fighting back. by Jay Weaver & David Ovalle (“It would take two years for Salgado to recover her money from the DEA, which did not arrest … Continue reading
Tennessean: Opinion: Tennessee forfeiture laws have strayed away from original civil design by David Seal (“Civil forfeiture in Tennessee has strayed far from its original design, sweeping up thousands of people in small-scale seizures that are just not practical for … Continue reading
Forbes: DEA Will Return Over $82,000 Seized From Innocent Retiree by Nick Sibilla:
Vice: Michigan Cops Seized This Woman’s Car After Her Then-Boyfriend Allegedly Picked Up a Prostitute
Vice: Michigan Cops Seized This Woman’s Car After Her Then-Boyfriend Allegedly Picked Up a Prostitute by Emma Ockerman (“She was never accused of a crime and went bankrupt paying the fines to get her car back.”)
The Sun / Reason: Family sue TSA after man, 79, has $82K life savings he kept in tupperware box seized at airport for ‘no reason’
The Sun (UK): Family sue TSA after man, 79, has $82K life savings he kept in tupperware box seized at airport for ‘no reason’ by Fionnuala O’Leary (“A FAMILY are suing the TSA after an elderly man’s $82K life savings … Continue reading
WaPo: The DEA seized her father’s life savings at an airport without alleging any crime occurred, lawsuit says
WaPo: The DEA seized her father’s life savings at an airport without alleging any crime occurred, lawsuit says by Justin Jouvenal (“Brown said she was never told she or her father were under suspicion of committing any crime and neither … Continue reading
A defendant’s answers in a civil forfeiture action cannot be introduced in a parallel criminal proceeding under the authority of Garrity v. New Jersey. Here, however, it proves to be harmless error. State v. Melendez, 2020 N.J. LEXIS 2 (Jan. … Continue reading
D.Neb.: Handcuffing on RS to assure safety and maintain the status quo reasonable and not a de facto arrest
Handcuffing a person on reasonable suspicion just to protect the officer’s safety and maintain the status quo is not unreasonable. United States v. Mayfield, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 520 (D. Neb. Jan. 3, 2020). While the exclusionary rule can apply … Continue reading
Reason: Missouri Cops Used Federal Loophole To Seize $2.6 Million From Drivers Who They Never Charged With Crimes
Reason: Missouri Cops Used Federal Loophole To Seize $2.6 Million From Drivers Who They Never Charged With Crimes by Zuri Davis (“St. Charles County law enforcement used shady practices to seize motorists’ assets without convictions.”)
Fox News: Michigan county seized retiree’s home over $8 debt – now he’s fighting back in state’s top court
Fox News: Michigan county seized retiree’s home over $8 debt – now he’s fighting back in state’s top court by Andrew O’Reilly (“While Uri Rafaeli’s case, which is currently being decided in Michigan’s Supreme Court, is extreme, it is hardly … Continue reading
Vice: These Cops Are Seizing Cash from People Who Smell Like Weed Before They Fly to California (“Smelling like cannabis and buying your ticket right before your flight from this Florida airport are apparently great reasons for cops to take … Continue reading
Reason: A DEA Agent Got a Drug Dealer to Buy a Truck So the Agent Could Seize it Through Asset Forfeiture
Reason: A DEA Agent Got a Drug Dealer to Buy a Truck So the Agent Could Seize it Through Asset Forfeiture by C.J. Ciaramella: Former DEA special agent Chad Scott has been convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice, and falsifying … Continue reading