Category Archives: Community caretaking function

CA2: Failure to object at sentencing to a suspicionless search condition was waiver

Failure to object at sentencing to a suspicionless search condition was waiver. United States v. Nash, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 16547 (2d Cir. July 8, 2024). Defendant had a hearing on a motion to suppress that went undecided when he … Continue reading

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CA7: Drug dog’s 59% success rate still PC

The fact the drug dog here had only a 59% (or 80%) success rate is still probable cause. The fact a dog can’t tell the difference between legal and illegal cannabis is of no moment. It’s still probable cause. United … Continue reading

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D.N.J.: Car leasing company had no 4A claim to car’s lawful impoundment, despite not knowing for 11 months

Honda leased a car that was impounded and towed from the driver because it was unlicensed. Eleven months later Honda located the car and there were thousands of accumulated fees. Honda sued under § 1983. The initial seizure was valid … Continue reading

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WI: Community caretaking stop couldn’t be expanded without RS

Where defendant was stopped under the community caretaking function, expanding the stop without further justification was unreasonable. Here, it was because the officer thought defendant may have been driving while sleepy, but the stop was extended. State v. Wiskowski, 2024 … Continue reading

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CA7: Manual border search of cell phone revealing CP was reasonable

Manual border search of defendant’s cell phone was reasonable and revealed child pornography, and that justification for a more intensive search. United States v. Mendez, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 14058 (7th Cir. June 10, 2024). Defendant rented his hotel room, … Continue reading

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D.N.M.: Conflict of laws: Does the law of the circuit of the search apply or where the court sits?

Conflict of laws: The search was in the Ninth Circuit but the court sits in the Tenth. Which version of the independent source doctrine applies? As interesting as that question is, despite differences, it doesn’t actually matter here, because it … Continue reading

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CA2: Unlicensed and uninsured motorcycle parked on street was subject to community caretaking function when def was arrested

“Because Owens’s motorcycle was on a public street with no displayed license plate and was uninsured, the community caretaking function applied, even though it was parked at the time of his arrest.” Owens v. Fitzgerald, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 12292 … Continue reading

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NY: Community caretaking function justified stop of a moving vehicle but its continuation was unreasonable

NY evaluates the stop and continued seizure of a moving vehicle under the community caretaking function, and concludes this one continued past the need for the stop and was unreasonable. (The court notes a lot of state decisions on the … Continue reading

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D.Md.: Def voluntarily entered passcode into phone where there was a SW for his face and fingerprint to open it

Police had a search warrant for defendant’s cell phone and face and fingerprint to open it. He remained silent. They got past the first step and the phone asked for the passcode. He entered the first four digits without prompting … Continue reading

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E.D.N.Y.: To get CSLI, there must be some showing the phone was involved in the crime

Just saying that criminals usually have their cell phones on them is not sufficient for probable cause. Something tying the phone to the crime, however, is enough. Here it was text messages.United States v. Rutledge, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76534 … Continue reading

Posted in Cell site location information, Community caretaking function, Issue preclusion, Qualified immunity | Comments Off on E.D.N.Y.: To get CSLI, there must be some showing the phone was involved in the crime

IA: A drug pipe in def’s possession doesn’t help show PC for DWI (but other evidence did)

“But while the drug pipe in the passenger’s pocket does not lend support for probable cause that Roe was operating while intoxicated, excluding this evidence from consideration is not fatal to the warrant as Roe’s other arguments on the lack … Continue reading

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W.D.Mo.: SCA allows state courts to issue out-of-state SWs for ESI

The Stored Communications Act permits state courts to issue search warrants for out-of-state electronically stored information. [In addition, but not discussed, Virginia v. Moore allows federal courts to overlook state law violations as long as everything reasonableness was satisfied. Because … Continue reading

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ND: Opening door of a parked and running semi when driver didn’t wake up was to gather information and was unreasonable

“Thus, we conclude law enforcement was acting outside the scope of the community caretaking function when opening the semi door and stepping onto the running boards in an attempt to gather information without first attempting to get a response from … Continue reading

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N.D.N.Y.: Escapee from BOP halfway house had no REP in apt. where he was found

Defendant was an escapee from a BOP halfway house, and he had no reasonable expectation of privacy where he was found. Also, he was subject to a search condition at the halfway house, and that’s not avoided by escape. United … Continue reading

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OH4: Entry to recover AR-15 was reasonable, even though it was hard to find

Officers responding to a 911 call were told there was an unsecured AR-15 in the house. The entry to retrieve it was reasonable, and Caniglia v. Strom is distinguishable. State v. Pine, 2023-Ohio-2191, 2023 Ohio App. LEXIS 2166 (4th Dist. … Continue reading

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CA6: Opening car door without warning exceeded community caretaking function

The police community caretaking function has a long and important history that goes back nearly 800 years. But, seeing defendant parked in the snow with the engine running and apparently asleep, opening his car door to check on him was … Continue reading

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CA4: Search of unlocked van with door ajar left overnight on bank parking lot with visible assault rifle was reasonable under community caretaking function

A bank employee saw a van parked on the bank’s lot that had been there overnight. Officers responded and saw an assault rifle in the passenger compartment. “Around 12:30 [p.m.], without knocking or announcing their presence, Lambert and Wagner pulled … Continue reading

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D.N.M.: Possession of a gun in car in Walmart parking lot wasn’t a crime and search for it under community caretaking function unreasonable

Police were called to a Walmart parking lot in Albuquerque because defendant was “unconscious” in his car in his car, and a gun was visible. The seizure of the gun and the interrogation surrounding it can’t be justified under the … Continue reading

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KS: Chance of suicide justified public safety stop

Finding a car parked in a place where people notoriously went to commit suicide justified this public safety encounter. The officer smelled marijuana coming from the car and searched it. State v. McDonald, 2023 Kan. App. LEXIS 5 (Feb. 3, … Continue reading

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D.Minn.: All theories to suppress must be raised to USMJ on referral or it’s waived

Defendant’s storage unit had the doors and handles tested with Ion Scanning. He had no reasonable expectation of privacy in that. Before the USDJ, however, he raised it was a trespass to do it as the officers did. That’s waived … Continue reading

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