- AK: Search of def’s rifle case was unreasonable; he was doing nothing wrong
- D.N.M.: Failure to mention the CI’s criminal history is less important when the affidavit shows extensive corroboration
- S.D.N.Y.: Emails from CIs provided PC, and the SW was limited to categories of information
- E.D.Mich.: Illegally obtained evidence cannot be used to establish probable cause
- W.D.La.: Officers’ subjective belief in def’s standing at time of search isn’t material to the court’s determination on objective facts
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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: Community caretaking function
TN: Police get a call about a passed out parked car driver, but when they get there he’s out of the car; under community caretaking function they can still inquire what’s going on
Police received a call from a liquor store operator that a man was passed out in a car behind the store. When they got there, the man was getting in the car. The community caretaking function still applied because of … Continue reading
D.S.D.: Community caretaking function permitted search of unconscious person’s bag for source of his condition
Police responding to a medical emergency found defendant unconscious in his bathroom with a belt tourniquet at his arm and a brown liquid in a syringe. That was not a sign of diabetes shock. It was reasonable under Eighth Circuit … Continue reading
Hard|OCP: Invite Police Officers into Your Home with Apple Watch’s Auto-911 Feature: Legal professionals are warning the Apple Watch could open owners up to criminal liability due to a new feature that automatically dials 911 if it senses the wearer … Continue reading
Defendant’s jacket was still associated with her when she was arrested, and it was properly subject to a search incident even though she was handcuffed and sitting on it. The validity of the search incident, however, did not translate into … Continue reading
Defendant sought return of the electronic storage media containing child pornography. Denied. State v. Van Tielen, 2018-Ohio-3421, 2018 Ohio App. LEXIS 3715 (12th Dist. Aug. 27, 2018). The officer opened defendant’s van door because he was justifiably looking for a … Continue reading
Alleged isolated violation of Posse Comitatus Act doesn’t require exclusion. McGill v. United States, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142130 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 22, 2018). Trash cans were left at the street for collection of the contents, so there was no … Continue reading
IA: Stopping behind a car parked with brake lights on on a country road at 1 am was reasonable under the community caretaking function
“This case requires us to decide whether an officer was justified in pulling behind a vehicle and activating his emergency lights when the vehicle was stopped by the side of a highway after 1:00 a.m. with its brake lights engaged. … Continue reading
E.D.Mich.: A 16 year old girl, over the age of consent, was in a hotel room with a 45 year old man; that alone was not exigency
A 16 year old girl, over the age of consent, was in a hotel room with a 45 year old man. That alone did not create exigent circumstances. Certainly the parents would be concerned, but there was no evidence that … Continue reading
A 911 call about an apparent threat to shoot oneself supports a community caretaking entry and cursory look around the house. People v. Ovieda, 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 34 (2d Dist. Jan. 17, 2018):
PA: Flashing overhead lights on a police car means stop and stay until released; stopping to check GPS isn’t RS
According to the vehicle code and the driver’s license manual, when a police car has its lights on, a driver is to stop until let go. Here, the officer pulled up next to defendant’s car on the side of I-79 … Continue reading
UT: Potentially missing 65 yo man led to welfare check entry of his house at insistence of his mother; “welfare check” entry valid
Defendant was 65, in ill-health, and his mother talked to him every day. When she hadn’t heard from him, she called the police to check on him. At the house, nobody answered the door, the lights were on, there was … Continue reading