- IL refuses to differentiate between homes and apartment buildings for dog sniffs at the door
- ME: Describing stolen tools by color and make was certainly particular as it could get
- GA: Remanded for findings on whether def consented to forensics search of his cell phone
- S.D.N.Y.: Court can’t return property under Rule 41(g) after civil forfeiture starts
- E.D.Mich.: City DPW employee had REP in backpack in a city work vehicle; city couldn’t consent to its search
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Fourth Amendment cases,
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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: Mail and packages
As an “intended recipient” of a parcel, defendant has no standing. His name isn’t on the package as sender or recipient. United States v. Williams, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177669 (D. Haw. Oct. 16, 2018). Officers could reasonably believe that … Continue reading
E.D.Tenn.: No standing in a shipped package found in another’s car where def’s name not on box as sender or recipient
Defendant had no standing to challenge the search of a previously shipped package located in another person’s vehicle that had his name nowhere on it as recipient or sender. Also, the search of the package was valid by consent and … Continue reading
E.D.N.C.: Def who shipped FedEx packages under an alias had no standing to contest a search in transit since it was impossible for him to claim them
Defendant shipped packages by Federal Express using his deceased brother’s name as an alias. He had no standing to contest the search of the packages at the Greensboro NC hub. He had no ability to retrieve the packages in transit … Continue reading
Police lacked probable cause for the search warrant for a package defendant was shipping just because they suspected it contained cash for drugs. There were suspicions because of volunteered explanations when he was shipping it, but no probable cause and … Continue reading
The USPS developed probable cause that defendant was shipping drugs by mail with his own mini mailing service, creating his own mailing labels and having acquired plenty of USPS envelopes and postage to do it. When another suspicious package came … Continue reading
W.D.La.: Short delay of a package in the mail for a dog sniff that fit a drug courier profile was not unreasonable
There is no Fourth Amendment interest that a package in the mail is not slightly detained for a dog sniff on reasonable suspicion. [One never knows exactly when a package is going to arrive, except when promised by Amazon, and … Continue reading
M.D.Fla.: There was RS for a dog sniff of a package in the mail, and the alert was PC for a SW; def’s motion to suppress suggested no standing
There was reasonable suspicion to detain a package in the mail for a dog sniff because of the way it was packaged and labeled suggested that it contained drugs. After the dog alert, there was a necessary delay in obtaining … Continue reading
D.Haw.: Using three people to mask defendant’s alleged ownership of a package was a lack of standing in the package
“Here, Defendant Notyce was neither the sender nor the addressee of the package. The parcel was not addressed to him or a physical location associated with him. Defendant Notyce did not retrieve the parcel from the post office box or … Continue reading
The officers here had reasonable suspicion to detain defendant’s express mail parcel. United States v. Zirkle, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173863 (S.D. W.Va. Oct. 20, 2017):
An anticipatory search warrant was issued for 1921 but was delivered to 1911 because of the use of false addresses. The police entered to seize the package. Defendant doesn’t show he has standing in either the package or the place … Continue reading
In this conspiracy case involving mailed packages, none of the defendants were shown as the sender or addressee of this package. The defendant pursuing the motion didn’t even directly possess the package: He drove a woman to the post office … Continue reading
Defendant created a fictitious trade association and sent out bills, getting many checks back from thousands he mailed out. He had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the envelopes that he had not yet received because of the fictitious names. … Continue reading