- N.D.Iowa: A “Brinks box” in the house being searched with a warrant for drugs was subject to the search
- TN: Failure to include the search warrant and affidavit in the record on appeal waives the search issue
- W.D.Tex.: Def shows a “substantial question” of the legality of his search for bail pending appeal of his conviction
- CA9: Three month old information about where probationer lived wasn’t stale for probation search
- M.D.Ala.: One day’s GPS monitoring reasonable under Knotts, all things considered
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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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Monthly Archives: June 2019
For CSLI, direct evidence that defendant had a cell phone on him is not constitutionally required under Carpenter or any other case. The content of communications aren’t sought – just the fact of where the phone has been. Commonwealth v. … Continue reading
Reuters: Motel 6 hotel chain to settle lawsuit over sharing guest lists with ICE by Dan Whitcomb: Motel 6 has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over claims the budget chain routinely provided guest lists from … Continue reading
TheAppeal.org: ‘Do Not Record’ by Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg: Phone calls between prisoners in Orange County and their lawyers were recorded and accessed. How wide the eavesdropping was remains an open question. . . .
The scope of search authorized under the warrant wasn’t preserved below, so it’s waived for appeal. Commonwealth v. Handley, 2019 PA Super 201, 2019 Pa. Super. LEXIS 638 (June 28, 2019). The affidavit for search warrant was not “bare bones” … Continue reading
Defendant’s probation officer wasn’t present for his probation search, and that was required at the time by state law (since changed but prospectively). Still, that voided his probation search. State v. Carter, 2019 La. App. LEXIS 1152 (La. App. 2 … Continue reading
The search warrant for rural property described a 26 acre “lot” which the officers reasonably believed was all covered by one address. It turned out that it wasn’t, and there was another address for it all, too. Still, the warrant … Continue reading
CA6: Dist Ct erred in concluding it was reasonable to believe ptf abandoned his home; finding of QI reversed
The district court erred in granting qualified immunity to officers who decided that the plaintiff had abandoned his rented home by disclaiming ownership in the property. He was clearly a guest at the minimum or a renter at most, and … Continue reading
The Atlantic: The Strange Politics of Facial Recognition by Sidney Fussell: Everyone seems to have found common ground on the emerging technology. That’s exactly what its makers want.
The defendant officers’ actions were justified and subject to qualified immunity. They were patrolling an area known for daytime burglaries and saw plaintiff lurking along the side of homes and stopped to inquire and found that one house was open. … Continue reading
The state’s eight month delay in seeking a search warrant for defendant’s computers seized under a warrant was unjustified and unreasonable. The state’s reasoning was it didn’t “want to step on the toes of the IRS” and it took the … Continue reading
Officers came in with an arrest warrant, and the further protective sweep was justified because others were found inside. That protective sweep produced a sawed off shotgun. United States v. Ford, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107424 (N.D. Ind. June 27, … Continue reading