- E.D.Pa.: Use of flashlight on backseat of car at night not a search
- OH5: Dog was called two minutes into stop of RV and it didn’t prolong the stop
- M.D.Fla.: No 4A protection for non-citizen stopped by CG at sea
- E.D.N.C.: When there is RS, officers do not need to rule out innocent explanations
- WV: Emergency order of protection was not functional equivalent of SW for entry into home
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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: March 2020
An email search warrant signed by the issuing judge on a tablet with the SignNow app was valid. United States v. Lantzy, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50057 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 24, 2020). “We conclude that the circumstances here were such … Continue reading
A generic list of the items to be seized is appropriate in drug cases. United States v. Grant, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50390 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 24, 2020):
Some damage can be expected in executing a search warrant. Whether it was so excessive to be objectively unreasonable is the question. Here, there was damage, but it wasn’t unreasonable under the circumstances, and the officers get qualified immunity. Cybernet, … Continue reading
D.Kan.: Def’s hiding a gun in flight from police in the property of another was abandonment, even if he intended to return to get it
The officer did not immediately have probable cause to arrest defendant, but the unfolding circumstances before him ended up rising to probable cause. There was more than suspicion and more than proximity. Defendant’s furtive movements supplied more cause. Defendant’s hiding … Continue reading
“A warrantless arrest by a law officer is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment where there is probable cause to believe that a criminal offense has been or is being committed,” even if the officer cannot point out the specific statute … Continue reading
M.D.Fla.: “The Court should stop imbuing the ‘objectively reasonable’ officer with a cloak of constitutional comfort for justifications …”
The court finds the stop was unjustified and any mistake on the officer’s part was not objectively reasonable. “The Court should stop imbuing the ‘objectively reasonable’ officer with a cloak of constitutional comfort for justifications that strain credulity and discount … Continue reading
Defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in nonlegal mail sent from jail where he was suspected of tampering with witnesses (collecting cases). The policy was already well established (if that matters). United States v. Chivers, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading
CA6: The fact the officer was investigating a misdemeanor that didn’t happen in his presence doesn’t confine the 4A inquiry despite the common law
The Fourth Amendment does not prohibit officers from investigating misdemeanors and making stops based on that, even if the common law prohibits arrests for misdemeanors not committed in the officer’s presence. United States v. Jones, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 9038 … Continue reading
CA4: Even if Rule 41 was violated by not leaving application for SW at scene it wasn’t prejudicial or intentional
“Here, the district court credited Agent Hayes’ testimony that he left a copy of the face of the warrant and an inventory of the items seized in the search, see Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(f)(1)(C), but that he did not … Continue reading
DE: Officer’s signing SW affidavit with “Tpr. Santangelo #1826.” showed he was reasonably experienced
Defendant argued that the DUI search warrant lacked probable cause because the officer didn’t specify his training in the affidavit. “The search warrant affidavit is signed ‘Tpr. Santangelo #1826.’ This information allowed the issuing magistrate to reasonably infer that Santangelo … Continue reading
NM: “Is there anything on your person that I should know about?” is subject to Quarles public safety exception
A question about anything on defendant’s person was subject to Quarles public safety exception. “While Defendant was in custody, but before he was advised of his Miranda rights, an officer asked him, ‘Is there anything on your person that I … Continue reading
Chicago PD officers stopped panhandlers and ran warrants once they had their IDs. “We conclude that officers may execute a name check on an individual incidental to a proper stop under Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 16, 88 S. … Continue reading
The government showed a justifiable basis for a nondisclosure order (NDO) under 18 U.S.C. § 2705(b) of the order directed to Google for six email accounts. Assuming strict scrutiny applied, the government showed it because nondisclosure could prevent compromising an … Continue reading
Defendant asserts a basis for suppression of his search that apparently was never communicated to counsel during the representation. Defense counsel wasn’t deficient. Hill v. United States, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48664 (D. Md. Mar. 20, 2020). Plaintiff was shot … Continue reading
VT: Traffic stop devolved into drug investigation without RS; delay was because officers intentionally didn’t complete the tasks of the stop
This traffic stop led to defendant being cited for driving on a suspended DL, but the officers were going to let him get someone to come and retrieve the keys from their office. The officer turned it into a drug … Continue reading
FL1: Officers crossing protected lands to get to unprotected lands to make a plain view doesn’t justify exclusion
“Police entered protected property to get to unprotected property to make an observation in open fields. That prior unlawful intrusion doesn’t justify exclusion. “Florida law is relatively clear whether to suppress evidence discovered on a person’s property during an officer’s … Continue reading
E.D.Va.: MJ in def’s car doesn’t, ipso facto, translate into PC he has drugs at his house nearby; GFE can’t apply
Defendant was stopped for failing to stop at a stop sign. When officers approached the car, “Officer Torrez saw a partially open bag, in plain view on the floor board, containing marijuana. This also provided the officers with probable cause … Continue reading
FL2: Direct contempt for refusing to provide passcode for cell phone search reversed; out-of-court evidence couldn’t be considered
Defendant was held in contempt and sentenced to five months and 29 days for refusing to provide the passcode for his cell phone so it could be searched under a warrant. “However, whether a finding of contempt could have been … Continue reading
Two search warrants were issued May 28 & 29, 2019. They were both issued with probable cause, they weren’t stale, and the second did not supersede the first. No case supports this latter argument. United States v. Atkins, 2020 U.S. … Continue reading