- D.Md.: Def did not go to trial because counsel misstated the chances of success of a suppress motion
- N.D.Ind.: Typo in SW home address was cured by picture of house
- E.D.Ark.: Def’s statements disassociating himself from the premises searched showed no standing
- CA11: Reasonable mistake of law on basis for stop was not 4A violation
- M.D.La.: Car could be searched when it was stopped near home being searched with SW
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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: April 2022
Defendant’s innocent explanation for his behavior still left probable cause. United States v. Clark, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 11504 (11th Cir. Apr. 28, 2022). Defendant was arrested two weeks after a string of robberies, and his cell phone was taken … Continue reading
A vehicle is mobile for the automobile exception even though the driver is detained. United States v. Washington, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 11511 (6th Cir. Apr. 28, 2022). A bald tire in the back of a rental truck was so … Continue reading
Defendant’s doing a hand-to-hand transaction from a car in front of a stash house was still reasonable suspicion when the officers caught up with him on I-85 after a license plate reader found the car after they lost sight of … Continue reading
NY Kings Co.: “There is no Fourth Amendment principle that forbids a police officer from being pleased at having found an illegal weapon”
“Set against the obvious reality that a well-documented full and proper inventory was carried out here, I do not find the mere fact that after spotting the gun at the outset, Officer Duran exclaimed, ‘that was easy,’ and ‘Now it’s … Continue reading
“While Vasquez was indeed acting strangely, for the stop to be valid, his conduct must be indicative of criminal behavior. The Court here simply cannot bridge the connection between the conduct here that is suspicious or odd in the lay … Continue reading
Defendant totaled his car in an accident. The black box evidence was sought by warrant, but the court holds that defendant effectively abandoned the car to the wrecking yard. Vitela v. State, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 2759 (Tex. App. – … Continue reading
Pressing the key fob found inside during a search to locate the car outside was reasonable under the automobile exception. United States v. Fortson, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 11176 (11th Cir. Apr. 25, 2022). “Defendant’s constitutional rights were not violated … Continue reading
Bloomberg Law: Justices Reject Case Over Real-Time Phone Location Tracking (“The U.S. Supreme Court declined to weigh whether the Fourth Amendment’s privacy protections are implicated when law enforcement uses cell carrier signals to reveal a person’s whereabouts in real time.”)
10A Center: Is Qualified Immunity “Necessary?” by Mike Maharrey (“Qualified immunity is a legal defense that allows government officials to escape civil lawsuits when they are accused of violating constitutional rights. Opponents say it lets bad government actors escape accountability. … Continue reading
The exclusionary rule does not apply in child dependency litigation. In re Christopher L., 2022 Cal. LEXIS 2313 (Apr. 25, 2022) (recognizing rule). “Hecke is correct that Detective Compton did not provide details of BSC’s criminal history or a description … Continue reading
Merely passing money to a man in car who counted it is not reasonable suspicion. People v. Soulliere, 2022 Mich. LEXIS 798 (Apr. 22, 2022). Defendant was stopped for an alleged unsafe lane change and expired Pennsylvania tags. There was … Continue reading
ABA: An Unclassified Look at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts by Hon. Richard C. Tallman and Tania M. Culbertson, ABA Litigation, vol. 48, No. 2 (Winter 2022) (“They have recently become more transparent, but practicing before these specialty courts presents … Continue reading
Imprecision in the affiant investigator’s words doesn’t equate to recklessness for Franks purposes. United States v. Tubbs, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73473 (N.D.Ala. Mar. 14, 2022).* Defendant’s alleged Franks violation wasn’t even material based on all the evidence that the … Continue reading
Officers following a GPS ping on stolen vehicle with off-road tires came to defendant’s home for a knock-and-talk. Receiving no answer, the officer followed the driveway and saw three storage buildings. “Because the driveway is open to the public and … Continue reading
“‘[A] one-frisk-only rule would create a privacy-adverse Fourth Amendment incentive’ for officers to perform ‘the most intrusive frisk possible the first time around, knowing that no more would be allowed.’” Here, there was reasonable suspicion for both frisks. United States … Continue reading