- GA: 2022 SW for cell phone illegally searched in 2020 had no independent basis; no GFE
- N.D.Ga.: UPS a private searcher, even with its “good-Samaritan motivation”
- Techstory: Cellphone Border Searches: Feds, You’ll Need a Warrant
- D.Nev.: Affidavits for SWs don’t have to prove the underlying crimes
- D.V.I.: Flyover of curtilage from navigable airspace was reasonable
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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
Search and seizure law consultant
Little Rock, Arkansas
Contact: forhall @ aol.com / The Book
online since Feb. 24, 2003 Approx. 350,000 visits (non-robot) since 2012 Approx. 45,000 posts since 2003 (25,700+ on WordPress as of 12/31/22)
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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
"It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."
—Charles Dickens, “The Old Curiosity Shop ... With a Frontispiece. From a Painting by Geo. Cattermole, Etc.” 255 (1848)
"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: February 2023
GA: Police reentry into hotel room after medical emergency required SW
Officers responded to a medical emergency at a hotel room. They left and reentered to seize contraband, and the reentry required a warrant. The exigency had passed. State v. Wood, 2023 Ga. App. LEXIS 101 (Feb. 28, 2023). The suppression … Continue reading
S.D.N.Y.: 49 day delay in cell phone search was presumptively unreasonable, but totality of circumstances favored govt
Balancing the factors of a delay in a cell phone search of 49 days, the length is presumptively unreasonable but the other factors all favor the government. Motion to suppress denied. United States v. Wells, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30720 … Continue reading
E.D.Mo.: Officers don’t have to rely on occupants’ word that others aren’t present to be able to conduct a protective sweep
Officers don’t have to rely on occupants’ word that others aren’t present to be able to conduct a protective sweep. Apparent authority to consent and inevitable discovery also apply. United States v. Lewis, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30938 (E.D. Mo. … Continue reading
WaPo: Jury awards Va. teacher $5 million over wrongful sex abuse case [Franks violation omitting alibi]
WaPo: Jury awards Va. teacher $5 million over wrongful sex abuse case by Tom Jackman (The arrest and search warrant affidavit violated Franks because it alleged phone records backed up the young man’s claims, but they were never checked or … Continue reading
CA5: Mandatory GPS monitoring of charter boats arbitrary under legislation invoked for it
A rule for mandatory GPS monitoring on all charter boats in the Gulf of Mexico, whether used commercially or for personal use at the time, was arbitrarily adopted in violation of the APA. GPS monitoring furthers no government interest under … Continue reading
Three on what the dashcam didn’t show
Just because the dashcam video doesn’t show the traffic violation doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. The trooper testified that what he sees might be slightly different but still true. State v. Moore, 2023-Ohio-494, 2023 Ohio App. LEXIS 517 (4th … Continue reading
N.D.Cal.: Key fob on parolee’s person means car under his control even if elsewhere
Defendant parolee was a passenger in a car and he had his car key fob on him. The car, albeit not there, was still “under his control” for a parole search, relying on United States v. Cervantes, 859 F.3d 1175 … Continue reading
CA: Unreasonable stop and running warrants revealed def was on parole; suspicionless parole search unreasonable
A man on the street was stopped by police for no apparent reason. A records check revealed he was on parole with a warrantless search waiver on file. The warrantless search of his person was unreasonable, and the exclusionary rule … Continue reading
S.D.Tex.: Exigency still remained for a second protective sweep of the premises
Enough exigency still remained for a second protective sweep of the premises. United States v. Beard, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29007 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 22, 2023). Collective knowledge from another police department can be relied up to show probable cause. … Continue reading
CA4: Unsworn information in the investigative file could be used to supplement the PC showing before issuing judge
“The district court correctly concluded that unsworn items in an investigatory file can be used to establish probable cause, and that there is nothing in the record to show that the magistrate judge failed to consider the information available to … Continue reading
CA9: Denying owner access to an impounded car for 30 days is an unreasonable seizure
Denying access to one’s car for 30 days after impoundment without justification was an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment. Untalan v. Stanley, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 4070 (9th Cir. Feb. 22, 2023). CI information led to surveillance then two … Continue reading
This blog is 20 years old today
First post: February 24, 2003, with 40,000 or so posts since then on three different platforms. More importantly, today is also the 262d anniversary of James Otis’ 1761 argument at the Boston Old State House against the writs of assistance … Continue reading
W.D.N.Y.: Using flashlight to look in bag tossed in flight in a house was reasonable on protective sweep
Use of a flashlight in a protective sweep of a black bag tossed by a fleeing suspect in the house was reasonable for safety reasons. Inside, methamphetamine was found. United States v. Adams, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28537 (W.D.N.Y. Feb. … Continue reading
CA10: “perfunctory factual references” with three legal theories not enough to get a suppression hearing
“Rather than outline factual disputes, Windom’s motion to suppress offered three legal arguments—staleness, nexus, and lack of good faith—for why the affidavit was insufficient to support a search warrant. These arguments contained only perfunctory factual references, with none rising to … Continue reading
NYT: Can My Neighbor Point a Video Doorbell at My Apartment Door?
NYT: Can My Neighbor Point a Video Doorbell at My Apartment Door? by Ronda Kayse (“Ubiquitous in many suburban neighborhoods, the devices have been slow to catch on in city apartments, but that is changing as New Yorkers warm to … Continue reading
NYJL: Getting Real in New York Courts: A Behavioral Realist Approach to Search and Seizure Law
NYJL: Getting Real in New York Courts: A Behavioral Realist Approach to Search and Seizure Law (“A discussion of the proposed application of the ‘behavioral realism’ approach to New York’s search and seizure law to provide a check against racist … Continue reading
NPR: Colorado looks at law allowing police to take guns from people deemed too dangerous
NPR: Colorado looks at law allowing police to take guns from people deemed too dangerous by Andrew Kenney (“A review of the more than 300 requests to invoke Colorado’s red flag law since it was enacted three years ago shows … Continue reading
E.D.Wis.: Some inference on inference permitted in showing PC in affidavit
The affidavit here was not just piling inference on inference to attempt to show probable cause. This was an ongoing drug operation, and the probable cause is present despite some “inductive” reasoning. United States v. Merced, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading
KY: SW not required for medical question answers at book-in
Defendant had only a limited privacy interest in his medical records from questions asked during the book-in process at jail. Getting his medical information was incident to his detention for his arrest for a fatal collision that killed a police … Continue reading
VA: No exigency on police arrival at a “disorderly” call; entry unreasonable
“When the police arrived in response to the ‘disorderly’ call, there was no ongoing disorderly conduct or any indication of any other ongoing crime. Dickens appeared unharmed when she first opened the door to Officer Thornton’s knock, and she said … Continue reading