Archives for: April 2009, 01


Permalink 03:08:30 pm, by fourth, 35 words, 395 views   English (US)
Categories: General "Applying for jobless benefits? Here, pee in a cup"

A West Virginia lawmaker wants the unemployed to submit to UAs to get unemployment benefits, and he has proposed a bill requiring it. See Applying for jobless benefits? Here, pee in a cup.

Permalink 07:34:45 am, by fourth, 24 words, 378 views   English (US)
Categories: General

ABAJ: "Who's Policing the Fourth Amendment?"

Permalink 06:07:36 am, by fourth, 181 words, 366 views   English (US)
Categories: General

MD: No REP in jail non-privileged mail

Officer observed defendant on a store parking lot, probably engaging in drug transactions, and followed him as he left, speeding. He pulled the defendant over, and defendant got out of the car and obviously had something in his mouth. That, too, was reasonable suspicion. State v. Schnyder, 10 So. 3d 303 (La. App. 5th Cir. 2009).*

Defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in his mail as a pretrial detainee (surveying dozens of cases). He mailed a letter which came back with insufficient address. The letter had a copy of an autopsy photograph referring to "my victim" which was admitted into evidence. Sparkman v. State, 184 Md. App. 716, 968 A.2d 162 (2009).

Three defendants being drunk in a garage was not an exigent circumstance that they could not be left alone, comparing it to the level of intrusion on their person by entering the garage and then searching them. State v. Waters, 181 Ohio App. 3d 424, 909 N.E.2d 183 (5th Dist. 2009).*

Defendant's illegal arrest led to a statement that was not sufficiently attenuated from the arrest, and it was suppressed. State v. Gutierrez, 2009 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 209 (March 25, 2009).*

Permalink 05:26:13 am, by fourth, 698 words, 638 views   English (US)
Categories: General

Automobile exception applied even though car was locked and keys were in defendant's pocket at jail

The defendant's car was subject to the automobile exception even though it was locked, he was in custody, and he had the only key. Coolidge did not apply because it did not involve normal exigency. United States v. Dallas, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24600 (E.D. N.C. March 23, 2009):

In this case, both requirements of the "automobile exception" are present. The Fourth Circuit has interpreted the "readily mobile" requirement of the "automobile exception" to mean that a car need only be "clearly operational." Brookins, 345 F.3d at 238. Defendant's car was clearly operational as defendant had been driving it just a few hours prior to the police searching it. That defendant had the keys to the car does not render the car any less "readily mobile" under the standard that guides this court's analysis. Further, there was more than sufficient evidence to satisfy the probable cause requirement. ...

First, the police knew that the defendant had been involved in an altercation that involved use of an SKS rifle that may have been in the possession of defendant. (Tr. of Dec. 15, 2008 Suppression Hr'g 30.) Second, the police knew that the car at issue was the car in which defendant and the victim began the night driving around in, and the car in which defendant fled the scene of the shooting. (See M&R 2-5 (summarizing the testimony of the officers); Tr. of Dec. 15, 2008 Suppression Hr'g 31, 42-43, 45.) Third, the car had blood splatters on the exterior that were consistent with an individual standing over the car's trunk and dripping blood on it, as well as blood on the driver's side door window area. (Tr. Of Dec. 15, 2008 Suppression Hr'g 48, 54-56.) The car was parked in front of Brandy Dallas's residence, in which defendant was apprehended. (Id. at 49-51.) The police had thoroughly searched Brandy Dallas's residence looking for the weapons at issue and had not found them. (Id. at 50, 60.) Taken together, these facts indicate that the police had probable cause to suspect that the weapons may have been hidden in the trunk of the 2000 Hyundai that they searched.

The court therefore finds that the "automobile exception" applied to the warrantless search conducted in this case. The car was readily mobile and the police had probable cause to believe that the weapon used in the shooting may have been in the car. ...

Defendant could be stopped leaving a closed military base. There was a BOLO for him, and, when stopped, he was found DUI. United States v. Walton, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24906 (N.D. N.Y. March 25, 2009).*

Defendant's actions in not minimally cooperating with the police during his traffic stop justified a patdown and protective search of the car. United States v. Sanders, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24795 (N.D. Ind. March 20, 2009):

When considering the totality of the Defendant's conduct after the officers checked the database for warrants, driving status, and prior incidents with law enforcement and re-approached the Defendant's vehicle, the Court finds that the totality of the circumstances created a reasonable concern for officer safety and a reasonable suspicion that the Defendant was hiding or accessing a weapon. After learning that the Defendant had prior incidents involving the carrying a handgun without a license, that he did not have a permit to carry a handgun, and that he had been assigned an alert for having been armed in prior incidents with law enforcement, the officers observed the Defendant reaching around in the passenger compartment, but they also observed him refuse repeated orders to exit the vehicle, repeatedly honk his horn to draw attention to the scene, and act very nervously. They had to remove him from the vehicle. He also maintained a rigid stance and resisted bending over against the vehicle. When viewed in the totality of the circumstances, the Defendant's conduct caused the officers to have a reasonable concern that he might have a weapon and that their safety was threatened. Thus, the officers were lawfully authorized to conduct a protective pat down of the Defendant and a protective search of the passenger compartment. The protective search of the passenger compartment was limited to those areas in the passenger compartment (including the glove compartment and the center console) in which a weapon could be placed or hidden.

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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
  Fourth Amendment consultant
Little Rock, Arkansas
Contact / The Book
Search and seizure law consulting

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Most recent SCOTUS cases:
2009 to date:

2013-14 Term:
  Riley v. California, granted Jan.17, argued Apr. 29 (ScotusBlog)
  United States v. Wurie, granted Jan.17, argued Apr. 29 (ScotusBlog)
  Plumhoff v. Rickard, granted Nov. 15, argued Mar. 4 (ScotusBlog)
  Stanton v. Sims, 134 S.Ct. 3, 187 L. Ed. 2d 341 (Nov. 4, 2013) (per curiam)
  Navarette v. California, granted Oct.1, argued Jan. 21 (ScotusBlog)
  Fernandez v. California, 134 S.Ct. 1126, 188 L. Ed. 2d 25 (Feb. 25) (ScotusBlog)

2012-13 Term:
  Maryland v. King, 133 S.Ct. 1958, 186 L.Ed.2d 1 (2013) (ScotusBlog)
  Missouri v. McNeeley, 133 S.Ct. 1552, 185 L.Ed.2d 696 (2013) (ScotusBlog)
  Bailey v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 1031, 185 L.Ed.2d 19 (2013) (ScotusBlog)
  Florida v. Harris, 133 S.Ct. 1050, 185 L.Ed.2d 61 (2013) (ScotusBlog)
  Florida v. Jardines, 133 S.Ct. 1409, 185 L.Ed.2d 495 (2013) (ScotusBlog)
  Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, 133 S.Ct. 1138, 185 L.Ed.2d 264 (2013) (ScotusBlog)

2011-12 Term:
  Ryburn v. Huff, 132 S.Ct. 987, 181 L.Ed.2d 966 (2012) (other blog)
  Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, 132 S.Ct. 1510, 182 L.Ed.2d 566 (2012) (ScotusBlog)
  United States v. Jones, 132 S.Ct. 945, 181 L.Ed.2d 911 (2012) (ScotusBlog)
  Messerschmidt v. Millender, 132 S.Ct. 1235, 182 L.Ed.2d 47 (2012) (ScotusBlog)

2010-11 Term:
  Kentucky v. King, 131 S.Ct. 1849, 179 L.Ed.2d 865 (2011) (ScotusBlog)
  Camreta v. Greene, 131 S.Ct. 2020, 179 L.Ed.2d 1118 (2011) (ScotusBlog)
  Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 131 S.Ct. 2074, 179 L.Ed.2d 1149 (2011) (ScotusBlog)
  Davis v. United States, 131 S.Ct. 2419, 180 L.Ed.2d 285 (2011) (ScotusBlog)

2009-10 Term:

  Michigan v. Fisher, 558 U.S. 45, 130 S.Ct. 546, 175 L.Ed.2d 410 (2009) (per curiam) (ScotusBlog)
  City of Ontario v. Quon, 560 U.S. 746, 130 S.Ct. 2619, 177 L.Ed.2d 216 (2010) (ScotusBlog)

2008-09 Term:
  Herring v. United States, 555 U.S. 135, 129 S.Ct. 695, 172 L.Ed.2d 496 (2009) (ScotusBlog)
  Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 129 S.Ct. 808, 172 L.Ed.2d 565 (2009) (ScotusBlog)
  Arizona v. Johnson, 555 U.S. 323, 129 S.Ct. 781, 172 L.Ed.2d 694 (2009) (ScotusBlog)
  Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332, 129 S.Ct. 1710, 173 L.Ed.2d 485 (2009) (ScotusBlog)
  Safford Unified School District #1 v. Redding, 557 U.S. 364, 129 S.Ct. 2633, 174 L.Ed.2d 354 (2009) (ScotusBlog)

Research Links:
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  FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (2008) (pdf)
  DEA Agents Manual (2002) (download)
  DOJ Computer Search Manual (2009) (pdf)

  Congressional Research Service:
    Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012)
    Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012)
    Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012)
    Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012)
    Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions (2012)

  ACLU on privacy
  Privacy Foundation
  Electronic Privacy Information Center
  Criminal Appeal (post-conviction) (9th Cir.)
  Section 1983 Blog

"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."

"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!”
Pepé Le Pew

"There is never enough time, unless you are serving it."
Malcolm Forbes

"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."
Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)


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