Archives for: August 2010, 10

08/10/10

Permalink 08:36:44 am, by fourth, 172 words, 376 views   English (US)
Categories: General

CA6: Search of defendant's person during a felony stop was all without probable cause

Officers received a tip that the car defendant was in had cocaine in it. They stopped the car and searched it finding nothing. Then they searched the defendant passenger finding drugs. The district court suppressed the search because the police justification of officer safety was belied by the fact they waited 45 minutes after the stop and searches of the car. There was no probable cause for the search of defendant’s person during the stop. United States v. Moore, 390 Fed. Appx. 503 (6th Cir. 2010).*

Officers were in defendant’s house for 50 minutes talking to him about child pornography on his computer, and that counseled in favor of consent. The district court credited that the officers warned him of his right to refuse consent. Defendant knew exactly what the officers were looking for. United States v. Bach, 388 Fed. Appx. 2 (1st Cir. 2010).*

The driveway of a private residence is not private within the curtilage. Officers could enter to investigate what they saw there. United States v. Alvin, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129433 (S.D. Ga. January 12, 2009).*

Permalink 08:08:27 am, by fourth, 369 words, 515 views   English (US)
Categories: General

M.D.Fla.: Entry through screened-in porch to knock at door did not violate Fourth Amendment

The screened-in porch is an area not entitled to Fourth Amendment protection. Even it it was, the officers acted reasonably when they entered to knock on the door to the house inside the porch with an arrest warrant. United States v. Bergin, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79583 (M.D. Fla. August 6, 2010):

Defendants argue that Deputy Roberts violated the Fourth Amendment when he entered the screened-in porch area to knock on the door. The Report and Recommendation correctly rejects this argument (Doc. #205, p. 29, n.6). Even in the absence of any type of warrant, officers may approach a residence and knock on the door for legitimate police purposes unconnected with a search of the premises, United States v. Taylor, 458 F.3d 1201, 1204 (11th Cir. 2006); United States v. Bervaldi, 226 F.3d 1256, 1263 (11th Cir. 2000) and may tell the suspect to exit the residence. Knight v. Jacobson, 300 F.3d 1272, 1277-78 (11th Cir. 2002). The Supreme Court drew a "firm line" at the threshold of the home, not the front porch. Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 590 (1980); .... The Fourth Amendment was not violated when the officer entered the porch area, and defendants' objections to the contrary are overruled.

Alternatively, the Court will assume that the screen-enclosed front porch constituted a portion of the home to which there was a reasonable expectation of privacy, either as curtilege, United States v. Dunn, 480 U.S. 294, 300 (1987), or as a component of the house itself within the meaning of Payton. See McClish v. Nugent, 483 F.3d 1231, 1241-42 (11th Cir. 2007) (Payton created a firm line delimiting a zone of privacy defined by the "unambiguous physical dimensions of an individual's home.") The Court will further assume that the screen door to that porch was the "threshold" referred to in Payton. With these assumptions, the officer's entry into the screened-in porch was nonetheless lawful. There were two outstanding felony arrest warrants against Jason Bergin for violation of probation. The officers could lawfully enter the house to arrest defendant because there was a valid outstanding arrest warrant, the location was defendant's residence, and defendant was inside the residence. United States v. Bennett, 555 F.3d 962, 965 (11th Cir. 2009); .... Therefore, even assuming the porch is a protected portion of the residence, the entry into the porch area was nevertheless lawful.

Permalink 07:43:00 am, by fourth, 191 words, 383 views   English (US)
Categories: General

S.D.Cal.: Seizure of file cabinets for off-site search was not unreasonable where up to 75% of documents viewed were seizable

After 12 hours of searching under a search warrant finding 65-75% of the files covered by the search warrant, the government agents seized file cabinets and left to search off premises. That off-site search took 160 hours. That was not unreasonable. United States v. Western Titanium, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79508 (S.D. Cal. August 6, 2010):

Nor does the Court believe that the removal of the file cabinets from the premises by Agent Dao demonstrates a flagrant disregard for the terms of the search warrant. Agents had already determined that 65-75% of the documents within similar file cabinets fell within the scope of the search warrant before the cabinets were removed. The off-site search of the cabinets consumed approximately 160 hours while agents reviewed the documents to determine whether they fell within the scope of the warrant. Given that significant effort was expended in attempt to comply with the terms of the search warrant, the Court does not find that the agents flagrantly disregarded the search warrant by ignoring its terms or engaging in indiscriminate fishing expeditions. Accordingly, Defendants' request for suppression of all of the documents seized pursuant to the search warrant is denied.

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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
www.johnwesleyhall.com

© 2003-14, online since Feb. 24, 2003

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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)


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  FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (2008) (pdf)
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  Congressional Research Service:
    Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012)
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    Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012)
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
—Me

"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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