Archives for: August 2011, 05


Permalink 06:17:10 am, by fourth, 207 words, 3063 views   English (US)
Categories: General

Cal.1: Taking DNA from arrestee on PC but without judicial authorization violated Fourth Amendment

Taking DNA from an arrestee still entitled to the presumption of innocence without judicial authorization violated the Fourth Amendment. People v. Buza, 197 Cal. App. 4th 1424, 129 Cal. Rptr. 3d 753 (1st Dist. 2011), Modified by, 2011 Cal. App. LEXIS 1149 (Cal. App. 1st Dist., Aug. 31, 2011):

The sole issue in this case is the constitutionality of a provision of the DNA and Forensic Identification Data Base and Data Bank Act of 1998, as amended (Pen. Code, § 295 et seq.) (the DNA Act), which requires that a DNA sample be taken from all adults arrested for or charged with any felony offense ―immediately following arrest, or during the booking ... process or as soon as administratively practicable after arrest ... (§§ 296.1, subd. (a)(1)(A), 296, subd. (a)(2)(C).) Appellant claims that the seizure of his DNA at a time when he was entitled to the presumption of innocence, and there had been no judicial determination of probable cause to believe he committed the offense for which he was arrested, violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. We agree, and therefore reverse the judgment.

This is a detailed and scholarly opinion. I highly recommend it because it rejects the DNA as mere fingerprint analogy which was adopted by the Third Circuit just two weeks ago.

Permalink 05:58:57 am, by fourth, 404 words, 3016 views   English (US)
Categories: General

D.Colo.: Arrest for failing to say name of driver was with PC for obstruction

Refusal to identify the person driving the car plaintiff was in was sufficient PC to arrest for obstruction of a law enforcement officer for qualified immunity. Kaufman v. Higgs, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83609 (D. Colo. July 29, 2011):

More importantly, in determining whether Defendants violated Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights by his arrest, the question is not whether Plaintiff committed the crime of obstructing a peace officer but whether Defendants had probable cause to believe that he did. Cortez, supra. See also Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 245 n.13, 103 S. Ct. 2317, 76 L. Ed. 2d 527 (1983) (“[P]robable cause requires only a probability or substantial chance of criminal activity, not an actual showing of such activity.”). Here, based on the plain language of the obstruction statute itself, I conclude that Defendants could reasonably believe that Plaintiff's assertion of “privilege” and refusal to identify the driver of his vehicle constituted an “obstacle” that obstructed, hindered, or impaired their investigation of the hit and run accident involving Plaintiff's vehicle. Plaintiff has therefore failed to meet his burden of establishing that Defendants violated his Fourth Amendment rights by arresting him without probable cause.

Defendant who was told to put his hands on the patrol car so he could be searched, denied him the ability to talk to a friend, and prolonged the detention for a frisk on reasonable suspicion make stop into a de facto arrest. United States v. Lara-Pantoja, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85030 (N.D. Iowa August 2, 2011):

The defendant maintains that the stop became a de facto arrest when Officer Dennler (1) requested the defendant to place his hands on the patrol car so he could search the defendant; (2) denied the defendant’s request to speak with his friend at the nearby grocery store; and (3) prolonged the detention on the basis of a subjective motive to investigate other matters. The defendant contends that Officer Dennler continued to question him without probable cause, without a warrant, and without advising him of his Miranda rights. The court disagrees. These minor restraints on the defendant’s activities did not constitute an arrest. See Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U.S. 106, 111 n.6, 98 S. Ct. 330, 333 n.6, 54 L. Ed. 2d 331 (1977) (“[O]nce a motor vehicle has been lawfully detained for a traffic violation, the police officers may order the driver to get out of the vehicle without violating the Fourth Amendment's proscription of unreasonable searches and seizures.”). “[T]he officer does not need to be certain that the suspect was armed. ...

Permalink 12:07:26 am, by fourth, 268 words, 2995 views   English (US)
Categories: General

IL: Search of the person before being placed in ambulance was unreasonable

Search of defendant’s person before he was placed in an ambulance at best could be for weapons. Removing a smoking pipe from his pocket was an unreasonable search. People v. Kowalski, 2011 IL App (2nd) 100237, 352 Ill. Dec. 582, 954 N.E.2d 442 (2011):

[P14] The State argues, as the trial court found, that this warrant exception should be extended to a situation where a citizen is to be transported in an ambulance. Even assuming that this exception may be properly extended in such a manner, we believe that the search conducted by Gaw exceeded the scope permitted under this exception. As the United States Supreme Court stated in Terry, a search for weapons without probable cause must, like any other search, be “strictly circumscribed by the exigencies which justify its initiation.” Terry, 392 U.S. at 25-26. Accordingly, if the purpose of searching a citizen prior to providing him with a courtesy transport in a squad car or transporting him in an ambulance is to ensure the safety of the transporting officers or paramedics, then such a search, like the protective pat-down search permitted by Terry, should be limited to “an intrusion reasonably designed to discover guns, knives, clubs, or other hidden instruments for the assault of the police officer” or paramedic. See Terry, 392 U.S. at 29. As previously discussed, the State did not present any evidence that indicated that Gaw initially limited his search of defendant to a pat-down search for weapons or that the pipe felt like a weapon or other contraband. Accordingly, the State failed to counter defendant's prima facie case that the search conducted by Gaw was illegal.

Permalink 12:01:12 am, by fourth, 233 words, 2919 views   English (US)
Categories: General

MO: 911 call that "someone was hurt and not breathing" was an invitation to the police to enter

A 911 call was an invitation to the police to come and enter: “At 4:15 p.m. on the day of the murders, Movant called 911. He reported that someone was hurt and not breathing, and said ‘[y]ou just need to send somebody over here.’ When police arrived, Movant was in the front drive. Officers briefly spoke with Movant, then entered the home. Movant never subsequently objected to police being in or about his home. Within two hours, officers had discovered the bodies, secured the crime scene, arrested Movant, and taken him to the police station.” Mayes v. State, 349 S.W.3d 413 (Mo. App. 2011).

Defendant was stopped without probable cause he was impaired, and he was told that blood would be taken from him if he didn’t consent, and he did not. The forced blood draw was unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment and Texas Constitution. State v. Mosely, 348 S.W.3d 435 (Tex. App.—Austin July 28, 2011).

Defendant’s argument in the trial court for suppression of evidence was not the same one he made on appeal, so the argument on appeal would not be considered. Brown v. State, 2010 Tex. App. LEXIS 5432 (Tex. App.—San Antonio July 14, 2010), Released for Publication January 27, 2011.*

Defective taillight led to stop to “I’ve only had two beers,” and a finding of RS to detain him. Urdiales v. State, 2010 Tex. App. LEXIS 4349 (Tex. App.—San Antonio June 9, 2010), Released for Publication January 24, 2011.*

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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
  Fourth Amendment consultant
Little Rock, Arkansas
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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)
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"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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