Today was the day the amicus briefs for the Respondent Jones in United States v. Jones (you remember, the GPS case?) set for argument November 8th. A couple are online. Look for the rest later today or tomorrow on ScotusBlog.
Via NACDL, I received six today, but I can't post them.
The Ninth Circuit joins virtually every other jurisdiction and holds that there is a common law right of access to search warrant materials, thus declining to reach the constitutional issues of whether the Fourth Amendment requires it. United States v. The Business of the Custer Battlefield Museum and Store Located at Interstate 90, Exit 514, South of Billings, Montana, 658 F.3d 1188 (9th Cir. 2011):
We also agree with these courts that post-investigation warrant materials fall outside the “narrow range of documents [that are] not subject to the right of public access at all because the[y] have ‘traditionally been kept secret for important policy reasons.’” Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178 (quoting Times Mirror, 873 F.2d at 1219). As we acknowledged in Times Mirror, 873 F.2d at 1213-14, 1218, warrant materials have not historically been accessible to the public during the early stages of criminal proceedings. “Warrant application proceedings are highly secret in nature and have historically been closed to the press and public.” Wells Fargo, 643 F. Supp. 2d at 583; see also Baltimore Sun, 886 F.2d at 64 (“[P]roceedings for search warrants are not open to the public.”); Gunn, 855 F.2d at 573 (“[H]istorically the process of issuing search warrants involves an ex parte application by the government and in camera consideration by the judge or magistrate. Moreover, the very objective of the search warrant process, the seizure of evidence of crime, would be frustrated if conducted openly.”).
 Post-investigation, however, warrant materials “have historically been available to the public.” In re N.Y. Times Co., 585 F. Supp. 2d at 88. “Search warrant applications ... generally are unsealed at later stages of criminal proceedings, such as upon the return of the execution of the warrant or in connection with post-indictment discovery.” Wells Fargo, 643 F. Supp. 2d at 581. “[A]lthough the process of issuing search warrants has traditionally not been conducted in an open fashion, search warrant applications and receipts are routinely filed with the clerk of court without seal.” Gunn, 855 F.2d at 573 (emphasis added). In the post-investigation context, warrant materials have generally been open to the public.
 This tradition of openness “serves as a check on the judiciary because the public can ensure that judges are not merely serving as a rubber stamp for the police.” In re N.Y. Times Co., 585 F. Supp. 2d at 90. Warrant materials are also “often used to adjudicate important constitutional rights such as the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Id. As the Eighth Circuit has observed, “public access to documents filed in support of search warrants is important to the public’s understanding of the function and operation of the judicial process and the criminal justice system and may operate as a curb on prosecutorial or judicial misconduct.” Gunn, 855 F.3d at 573; see also Wells Fargo, 643 F. Supp. 2d at 583 (stating that access to warrant materials “promotes the legitimate interests of the public and the press in ‘keep[ing] a watchful eye on the workings of public agencies’” (alteration in original) (quoting United States v. Amodeo, 44 F.3d 141, 145 (2d Cir. 1995))).
 For these reasons, we hold that the public has a qualified common law right of access to warrant materials after an investigation has been terminated. In doing so, we decline to extend Times Mirror to post-investigation access. ...
United States v. Krupa, 633 F.3d 1148 (9th Cir. 2011) (posted here), is vacated on rehearing and a new opinion issued: While there arguably was no probable cause based on a later case, at the time of the search (2002) there appeared to be, so the good faith exception would be applied. United States v. Krupa, 658 F.3d 1174 (9th Cir. 2011):
The agent’s affidavit presented to Colonel LaFave first set forth the agent’s qualifications to conduct investigations of computers and recover digital evidence, as well as his experience in investigations related to computer crimes and child pornography. The affidavit then stated that base police, responding to a report of child neglect, determined that “there were several computers at the location and that there was no custodial parents at the house only an individual KRUPA who was not affiliated with the military.” The affidavit stated that Krupa “had care and custody of the residence,” which included the 13 computer towers and two laptops. Reynolds’ affidavit stated that during his initial investigation of the computers, before consent was withdrawn, he located “an image of suspected contraband,” specifically a “photograph [that] appeared to be of a nude 15 to 17 year old female with a web site label of www.nude-teens.com.”
Although a close case, we conclude that Colonel LaFave reasonably concluded that there was probable cause to issue a search warrant. Reynolds’ affidavit set forth his qualifications as a trained investigator of computers for computer crimes and child pornography. Accordingly, the Colonel was entitled to give some deference to the agent’s statement that the photograph constituted an “image of suspected contraband,” even though the affidavit’s description of the photograph did not necessarily support the conclusion that the photograph constituted child pornography. Furthermore, the affidavit indicated that [*9] the police had responded to “a report of child neglect,” that no custodial parents were at the residence, that Krupa, who was not affiliated with the military, had care and custody of the residence, and that the residence contained 15 computers. In sum, the investigator’s assertion that he had found an “image of suspected contraband” — implicitly referring to child pornography — in computers seized from a home for which there had been a report of child neglect, and where there was no custodial parent present, created a “fair probability” that contraband or evidence would be found in the computers. See Gates, 462 U.S. at 238.
Defendant’s Franks challenge was based on the fact that the officer did not include in a later search warrant application that the lady that consented to the search with full authority to do so had a criminal history. The officer included that she’d been indicted. Even if it were all included, the search warrant would have issued. United States v. Livingston, 445 Fed. Appx. 550 (3d Cir. 2011).*
Defendant’s motion to suppress was based on an entrapment defense, a defense on the merits, and it was acceded to that it was more an issue for trial, so the judgment is affirmed. State v. Lewis, 75 So. 3d 495 (La. App. 5th Cir. 2011).*
An FOIA production did not provide enough information of alleged falsity to overcome a 1962 order denying a suppression motion that was affirmed on appeal. United States v. Stonehill, 660 F.3d 415 (9th Cir. 2011).*
|<< <||Current||> >>|
Fourth Amendment cases,
citations, and links
Latest Slip Opinions:
U.S. Supreme Court (Home)
Federal Appellate Courts Opinions
FDsys: Many district courts
FDsys: Many federal courts
Military Courts: C.A.A.F., Army, AF, N-M, CG
Advanced Google Scholar
Google search tips
LII State Appellate Courts
LexisONE free caselaw
Findlaw Free Opinions
To search Search and Seizure on Lexis.com $
Most recent SCOTUS cases:
Plumhoff v. Rickard, granted Nov. 15, argued Mar. 4 (ScotusBlog)
Stanton v. Sims, 2013 U.S. LEXIS 7773 (Nov. 4, 2013) (per curiam)
Navarette v. California, granted Oct.1, argued Jan. 21 (ScotusBlog)
Fernandez v. California, granted May 20, argued Nov. 13 (ScotusBlog)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
S. Ct. Docket
Solicitor General's site
Briefs online (but no amicus briefs)
Curiae (Yale Law)
Oyez Project (NWU)
"On the Docket"–Medill
S.Ct. Monitor: Law.com
S.Ct. Com't'ry: Law.com
General (many free):
Google Scholar | Google
LexisOne Legal Website Directory
Lexis.com (criminal law/ 4th Amd) $
Findlaw.com (4th Amd)
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
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
—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
—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."
"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)