Archives for: February 2012, 02


Permalink 07:22:08 am, by fourth, 130 words, 584 views   English (US)
Categories: General

Oregonian: Police officer who arrested person video recording him held liable

The Oregonian: Eugene verdict clarifies legal protections for protesters who turn video cameras on police by Bryan Denson:

Camcorders, smart phones and live-streaming gizmos bob atop seas of demonstrators these days in Oregon, often capturing hostilities between police and demonstrators from various angles.

State law permits protesters to record police in public places. But courts have made few rulings on what officers can do with the recording devices they seize from people during arrests.

The rules of engagement became clearer in Eugene's U.S. District Court last week, when a civil jury determined that a city police sergeant violated an environmental activist's constitutional protections against illegal search and seizure during a 2009 leafletting campaign outside a bank.

[Note: This is so obvious, there is no qualified immunity. It isn't even close.]

Permalink 07:16:33 am, by fourth, 186 words, 451 views   English (US)
Categories: General

N.D.Ga.: Violation of parole officer's manual not determinative; Fourth Amendment is

Whether or not the parole officer violated the parole officer’s field manual really doesn’t matter if the search otherwise complied with the Fourth Amendment. United States v. Wade, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11552 (N.D. Ga. January 31, 2012).*

Plaintiff was a potential suspect under the suspect exception of the Privacy Protection Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000aa(a)(1). Her status as a photojournalist did not automatically protect her under the Act. Sennett v. United States, 667 F.3d 531 (4th Cir. 2012) (unpublished).

The trial court’s incomplete findings of fact left the appellate court unsure how it was applying the facts in crediting defendant (no violations of the law) or the officer (three traffic offenses). The fact that the trial court applied a reasonable suspicion standard rather than a probable cause standard suggested either that the trial court misapplied the law or disbelieved some or all of defendant’s testimony. The law that applied depended upon whose version of the events was to be believed, and the trial court failed to make any credibility determinations in the first instance. State v. Payne, 2012 Ohio 305, 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 247 (9th Dist. January 30, 2012).*

Permalink 07:00:17 am, by fourth, 374 words, 575 views   English (US)
Categories: General

S.D.Fla.: To invoke Jones in a GPS case, one must have standing

Under Jones, the person complaining has to have standing to contest installation of the GPS in the vehicle. The members of the robbery crew here had no standing. United States v. Hanna, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11385 (S.D. Fla. January 30, 2012):

Under either approach recognized by Jones, an essential component of the Fourth Amendment claim requires that one's own personal "effects" have been trespassed (e.g., one's automobile when a GPS tracking device was secretly installed), or that one's own expectation of privacy was impinged (e.g., one's own movements were continuously monitored and tracked for a material period of time). That is principally where these Defendants' attempt to benefit from the Supreme Court's decision in Jones fails. Neither Ransfer nor Hanna was either the owner or exclusive user of the Ford Expedition. To the contrary, the record shows that members of the robbery crew consistently referred to the Expedition as co-Defendant Middleton's truck. It is undisputed, and the Court has found, that neither Ransfer nor Hanna was in possession of the Expedition at the time that the alleged trespass (the installation and subsequent use of the tracker) occurred. It is also undisputed that Middleton owned that vehicle at all relevant times. Thus, to the extent that Jones relies upon a theory of trespass upon private property, neither Ransfer nor Hanna has standing to challenge a trespass upon property as to which they had no rights.

Moreover, Defendants Ransfer and Hanna also lack standing to challenge the installation and use of the GPS device on the Ford Expedition because — under a traditional Katz analysis — they had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the vehicle. In Jones, five members of the Court concluded that Justice Scalia's trespass theory did not form a sufficiently comprehensive analysis of the Fourth Amendment implications of GPS monitoring and argued that GPS monitoring should also (in the case of Justice Sotomayor) or only (in the case of Justice Alito) be analyzed to determine whether it has invaded a reasonable expectation of privacy. Under this traditional test as well, neither defendant Ransfer nor Hanna had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the Ford Expedition or its movements, and thus neither has standing to challenge the installation and use of the GPS device.

Permalink 06:51:40 am, by fourth, 112 words, 362 views   English (US)
Categories: General

NC: Defendant's hunting land was "open fields"

Defendant was accused of hunting baited bears on his own land, and the land was clearly open fields under Oliver. State v. Ballance, 2012 N.C. App. LEXIS 60 (January 17, 2012).*

When defendant was paroled, he agreed to be searched without cause. Samson v. California, 547 U.S. 843 (2006). Even if reasonable suspicion was necessary, the officers had it. United States v. Wade, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11561 (N.D. Ga. January 4, 2012).*

Under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, there was probable cause to believe defendant’s vehicle was used in the commission of a drug crime so the vehicle was “contraband,” and that justified its impoundment. United States v. Allen, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152604 (M.D. Ga. December 5, 2011).*

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

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2013-14 Term:
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  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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"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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