Archives for: March 2012, 09


Permalink 09:13:47 am, by fourth, 244 words, 490 views   English (US)
Categories: General

AR: Bad nighttime search purpose saved by GFE

In a nighttime search case, the safety of children on the premises with a meth lab could be considered by the police and courts in issuing a nighttime search warrant. While all the prior case law deals with officer safety and a nighttime search, here it needed to mean that the children were generally at risk and the warrant happened to be sought at nighttime. That is not a valid reason for a nighttime search warrant. However, the officers were acting in good faith, and this nighttime search would not be suppressed. [Presumably the next one would? The dissenters seem to think not.] State v. Tyson, 2012 Ark. 107, 388 S.W.3d 1 (2012) (4-3):

Additionally, as evidenced by this split opinion, this court cannot unanimously agree in the exact interpretation of the language in Rule 13.2(c)(iii). Therefore, we cannot hold that an officer should have known that the threat of immediate harm to the children inside a trailer with an active methamphetamine lab was not the type of reasonable cause covered by Rule 13.2(c)(iii) to execute the search warrant in hand that had been considered and signed by a judge. Accordingly, we hold that the Leon good-faith exception applies under these circumstances and that the circuit court erred in suppressing the evidence from the nighttime search and seizure.

One curious part of this case is the fact that Arkansas has a rule-made good faith exception that it did not even discuss. So why have it?

Permalink 08:46:30 am, by fourth, 126 words, 555 views   English (US)
Categories: General

GA: Reckless driving doesn't support search incident of car

Driver’s arrest for reckless driving in a shopping mall parking lot did not support a search incident of the passenger compartment. Canino v. State, 314 Ga. App. 633, 725 S.E.2d 782 (2012).

A controlled buy was probable cause for a search warrant that produced more drugs; § 1983 case fails on the merits. Abreu v. Romero, 466 Fed. Appx. 24 (2d Cir. 2012) (unpublished).*

Officers went to defendant’s place for a knock-and-talk and could smell marijuana coming from around the door. One looked through a gap between the blinds and the window frame. Even if this look was excluded from the application, there would still be probable cause. Also, defendant saw the officers and fled the premises. That added to the probable cause. United States v. Newton, 463 Fed. Appx. 462 (5th Cir. 2012) (unpublished).*

Permalink 08:38:58 am, by fourth, 393 words, 453 views   English (US)
Categories: General

D.Kan.: Defendant's wife had full access to consent to search of defendant's computer

Based on representations from defendant’s wife and all the police officers knew, she had apparent authority to consent to a search of what they believed was the family computer. It was not locked with a password, and she had full access to it. The after-acquired facts were not enough to undermine what they knew at the time. United States v. Schuler, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30512 (D. Kan. March 8, 2012):

The court heard the testimony of Mrs. Schuler and Officer Crawford. The court also heard the testimony of defendant. The court has reviewed the parties' briefs and the applicable law. The court does not believe that Officer Crawford was presented with an ambiguous situation here, nor was he required to make further inquiry. Mrs. Schuler had retrieved her husband's laptop from their home, had it in her possession, and provided it to officers–on and unlocked–explaining that she believed it was used to write the letters and/or that it contained the letters, although she was not able to find them on it. The computer was in her care, custody, and control when she provided it to officers and consented to their search of it.

It is true that police only later learned more facts that would either support or undermine Mrs. Schuler's authority to consent to the search, such as where the laptop was kept; whether Mrs. Schumer had previously been provided a password (or whether any password was actually required); and whether she occasionally used the laptop. However, the critical inquiry is what police knew at the time consent was given. Sanchez, 608 F.3d at 689, n.1 (noting that reasonableness of officer's belief that a third party has authority to consent is an objective inquiry, "based on the 'facts available to the officer at the moment,'" quoting Illinois v. Rodriguez, 497 U.S. 177, 188 (1990)); United States v. Andrus, 483 F.3d 711, 722 (10th Cir. 2007) (noting that "[a]ny after-acquired factual knowledge that 'might undermine the initial reasonable conclusion of third-party apparent authority [is] generally immaterial,'" (quotation omitted)). The court need not resolve contradictions in the hearing testimony because these additional facts are not relevant to the inquiry. The court agrees with the government that, at the time and under the circumstances in which Mrs. Schuler gave consent to search, it was reasonable for Officer Crawford to believe that she had authority to do so.

Permalink 08:05:11 am, by fourth, 372 words, 410 views   English (US)
Categories: General

N.D.Ga.: Potential IAC rejected as "good cause" to reopen waived suppression motion

Former defense counsel waived the suppression motion and hearing on the ground that it was done by private action. Second successor counsel wants to raise the issue anew on the eve of trial, and it is denied. United States v. Onyekaba, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153919 (N.D. Ga. October 21, 2011). Even the “good cause” claim in Rule 12(e) that former defense counsel would be ineffective for waiving wasn’t good enough, and led to footnote 8:

8 To the extent defendant is arguing ineffective assistance of counsel as "good cause" to "hear these motions now, rather than in a future 28 U.S.C. § 2255 proceeding," [Doc. 148 at 4], this argument is misplaced. Indeed, ineffective assistance claims raised for the purpose of showing "good cause" under Rule 12(e) are "not ripe for review" and "are best brought by a defendant in a post-conviction proceeding under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 so that the parties can develop an adequate record on the issue." United States v. Jones, No. 3:07-CR-162, 2009 WL 1471807, at *4 (E.D. Tenn. May 27, 2009) (rejecting defendant's argument that he has shown good cause to excuse the waiver due to the alleged ineffective assistance of his prior attorney); see also United States v. Lopez-Medina, 461 F.3d 724, 738-39 (6th Cir. 2006) (finding defendant's "ineffective assistance claim is not ripe for review, and [defendant] therefore, cannot, at this point, demonstrate 'good cause' to excuse his waiver under Rule 12(e)").

Reading between the lines in this case, I’d think that the defendant was insisting on raising this search issue despite the court’s summary which shows it woefully inadequate. Defendant was arrested for shoplifting in a Macy’s store by store security. On him were three credit cards that didn’t belong to him. They called police who stopped the car he was in for a traffic stop, and the codefendants were arrested. The full details aren’t given, but it appears that something came from the traffic stop and there’s at least the appearance that the vehicle was not his; hence a standing problem. Therefore, one might conclude that this was the USMJ’s way of brushing off a motion to suppress that was doomed anyway. We all know clients know more about the Fourth Amendment from their friends than from us.

Permalink 12:01:00 am, by fourth, 235 words, 535 views   English (US)
Categories: General

ars technica: "Obama admin wants warrantless access to cell phone location data"

ars technica: Obama admin wants warrantless access to cell phone location data by Timothy B. Lee:

A Maryland court last week ruled that the government does not need a warrant to force a cell phone provider to disclose more than six months of data on the movements of one of its customers. Two defendants had been accused of armed robbery, and a key piece of evidence against them was data about the movements of the pair's cell phones. The defendants had sought to suppress this location evidence because the government did not get a warrant before seeking the data from network providers. But last Thursday, Judge Richard D. Bennett ruled that a warrant is not required to obtain cell-site location records (CSLR) from a wireless carrier.

Courts all over the country have been wrestling with this question, and the government has been on something of a winning streak. While one court ruled last year that such information requests violate the Fourth Amendment, most others have reached the opposite conclusion.

The Obama administration laid out its position in a legal brief last month, arguing that customers have "no privacy interest" in CSLR held by a network provider. Under a legal principle known as the "third-party doctrine," information voluntarily disclosed to a third party ceases to enjoy Fourth Amendment protection. The government contends that this rule applies to cell phone location data collected by a network provider.

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