Archives for: March 2012, 20

03/20/12

Permalink 01:57:30 pm, by fourth, 88 words, 425 views   English (US)
Categories: General

Florida Independent: "Scott signs latest random drug testing of state employees bill"

Florida Independent: Scott signs latest random drug testing of state employees bill by Ashley Lopez:

Last night, Gov. Rick Scott signed into law the state’s second attempt to randomly drug test state employees.

A bill passed through both chambers of the Legislature this month that would allow state agencies to adopt policies for randomly drug testing all of their employees. Civil rights and labor groups spoke out against the bill, which was lobbied for by the governor’s office, as it made its way through the Legislature.

Permalink 01:53:19 pm, by fourth, 110 words, 435 views   English (US)
Categories: General

CA9 grants rehearing en banc in Cotterman

The Ninth Circuit granted rehearing en banc in United States v. Cotterman, 637 F.3d 1068 (9th Cir. 2011), posted here.

Today we examine a question of first impression in the Ninth Circuit: whether the search of a laptop computer that begins at the border and ends two days later in a Government forensic computer laboratory almost 170 miles away can still fall within the border search doctrine. The district court considered the issue to be a simple matter of time and space. It concluded that the search of property seized at an international border and moved 170 miles from that border for further search cannot be justified by the border search doctrine. We disagree.

Permalink 08:48:04 am, by fourth, 130 words, 429 views   English (US)
Categories: General

GA: State couldn't justify seizure of clothing in ER in a capital case

The seizure of defendant’s clothing in the ER was not shown to be supported by any exception to the warrant requirement. It was not shown to be inevitable by the state, it was in an opaque bag so not plain view, and it was not by exigency or consent. Clay v. State, 290 Ga. 822, 725 S.E.2d 260 (2012).

There is no constitutional requirement [citing no cases] that a CI be searched before a controlled buy. Also, the CI here unwittingly led the police to defendant, and that enhanced his reliability. United States v. Donnell, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36487 (D. Minn. February 2, 2012).*

Wearing an empty holster and putting something in a saddlebag is probable cause there is a gun in the saddlebag. State v. Pryor, 2012 Ohio 1033, 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 973 (1st Dist. March 16, 2012).*

Permalink 08:11:05 am, by fourth, 203 words, 417 views   English (US)
Categories: General

N.D.Ga.: Living at house where drugs are sold still gives standing under Carter

Defendants lived at the place searched, and the fact that it was also used to distribute drugs did not deny them standing under Carter. United States v. Vazquez-Velazquez, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35867 (N.D. Ga. February 23, 2012):

Notwithstanding the Government's evidence that the house at 1986 Benthill Drive was used for some drug activity, the evidence does not establish that the house was used primarily for drug operations. Based on the evidence discussed above, I conclude that Defendants met their burden of showing that they lived in the house and used it for ordinary activities of daily living, and thus, had a legitimate expectation of privacy in the house.

A traffic stop based on a reasonable belief that a traffic violation occurred is proper. United States v. Rodriguez-Trevino, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36561 (N.D. Ga. February 21, 2012)*:

"the propriety of the traffic stop does not depend on whether the defendant is actually guilty of committing a traffic offense," but instead, "the pertinent question is whether it was reasonable for the officer to believe that a traffic offense had been committed." United States v. Crump, Criminal Action File No. 4:10-CR-032-HLM-WEJ, 2011 WL 6153106, at *5 (N.D. Ga. Nov. 21, 2011) (citation omitted), adopted by 2011 WL 6179211, at *8 (N.D. Ga. Dec. 12, 2011).

Permalink 08:04:19 am, by fourth, 124 words, 479 views   English (US)
Categories: General

ACLU.org: "Even After Supreme Court GPS Decision, Feds Still Want Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking"

ACLU.org: Even After Supreme Court GPS Decision, Feds Still Want Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking by Sarah Roberts, Speech, Privacy and Technology Project:

Even after January's landmark Supreme Court decision cast significant doubt on the government’s ability to electronically track a person’s location without a warrant, the Justice Department continues to defend this practice. On Friday, the ACLU, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, arguing that the government should be required to obtain a warrant based on probable cause before seizing 60 days’ worth of location information generated by an individual’s cell phone.

Permalink 07:28:28 am, by fourth, 173 words, 381 views   English (US)
Categories: General

Volokh Conspiracy: "What Are the Damages for a Fourth Amendment Search?"

Volokh Conspiracy: What Are the Damages for a Fourth Amendment Search? by Orin Kerr:

Imagine the police search a home for evidence of crime. No one is home but the door is unlocked, and the officers look in the kitchen, bedroom, and closets. They find nothing, and then they leave. Assume that the police do not damage any property or make a mess of things inside the home.

. . .

Now imagine the homeowner learns of the search. The homeowner believes correctly that the search violated the Fourth Amendment, and he sues the officers for money damages. Imagine five possibilities for why the search violated the Fourth Amendment: ...

Here’s my question. Assume that there is no qualified immunity, and that the officers are liable for whatever damages the homeowner suffered for the search. If you are a juror and you are tasked with estimating the damages, what do you think the damages are for these five scenarios?

With this Supreme Court, not much. Maybe no qualified immunity, but how do you calculate the damages?

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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
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Little Rock, Arkansas
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Most recent SCOTUS cases:
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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  www.fd.org

  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
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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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