The Free Speech Coalition’s case against the Attorney General for searches under pornography manufacturer’s recordkeeping requirements under 28 U.S.C. § 2257 stated a First and Fourth Amendment claim because of unannounced FBI visits to search records. On remand, the district court should consider the trespass implications of Jones. Free Speech Coalition Inc. v. Attorney General of the United States, 677 F.3d 519 (3d Cir. 2012):
There are two ways in which the government’s conduct may constitute a “search” implicating the Fourth Amendment. First, a Fourth Amendment search occurs when “the person invoking its protection can claim a justifiable, a reasonable, or a legitimate expectation of privacy that has been invaded by government action.” Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 740 (1979) (citations and quotation marks omitted); see also Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27, 32-33 (2001) (“[A] Fourth Amendment search occurs when the government violates a subjective expectation of privacy that society recognizes as reasonable.”); Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 353 (1967) (“The Government’s activities in electronically listening to and recording the petitioner’s words violated the privacy upon which he justifiably relied ... and thus constituted a ‘search and seizure’ within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.”). Determining whether one’s expectation of privacy is justifiable involves two separate inquiries: (1) whether the individual demonstrated an actual or subjective expectation of privacy in the subject of the search or seizure; and (2) whether this expectation of privacy is objectively justifiable under the circumstances. Smith, 442 U.S. at 740 (quotation marks omitted); Katz, 389 U.S. at 361 (Harlan, J., concurring); United States v. Ferri, 778 F.2d 985, 994 (3d Cir. 1985).
Second, as the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Jones makes clear, a Fourth Amendment search also occurs where the government unlawfully, physically occupies private property for the purpose of obtaining information. See 132 S. Ct. at 949-52 (stating that the reasonable-expectation-of-privacy test set forth in Katz was “added to, not substituted for, the common-law trespassory test”) (emphasis in original). Under this analysis, we must determine whether the government committed common-law trespass when obtaining the information. See Jones, 132 S. Ct. at 949-52; see also Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 143 (1978) (explaining the common-law-trespass test employed prior to Katz). If such a trespass occurs, then the government’s actions constitute a search implicating the Fourth Amendment. See Jones, 132 S. Ct. at 949-52.
Here, the District Court erred in dismissing Plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment claim, as sought to be amended. Courts generally must consider the concrete factual context when determining the constitutional validity of a warrantless search. See Sibron v. New York, 392 U.S. 40, 59 (1968) (declining to hold whether a particular statute was facially invalid under the Fourth Amendment because the “constitutional validity of a warrantless search is pre-eminently the sort of question which can only be decided in the concrete factual context of the individual case”); United States ex rel. McArthur v. Rundle, 402 F.2d 701, 704-05 (3d Cir. 1968) (stating that in the case of warrantless searches, courts are required to consider the concrete factual context); see also United States v. $291,828.00 in United States Currency, 536 F.3d 1234, 1238 (11th Cir. 2008). Plaintiffs’ complaint, as amended, would allege that government officials searched and/or seized without a warrant—and in violation of the Fourth Amendment—the premises and effects of certain FSC members and others. The record, however, is not clear as to: which specific members of FSC were searched; when and where the searches of the FSC members and others occurred (i.e., offices or homes); and the conduct of the government during the search (e.g., what specific information the government reviewed and whether the government exceeded its authority under the applicable regulations).
This factual context is necessary for determining whether the government’s conduct was a “search” under the Fourth Amendment pursuant to either the reasonable-expectation-of-privacy test set forth in Katz or the common-law-trespass test described in Jones. ...
“Even if an individual is found to have validly consented, he can still challenge a search on the basis that it exceeded the scope of his consent. See United States v. Canipe, 569 F.3d 597, 604 (6th Cir. 2009).” Quoting United States v. Carter, 378 F.3d 584, 587 (6th Cir. 2004), also on consent in general: “‘Fundamentally, Carter asks us to hold as a matter of law that consent must be given verbally, perhaps by some ‘magic words’ formula. This we decline to do. Although a man’s home is his castle, trumpets need not herald an invitation. The police may be kept out or invited in as informally as any other guest. Carter invited the police in and cannot undo his act in court.’ Id. at 589.” Defendant was actually showing the police he wanted to cooperate, so the consent was voluntary. Since the object of the search was a stolen firearm, the search could be anywhere the gun might be found. United States v. Murphy, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52246 (E.D. Tenn. March 26, 2012), R&R 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52245 (E.D. Tenn. January 10, 2012).*
The officer applying for the telephonic search warrant was not the officer with the most information, but that did not make his hearsay application void. The Franks issue fails: “None of the claimed omissions, if included in the affidavit, would have negated the probable cause determination.” Some of the claimed omissions were actually incriminating. United States v. Salisbury, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51998 (D. Nev. February 3, 2012).*
A frantic woman was worried about her children locked in the house with defendant. The district court’s finding of consent to enter was supported by the evidence. Moreover, there was sufficient evidence of exigency and the entry was not made to arrest or investigate a crime. State v. Morin, 2012 ND 75, 815 N.W.2d 229 (N.D. 2012).*
On staleness, “evidence of the manufacture of methamphetamine is closer to a regenerating conspiracy than a chance encounter in the night. On the continuum of long-versus short-term criminal operations, the manufacture of methamphetamine lies somewhere between growing marijuana and selling or consuming drugs.” It was at a residence, “the alleged criminals were entrenched rather than nomadic.” United States v. Redmond, 475 Fed. Appx. 603, 2012 FED App. 0405N (6th Cir. 2012).*
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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
—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)