A suppression motion that says that defendant was subjected to a warrantless search is not enough to get a suppression hearing. What are the disputed facts? The motion is denied on the papers. United States v. Brissey, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55739 (S.D. Ind. April 20, 2012).
Officers had reasonable suspicion to believe defendant was in possession of a weapon when they arrived at a shots fired call and heard shots from behind defendant’s house and then saw defendant there. United States v. Huebner, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55821 (E.D. Tenn. February 13, 2012).*
Defendant was stopped by the police after they saw him in a high-crime area with his compatriots flagging down cars for drug deals, and, when he saw the police, he dropped something. That was reasonable suspicion. United States v. Johnson, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154810 (E.D. Mo. December 15, 2011), adopted 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55837 (E.D. Mo. April 20, 2012).*
Following the Eighth Circuit, avoiding a DUI checkpoint alone is not enough to make reasonable suspicion. Here, however, there was more. State v. Rademaker, 2012 SD 28, 813 N.W.2d 174 (2012).
2255 inventory claim fails on the merits. “I find no evidence in the record that the impoundment was unlawful or that officers conducted the inventory search before deciding to impound the vehicle.” Brunick v. United States, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55096 (D. Or. April 19, 2012).*
A young man brought defendant’s laptop to the police claiming there was teen gay pornography on the screen from websites defendant visited. The officer touched the mousepad and the screen came on showing what he said. The officer’s viewing of the computer went no further than the private search. Then a state search warrant was sought. United States v. Goodale, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55554 (N.D. Ga. April 19, 2012),* adopted 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75331 (N.D. Ga. May 31, 2012).*
Defendant’s arguments in the trial court were not the same ones made on appeal, so his appeal is governed by the plain error standard, and he doesn’t succeed for lack of a record supporting his argument. He was shot during what was found to be a Terry stop with guns drawn. Under Graham v. Connor, it appeared, on this record, it was justified enough to support the district court's conclusion. United States v. Hill, 471 Fed. Appx. 143 (4th Cir. 2012)*:
Hill argues that when we weigh the three factors enumerated in Graham — the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether the suspect was actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight — it is apparent the officers "did not have an objectively reasonable ground to shoot Hill." Appellant's Br. at 25. As to the severity of the crime, he argues it weighs in his favor because at no point did the officers suspect Hill of having committed a crime; other than knowing that Bennett had written "help" on the receipt and herself carried a gun, all their information came from their observations of Hill inside the car. As to the third factor, he argues, Hill was not actively resisting arrest or attempting to flee.
The reasonableness of the officers' actions thus comes down to whether Hill's movements inside the car rendered reasonable the officers' belief that Hill posed an imminent threat to them, justifying the use of deadly force. The government argues the officers were justified in interpreting Hill's movements as evidence that he was reaching for a gun. Hill argues that belief was unreasonable because "the movement of a suspect's hands, without more, while he is under arrest is insufficient to give rise to an objectively reasonable basis for the police to use deadly force." Appellant's Br. at 26. Only if "the police had seen him with a gun, or had reliable and specific information that he was known to be armed," might this have been a "significant factor," he argues. Id. He also points out that the officers' descriptions of Hill's precise movements were inconsistent, and that it was Bennett, not Hill, whom the officers knew was armed.
Here again, our problem is the absence of adequate information to find that it was "obvious" that Hill did not pose an imminent threat of serious physical harm to the officers. Had Hill raised these issues in the district court, the risk of non-persuasion on these issues would have been cast upon the government to justify a warrantless seizure. See, e.g., United States v. Basinski, 226 F.3d 829, 833 (7th Cir. 2000); United States v. Burke, 605 F. Supp. 2d 688, 693-94 (D. Md. 2009). But under the plain error standard we apply here, Hill must shoulder the burden to prove the contrary. Without findings by the district court on these and related issues, and particularly inasmuch as the surveillance video does not show Hill's movements in the car, we may not plausibly notice plain error on this record and we decline to do so.
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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)