A Sikh advocacy group launched a free mobile application Monday that allows travelers to complain immediately to the government if they feel they’ve been treated unfairly by airport screeners. Launched at midnight Monday by the Sikh Coalition, the FlyRights app had fielded two complaints by 10 a.m.
ACLU news release: Government Settles Charity’s Lawsuit Over Unconstitutional Terrorism Probe:
The U.S. Treasury Department has settled a lawsuit brought by KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development, an Ohio-based charity that was under investigation for alleged ties to terrorism.
After a string of legal victories for the group, including court findings that the government’s actions violated its due process and Fourth Amendment rights, the government has agreed to remove it from a blacklist and let it distribute funds raised for humanitarian causes consistent with the intent of donors. Details of the agreement were announced today.
This is the first time the government has agreed to de-list a frozen organization as a result of a lawsuit, and to then allow it to distribute its assets.
The last Kindhearts case is here.
Defendant lacked standing to challenge the stop of a vehicle that he was two blocks away from at the time of the stop and did not argue that he had an expectation of privacy. Art. III standing does not apply. [Like this court had any choice?] United States v. Ruiz-Zarate, 678 F.3d 683 (8th Cir. 2012):
Ruiz does not argue that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in Morales's truck at the time of the stop. Rather, he contends that he has "standing" to raise a Fourth Amendment challenge because he suffered an injury-in-fact "that is fairly traceable to the challenged action of the defendant, and likely to be redressed by a favorable decision." Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 591 (8th Cir. 2009) (quotation, citation, and alteration omitted). Our court has previously rejected Ruiz's argument, concluding that this "concept of 'standing' has not had any place in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence ... since the Supreme Court in Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 99 S.Ct. 421, 58 L.Ed.2d 387 (1978), indicated that matters of standing in the context of searches and seizures actually involved substantive Fourth Amendment law." United States v. Green, 275 F.3d 694, 698 n.3 (8th Cir. 2001) (quotation, alteration, and citation omitted). "Fourth Amendment rights are personal and may not be vicariously asserted." United States v. Randolph, 628 F.3d 1022, 1026 (8th Cir. 2011) (quotation and citation omitted). Thus, to challenge a search or seizure under the Fourth Amendment, "the defendant must show that (1) he has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the areas searched or the items seized, and (2) society is prepared to accept the expectation of privacy as objectively reasonable." United States v. Stults, 575 F.3d 834, 842 (8th Cir. 2009) (quotation and citation omitted). Here, Ruiz-Zarate had no reasonable expectation of privacy in Morales's vehicle, which he neither owned nor was near at the time of the traffic stop. Consequently, Ruiz-Zarate cannot raise a Fourth Amendment claim.
A bailbondsman sued for assault and trespass was not entitled to a qualified immunity defense when he came into plaintiff’s home. He was sued under § 1983 because he had police officers with him. Gregg v. Ham, 678 F.3d 333 (4th Cir. April 30, 2012)*:
Applying the test articulated in Richardson [Richardson v. McKnight, 521 U.S. 399, 404 (1997)], we conclude that the history and policy behind the qualified immunity defense do not support extending it to bail bondsmen. First, there is no evidence that bail bondsmen have historically been afforded immunity for their actions. In fact, courts have rejected the notion that bail bondsmen act as an arm of the court or perform a public function. See, e.g., Ouzts v. Md. Nat'l Ins. Co., 505 F.2d 547, 554-55 (9th Cir. 1974) (rejecting the "strange thesis" that a bail bondsman is "an arm of the court"); Fitzpatrick v. Williams, 46 F.2d 40, 40 (5th Cir. 1931) ("The right of the surety to recapture his principal is not a matter of criminal procedure, but arises from the private undertaking implied in the furnishing of the bond.").
Second, the policy justifications underlying qualified immunity do not apply to bail bondsmen. See generally Bailey v. Kenney, 791 F. Supp. 1511, 1523-25 (D. Kan. 1992) (concluding that "[w]ith respect to bail bondsmen, the court finds none of the compelling policy reasons that traditionally justify the availability of qualified immunity to state actors performing discretionary functions"). Courts have traditionally afforded qualified immunity to public officials because susceptibility to suit would distract them from performing their public functions, inhibit discretionary action, and deter desirable candidates from performing public service. See Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 816 (1982). There is no need, however, for qualified immunity to shield bondsmen from suit, as they are not entrusted with a public function. To the contrary, while the law certainly allows a bail bondsman to apprehend a fugitive, that right is exercised in tandem with the obligation of law enforcement to accomplish the same objective. See Bailey, 791 F. Supp. at 1524.
Moreover, rather than operating in the interest of public service, the work of a bail bondsman is fueled primarily by a strong profit motive. See Richardson, 521 U.S. at 409-10 (highlighting the importance of "ordinary marketplace pressures"). Accordingly, even if bail bondsmen are entrusted with a public function, the economic incentives inherent in the system would "ensure an ample number of qualified persons willing to assume the occupational risks of apprehending fugitives." Bailey, 791 F. Supp. at 1524.
In sum, neither history nor policy support extending the qualified immunity defense to bail bondsmen. Ham is therefore unable to show error, plain or otherwise, based on the district court's jury instruction on a defense to which he was not entitled.
Officers responding to a shooting call were validly in the defendant’s residence. They did a protective sweep that extended into the attic, and it was valid. Guns and drugs were in plain view in the attic and seized. United States v. Cruz, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59708 (N.D. Ga. March 19, 2012).
The inventory of defendant’s car was proper because it was being towed because it would have been left blocking traffic. Defendant’s mother arrived after the inventory started, and the officer was not obliged to let her have it. [Although, I’m sure he could have, but the inventory would still have been valid up until then, like the withdrawn consent after something found.] State v. Pullen, 2012 Ohio 1858, 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 1631 (2d Dist. April 27, 2012).*
In a search warrant for child sexual exploitation with photographs on a camera, cell phone, or computer, the fact that the victim was referred to as a “juvenile” was enough for probable cause. It would have been better to have listed the DOB of the juvenile, but close enough for government work. The court also chides defense counsel for the lateness of the motion to suppress, but doesn’t rely on that because it invites an IAC claim. [Not to mention the government may not have quickly provided the search warrant materials; try getting them around here sometimes, especially if a state court issued the warrant and the feds are using it.] United States v. Gleaves, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59508 (N.D. Iowa April 27, 2012).*
The trial court found a lack of consent in part because the officer yelled at the motorist to stay with the car, but the appellate court was not persuaded. Safety reasons need to be considered. State v. Miller, 2012 Ohio 1901, 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 1659 (4th Dist. April 17, 2012)*:
[*P28] After our review of the stipulated evidence submitted in the case sub juice, we disagree with the trial court's conclusion that the appellee did not voluntarily consent to the search. The trial court relied upon the following factors to determine that appellee did not consent: (1) the trooper ordered appellee to remain in the vehicle; (2) the trooper removed appellee from the vehicle; and (3) the trooper did not advise appellee of his right to refuse. With respect to the first of these factors, the trooper was entirely justified to order appellee to remain in the vehicle. As the United States Supreme Court has recognized, traffic stops carry inherent dangers and law enforcement officers are entitled to exercise authority over the driver and any passengers in order to maintain a sense of safety. See Arizona v. Johnson (2009), 555 U.S. 323, 330, 129 S.Ct. 781, 172 L.Ed.2d 694 (recognizing that "traffic stops are 'especially fraught with danger to police officers" and that "'"[t]he risk of harm to both the police and the occupants [of a stopped vehicle] is minimized *** if the officers routinely exercise unquestioned command of the situation."'") (internal quotations and citations omitted). Thus, the trooper's command that appellee remain in the vehicle does not constitute a coercive or threatening act.
If you're a law professor, you probably already have seen this call for papers for a symposium: CrimProfBlog: AALS call for papers on Technology and Crime: The Future of the Fourth Amendment in Public:
The AALS Section on Criminal Justice will hold a panel during the AALS 2013 Annual Meeting in New Orleans entitled: Technology and Crime: The Future of the Fourth Amendment in Public.
We are soliciting papers to consider for presentation in conjunction with this panel. Current confirmed speakers on this distinguished panel include Christopher Slobogin, Vanderbilt University Law School, Tracy Meares, Yale Law School, and Orin Kerr, George Washington University School of Law. The panel will be moderated by Andrew G. Ferguson, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law.
Panel: Technology and Crime: The Future of the Fourth Amendment in Public
New mass surveillance technologies are changing Fourth Amendment protections in public. Enhanced video cameras, GPS location devices, license plate readers, mobile body scanners, backscatter x-ray vans, facial recognition technology, drones, and satellite imaging, in combination, can all be directed at targeted geographic areas. Combined with, or replacing, traditional “stop and frisk” or police surveillance tactics, these technologies have the potential to alter Fourth Amendment protections. At the same time, intelligence-led policing strategies involving crime mapping and analysis have allowed law enforcement to identify areas of crime for targeted police intervention. This panel looks at the constitutional implications of these developments on the expectation of privacy.
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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)