Archives for: December 2012, 03


Permalink 06:23:15 pm, by fourth, 139 words, 1114 views   English (US)
Categories: General

NYT: "Border Searches Face New Challenges in Digital Age"

NYT: Border Searches Face New Challenges in Digital Age by Susan Stellin:

The government has historically had broad power to search travelers and their property at the border. But that prerogative is being challenged as more people travel with extensive personal and business information on devices that would typically require a warrant to examine.

Several court cases seek to limit the ability of border agents to search, copy and even seize travelers’ laptops, cameras and phones without suspicion of illegal activity.

“What we are asking is for a court to rule that the government must have a good reason to believe that someone has engaged in wrongdoing before it is allowed to go through their electronic devices,” said Catherine Crump, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union who is representing plaintiffs in two lawsuits challenging digital border searches.

Permalink 07:39:22 am, by fourth, 158 words, 360 views   English (US)
Categories: General

S.D.N.Y.: Slight exaggerations in officer's testimony about seeing defendants smoking MJ in car did not make it unbelievable

While the officer’s testimony seemed slightly exaggerated at times, it still showed probable cause to believe the defendants were smoking marijuana in the car stopped at an intersection. Another in the car admitted to smoking marijuana, and that undermined the defense theory that it was planted by the first officer. United States v. McCrimmon, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170592 (S.D. N.Y. November 26, 2012).*

Officers had highly specific information from a CI who obviously saw what he was reporting, and that was sufficient for probable cause and nexus for a stop of the defendant’s car. State v. Vasquez, 2012 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 971 (November 28, 2012).*

Defendant’s successor habeas was denied. The first petition alleged IAC for not challenging a search of a videotape in defendant’s house consented to by his live-in girlfriend, where the tape showed defendant having sex with her minor daughter. She had the ability to consent. Thompson v. Ballard, 2012 W. Va. LEXIS 951 (November 30, 2012) (memorandum).*

Permalink 07:19:58 am, by fourth, 181 words, 1541 views   English (US)
Categories: General

N.D.Iowa: Dog sniff at apartment door validly supported search warrant

A drug dog alerted at defendant’s apartment door, and this supported a search warrant. The court declines to follow Jardines v. Florida, 73 So. 3d 34 (Fla. 2011), cert. granted, 132 S. Ct. 995 (2012), despite the fact it was argued a month earlier [and would thus come down any day now], instead following United States v. Scott, 610 F.3d 1009 (8th Cir. 2010), where such a sniff was not unlawful. United States v. Givens, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170649 (N.D. Iowa November 30, 2012).* [Note: Davis would support this search because of Scott even if Jardines is reversed by SCOTUS. Scott was decided in July 2010, and this search was the following December.]

Defendant’s stop was based on an apparent drug deal going down in it. The use of a drug dog after that was with reasonable suspicion. The search of his hotel room wasn’t invalid as a fruit of the poisonous tree since there wasn’t any illegality. United States v. Jackson-Forsythe, 498 Fed. Appx. 224 (4th Cir. 2012).*

Defendant’s arrest was reasonable, so his statements come in. United States v. Foster, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169794 (D. Md. November 28, 2012).*

Permalink 07:02:24 am, by fourth, 164 words, 633 views   English (US)
Categories: General

CA6: Clearly erroneous explained again

Crediting the officers’ testimony that defendant consented to a patdown that produced a sawed-off shotgun was not clearly erroneous. United States v. Oldham, 506 Fed. Appx. 465 (6th Cir. 2012). Clearly erroneous explained:

=> Read more!

Permalink 06:54:23 am, by fourth, 169 words, 433 views   English (US)
Categories: General

FL2: Search of school bookbag without reasonable suspicion of anything unreasonable

The juvenile had an early meeting with her school counselor, and, after the meeting, she had to leave her bookbag because of a school rule against bookbags in the hallway. Four times during the day she came and asked for access to the bookbag which was denied. Based on that, the counselor decided to search the bookbag, and marijuana and paraphernalia was found. The search was without reasonable suspicion of any violation of law or rule, and was unconstitutional. T.S. v. State, 100 So. 3d 1289 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012).

Defendant was stopped on a bicycle for having no light. It should have been viewed the same as a traffic stop with basic questioning. Defendant was asked if he had a weapon and he volunteered he did. That was not unconstitutional. State v. Brown, 2012 Ohio 5532, 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 4806 (2d Dist. November 30, 2012).

Fleeing from a car stopped for a traffic violation is not being “stopped” for Fourth Amendment purposes. United States v. Sebbern, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170550 (E.D. N.Y. November 30, 2012).*

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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
  Fourth Amendment consultant
Little Rock, Arkansas
Contact / The Book
Search and seizure law consulting

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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)

Research Links:
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  F.R.Crim.P. 41

  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
  Privacy Foundation
  Electronic Privacy Information Center
  Criminal Appeal (post-conviction) (9th Cir.)
  Section 1983 Blog

"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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