Archives for: December 2012, 06

12/06/12

Permalink 05:09:06 pm, by fourth, 368 words, 3342 views   English (US)
Categories: General

SSRN: "To Be Secure: The Forgotten Words of the Fourth Amendment"

SSRN: To Be Secure: The Forgotten Words of the Fourth Amendment by Luke M. Milligan:

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides that “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...” For over two hundred years the text “to be secure” has been neglected by courts and constitutional historians.

As currently interpreted, the Fourth Amendment is limited to the protection of persons against actual searches and seizures. If such a limitation had been the design of the framers, then the “to be secure” text must be acknowledged as superfluous. The prohibition of actual searches and seizures would have been sufficiently conveyed by a Fourth Amendment that read: “The right of the people, in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” The framers’ inclusion of the “to be secure” language therefore suggests an intent to create a different, somewhat broader, right against searches and seizures.

The intended scope of this broader Fourth Amendment right depends upon the meaning of the term “secure” at the time of drafting and ratification. From my review of relevant historical materials, there appear to have been two contending meanings of “to be secure”: (1) “to be free of fear”; and (2) “to be protected.” Either definition expands the reach of the literal Fourth Amendment to new and important forms of government action. Currently the Amendment does not prohibit government (1) threats of unreasonable searches or seizures; (2) acts leaving persons unsure about the use of unconstitutional (or potentially unconstitutional) surveillance techniques; or (3) restrictions on home or personal security measures. These forms of government action, permissible under modern doctrine, would fall within the purview of the Fourth Amendment if the “to be secure” text were taken seriously. Its first plausible meaning (“to be free of fear”) renders all three acts described above (i.e., threats of search/seizure, creation of confusion about the use of unconstitutional surveillance techniques, and restrictions on home/personal security) vulnerable to Fourth Amendment challenges. The alternative plausible meaning (“to be protected”) calls into question the constitutionality of, at the very least, government restrictions on private security measures.

Permalink 07:38:44 am, by fourth, 463 words, 350 views   English (US)
Categories: General

MA: SI of cell phone for recent call list with PC was reasonable

Search of defendants’ recent call list off a cell phone was reasonable as a part of search incident where there was probable cause to connect the phone to the offense of arrest. Commonwealth v. Phifer, 463 Mass. 790, 979 N.E.2d 210 (2012):

This case falls squarely within the scope of Madera [and basic SI law]. The evidence at issue here consists of the contents of the recent call list on the defendant's cellular telephone. The defendant does not appear to dispute that the cellular telephone itself -- the physical object -- was seized properly during a permissible search incident to his lawful arrest. More to the point, like the police in Madera, 402 Mass. at 158, 160-161, the officers here had probable cause to believe the telephone's recent call list would contain evidence relating to the crime for which he was arrested: Officer Fontanez had seen the defendant using the cellular telephone just before the observed drug transaction between the defendant and Claiborne took place; the police recognized Claiborne as a drug user and recovered cocaine from Claiborne; and Detective McCarthy testified that based on his experience, telephones are commonly used in the drug trade. Thus, the search of the call list in this case was a valid search incident to arrest.

We do not suggest that the assessment necessarily would be the same on different facts, or in relation to a different type of intrusion into a more complex cellular telephone or other information storage device. Determination of the reasonableness of a search "requires a balancing of the need for the particular search against the invasion of personal rights that the search entails. Courts must consider the scope of the particular intrusion, the manner in which it is conducted, the justification for initiating it, and the place in which it is conducted." Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 559 (1979). As other courts have noted, see, e.g., United States v. Flores-Lopez, 670 F.3d 803, 805-806 (7th Cir. 2012); State v. Smith, 124 Ohio St. 3d 163, 167-169 (2009), today's cellular telephones are essentially computers, capable of storing enormous quantities of information, personal, private, and otherwise, in many different forms. They present novel and important questions about the relationship between the modern doctrine of search incident to arrest and individual privacy rights. Although an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy is diminished concerning his or her physical person when subject to a lawful arrest and taken into custody, the same may not necessarily be true with respect to the privacy of the myriad types of information stored in a cellular telephone that he or she is carrying at the time of arrest. See People v. Diaz, 51 Cal. 4th 84, 110 (Werdegar, J., dissenting), cert. denied, 132 S. Ct. 94 (2011). However, we do not need to consider these questions in the present case.

Accord: Commonwealth v. Berry, 463 Mass. 800, 979 N.E.2d 218 (2012).

Permalink 07:17:40 am, by fourth, 179 words, 309 views   English (US)
Categories: General

CO: Gant doesn't apply to backpacks in hand when first arrested

Defendant’s backpack was lawfully searched incident to his arrest. Arizona v. Gant applies to vehicles, and it does not change the rules of search incident of the person. People v. Marshall, 2012 CO 72, 289 P.3d 27 (2012):

[*P14] In contrast to the search of a vehicle, the arrest of a person necessarily involves greater officer safety concerns because, unlike items in the compartment of a vehicle, the arrested individual might still be able to access those items on his person even after arrest. Similarly, because the items remain in close proximity to an arrested individual, he might still be able to access that evidence. In brief, there is a factual distinction between searches of cars and persons. This Court's Fourth Amendment jurisprudence reflects this distinction and, accordingly, indicates that the trial court's extension of Gant without additional guidance from the United States Supreme Court was error. Compare Gant, 556 U.S. at 337-38, with United States v. Robinson, 414 U.S. 218, 226, 94 S. Ct. 467, 38 L. Ed. 2d 427 (1973). As such, we turn to this Court's precedent addressing the search of a person incident to arrest.

Permalink 07:09:42 am, by fourth, 170 words, 1421 views   English (US)
Categories: General

CA3: Drawing of weapons on a perceived potentially violent arrestee was not unreasonable

The center brake light wasn’t working, and that justified defendant’s stop under state law (at least there was reasonable suspicion for it). The officer recognized defendant as a recent arrestee and shooting victim, and saw furtive movements. The officer went where the movements were and recovered a machine pistol. The search there was reasonable, and the drawing of guns was not excessive. United States v. Jones, 506 Fed. Appx. 128 (3d Cir. 2012).*

Defendant was stopped with reasonable suspicion where the vehicle and driver matched the description of a vehicle involved in a bank robbery. The defendant was cooperative, and, when he smiled, the officer could see a chipped tooth which was described by the robbery victims. The stop and its continuation was all with reasonable suspicion ripening to probable cause. United States v. Farnell, 701 F.3d 256 (8th Cir. 2012).*

The CI’s reliability for this search warrant was shown by officer corroboration of information, not by his past performance. United States v. Johnson, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171552 (E.D. Mich. November 28, 2012).*

Permalink 06:59:09 am, by fourth, 171 words, 335 views   English (US)
Categories: General

TX7: Youth of victim does not per se undermine probable cause from her statement

The affidavit for search warrant provided probable cause on the totality of information. While the reporting victim was young, that did not undermine her statement that her father had sex with her because of some limited corroboration from statements of the father. The search warrant also was not stale. “When the affidavit recites facts indicating activity of a protracted and continuous nature, the passage of time becomes less significant.” The victim’s statements supported a request in the warrant for writings and pictures. Jarnagin v. State, 392 S.W.3d 223 (Tex. App. – Amarillo 2012).*

Defendant’s 2255 claim that defense counsel was ineffective for not challenging the search warrant was denied because there was no search warrant. Defense counsel did challenge a warrantless search. United States v. Anderson, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171275 (E.D. Va. December 3, 2012).*

Claimant’s stop was reasonable based on a traffic offense, and it was not so long before consent was given that it was unreasonable. United States v. $89,980.00 United States Currency, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171893 (S.D. Tex. November 9, 2012).*

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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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