Archives for: December 2012, 15


Permalink 04:07:10 pm, by fourth, 511 words, 1002 views   English (US)
Categories: General

N.D.Ala.: Police entry 22 minutes before SW issued was reasonable because of exigent circumstances

A warrant was being sought, and the officers waiting for the warrant reasonably figured that their cover had been blown and it was time to secure the premises before the warrant arrived. The seizure of the house and protective sweep 22 minutes before the warrant arrived wasn’t unreasonable. United States v. Figueroa-Cruz, 914 F. Supp. 2d 1250 (N.D. Ala. 2012):

Unlike the officers entry into the apartment of Santa [United States v. Santa, 236 F.3d 662 (11th Cir. 2000)] agents at the Skyline Drive house had every reason to believe that the occupants of the house would soon be alerted to the presence of the agents. Stephens ordered an entry to "secure the scene." That stated purpose alone does not alter the fact that the entry was not authorized by a warrant. " Any warrantless entry based on exigent circumstances must, of course, be supported by a genuine exigency." Kentucky v. King, __ U.S. __, __, 131 S.Ct. 1849, 1862, __ L.Ed.2d __, __ (2011) citing Brigham City v. Stuart, 547 U.S. 398, 406, 126 S.Ct. 1943, 164 L.Ed.2d 650 (2006). Stephens stated purpose, however is relevant to the inquiry into whether he "created" exigency as they Eleventh Circuit found was the case in Santa. "A warrantless search is allowed,[], where both probable cause and exigent circumstances exist." United States v. Tobin, 923 F.2d at 1510 . Exigent circumstances exist "where the inevitable delay incident to obtaining a warrant must give way to an urgent need for immediate action." United States v. Morales, 868 F.2d 1562, 1575 (11th Cir.1989). Here there was a warrantless entry and protective sweep of the house. Assuming without deciding that agents seized the drugs and money once they were seen on the counter the Supreme Court has clearly approved the warrantless seizure of property to maintain the status quo while a warrant is obtained where they would or did hold a warrantless search to be invalid. Rowlings [sic] v. Kentucky, 448 U.S. 98, 100 S.Ct. 2556, 65 L.Ed.2d 633 (1980); Arkansas v. Sanders, 442 U.S. 753, 99 S.Ct. 2586, 61 L.Ed.2d 235 (1979); United States v. Van Leeuwen, 397 U.S. 249, 90 S.Ct. 1029, 25 L.Ed.2d 282 (1970). In the present case Stephens did not commence the actual search until warrant had been obtained. (Tr.7/19/12 p.39)

The agents watching the Skyline Drive location had reasonable grounds to believe that whoever was in the house would soon be alerted that some form of investigation was on going. With such knowledge the individuals may have been able to flee without detection because agents had only a limited view of the scene. The Eleventh Circuit has long expressed acceptance of the fact that the possibility of destruction of evidence is acute in narcotics cases. Tobin, 923 F.2d at 1511 (This Court has held that the need to invoke the exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement is "particularly compelling in narcotics cases" because narcotics can be so quickly destroyed. United States v. Young, 909 F.2d 442, 446 (11th Cir.1990)). Because both probable cause and exigent circumstances existed at the time of the warrantless seizure of the evidence which was in plain view following that entry was consistent with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment. Suppression is due to be denied.

Permalink 11:57:21 am, by fourth, 154 words, 503 views   English (US)
Categories: General

E.D.Tenn.: Defendant fails to show part of affidavit false; even it if was, it was immaterial

The USMJ granted a Franks hearing and concluded that the statements were not materially false and removing them still left probable cause. Therefore, no suppression. United States v. Houston, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175955 (E.D. Tenn. November 21, 2012)*, R&R 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176812 (E.D. Tenn. May 29, 2012).*

In this internet traveler case, defendant twice consented to a search of his computer when he was arrested, and the hard drive was copied. After the defense raised the defense of entrapment, the police could search the copy of the hard drive they made for other chat sessions that belied his entrapment defense, showing that he chatted with four other young girls before this one. Commonwealth v. Buswell, 83 Mass. App. Ct. 1, 979 N.E.2d 768 (2012).*

The pro se appellant changed his argument between the trial court and the court of appeals, so his Fourth Amendment argument on appeal is waived. Ivy v. State, 103 So. 3d 766 (Miss. App. 2012).*

Permalink 11:30:34 am, by fourth, 223 words, 677 views   English (US)
Categories: General

IL: No exigency for warrantless entry after controlled delivery

Police were delivering marijuana to defendant’s house. They planned it for 11 hours, and they had no exigent circumstances. Worse, they never even argued exigent circumstances. People v. Krinitsky, 2012 IL App (1st) 120016, 367 Ill. Dec. 698, 982 N.E.2d 848 (2012)*:

[**P30] In this case, the State failed to argue that any exigent circumstances existed to justify the warrantless entry into defendant's apartment. Id. ("The State bears the burden of demonstrating exigent need for a warrantless search or arrest."). The police knew cannabis would be at the apartment because they were delivering it. They knew the amount of cannabis and defendant's address. Officer Graham testified that he first knew of the informant at approximately 10 in the morning on the day of the incident. Tardona did not deliver the cannabis, according to Officer Graham's testimony, until at least an hour after he met with defendant at either 9:30 or 10 p.m. that evening. The police had all day to secure an anticipatory search warrant. Accordingly, the State has not satisfied its burden in proving that exigent circumstances existed to justify the police's warrantless entry into defendant's apartment. Under the facts of this case, it was unreasonable for the police to not even attempt to get a warrant when they knew the time, place, quantity, and price of the arranged transaction and had at least 11 hours to secure a warrant.

Permalink 10:20:27 am, by fourth, 240 words, 818 views   English (US)
Categories: General

CA3: Anders brief rejected; the Fourth Amendment claim here is at least arguable and must be discussed more fully

Anders brief rejected; the Fourth Amendment claim here is at least arguable and must be discussed more fully. The court won't reject it out of hand. United States v. Telfair, 507 Fed. Appx. 164 (3d Cir. 2012)*:

In addition, the importance of the evidence seized from 185 Parker Street to the Government's case, and the circumstances of its discovery, should have alerted Mr. Azzarello that he must address the issue. The heroin found at 185 Parker Street was the source of the investigation of Telfair; if this evidence is tainted, it is not "fruit of the poisonous tree," but rather is the root of the poisonous tree. This evidence provided the foundation for the investigation and prosecution of Telfair. Without that foundation, the case collapses. Furthermore, because this quintessential evidence was discovered during a warrantless search—which is per se unreasonable, subject to a few, narrow exceptions, Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 356 (1967)—Mr. Azzarello was obligated to discuss the issue in his brief and explain why it would be frivolous to seek a reversal of the District Court's order.

Given the foregoing, Mr. Azzarello's Anders brief does not satisfy this Court that he has conducted a thorough examination of the record in search of appealable issues. Finding that his Anders brief is inadequate, we proceed to step two of the analysis, and conduct an independent review of the record to determine whether any nonfrivolous issues exist. Coleman, 575 F.3d at 321; Youla, 241 F.3d at 301.

Permalink 10:14:23 am, by fourth, 309 words, 795 views   English (US)
Categories: General

D.Minn.: Nexus for a suspect’s home is based on “common sense” appeal of the inference evidence may be found there

Nexus for a suspect’s home is based on “common sense” appeal of the inference evidence may be found there after a crime elsewhere. United States v. Morris, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175977 (D. Minn. December 12, 2012):

Morris argues that there was insufficient evidence of a nexus between Morris's home and the evidence expected to be found. The Eighth Circuit has noted:

Although there must be evidence of a nexus between the contraband and the place to be searched before a warrant may properly issue, we have held that an officer executing a search warrant may rely in the permissibility of the issuing judge's inference that such a nexus exists when that inference has common sense appeal.

United States v. Houston, 665 F.3d 991, 995 (8th Cir. 2012) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted) (emphasis added). The Court concludes that, here, there was common sense appeal to the inference that evidence related to the shooting would be found in Morris's home. Connor detained Morris between the shooting site and his home, "directly on the opposite side" of his home, making it reasonable to assume his home was where he came from on his way to the shooting and where he was going. Under these circumstances, it was reasonable to infer that evidence related to the crime existed in Morris's home. See United States v. Summage, 481 F.3d 1075, 1078 (8th Cir. 2007) (finding it reasonable to infer that the defendant would have a video and photographs at his new residence where "it could be presumed that [the defendant] would maintain in his possession the video and photographs"). Specifically, the warrant sought latex gloves, firearms/ammunition, and evidence of gang affiliation, which were items that could be reasonably expected to be found in his home and not left at the scene of the crime. Accordingly, the Court will deny Morris's motion to suppress evidence stemming from the warrants.

Permalink 09:58:07 am, by fourth, 331 words, 637 views   English (US)
Categories: General

CA11: The way cash is packaged can add to probable cause

Probable cause existed for seizure of money from a car by the way it was bundled and packaged, among other things. Legitimate businesses do not transport their cash in cardboard boxes. United States v. Julian, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 25356 (11th Cir. December 12, 2012)*:

In determining whether probable cause existed at the time of a seizure of alleged drug proceeds, we evaluate whether, given a commonsense view of "the realities of normal life" and the totality of the circumstances, there is "probable cause to believe that the money is the proceeds of, or is otherwise connected to, any illegal drug transaction." Id. Even where the evidence presented by the government would support an alternative hypothesis for the source of funds, this does not prevent the evidence from being probative on the issue of probable cause. Id. ...

. . .

Here, under the totality of the circumstances, we conclude that probable cause existed for the seizure of $21,015 in cash from the car Julian was driving. Although all seven factors identified by the district court, taken together, support a finding of probable cause, the most probative of these factors are the condition of the funds and their substantial value. At the time of the traffic stop, Julian was in possession of a significant amount of cash, the vast majority of which had been rubber-banded into 20 separate bundles of $1,000 each and concealed inside of a cardboard box, and "[a] common sense reality of everyday life is that legitimate businesses do not transport large quantities of cash rubber-banded into bundles and stuffed into packages." $242,484.00, 389 F.3d at 1161. Julian had no paperwork, bank receipts, or any documentation whatsoever concerning the source of the funds. Although Julian provided an explanation for the cash's origin, the fact that his explanation could support an alternative hypothesis does not prevent the lack of documentation from being probative on the issue of probable cause. See id.

In addition, unlike in Boyce, the video of the traffic stop in the present case did not belie Woolard's testimony. ...

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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
  Fourth Amendment consultant
Little Rock, Arkansas
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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)

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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 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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