Police responded to a domestic battery call, and defendant’s live-in girlfriend was outside but afraid to go in to retrieve her things to get out. She told the police he kept a gun inside. When the police went in with her, they could see in the closet men’s and women’s clothes. Based on the situation presented to them, they had a reasonable belief in her authority and did not have to question her further about it. People v. Smith, 2012 NY Slip Op 927, 2012 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 9155 (4th Dept. December 28, 2012):
Thus, "the record establishes that the searching officer[s] relied in good faith on the apparent authority of [the complainant] to consent to the search, and the circumstances reasonably indicated that [she] had the requisite authority to consent to the search" (People v Fontaine, 27 AD3d 1144, 1145, lv denied 6 NY3d 847; see People v Frankline, 87 AD3d 831, 833, lv denied 19 NY3d 973; People v Littleton, 62 AD3d 1267, 1269, lv denied 12 NY3d 926). Contrary to defendant's contention, the searching officers were "not required to make some inquiry into the actual state of authority'" of complainant to consent to a search because they were not "faced with a situation which would cause a reasonable person to question the consenting part[y's] power or control over the premises or property to be inspected'" (Fontaine, 27 AD3d at 1145, quoting Adams, 53 NY2d at 10).
The woman who consented here testified that she did not have authority to consent, but was impeached with statements at the time of the search that she lived there and had a key. The court finds that she had actual authority, and, alternatively, apparent authority as far as the officers could ascertain at the time of the search. United States v. Brandon, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182091 (E.D. Ill. December 27, 2012).
The officer's failure to tell the judge issuing the search warrant that he had a medical marijuana authorization under Michigan law was not a false statement or omission under Franks because it was still a crime to cultivate marijuana in Michigan (see People v. Brown, No. 303371) and federal law. Probable cause was shown for the search warrant. United States v. Ellis, 910 F. Supp. 2d 1008 (W.D. Mich. 2012).*
Plaintiff was a police officer for the RTA charged with falsifying reports about an altercation with a passenger. She sued for false arrest as a Fourth Amendment claim, but her indictment by a state grand jury precludes this claim, even when plaintiff alleges malice. Craig v. Dallas Area RTA, 504 Fed. Appx. 328 (5th Cir. 2012)*:
Precedent clearly establishes that, "if facts supporting an arrest are placed before an independent intermediary such as a magistrate or grand jury, the intermediary's decision breaks the chain of causation for false arrest, insulating the initiating party." Taylor v. Gregg, 36 F.3d 453, 456 (5th Cir. 1994), overruled on other grounds by Castellano v. Fragozo, 352 F.3d 939, 949 (5th Cir. 2003) (en banc). For our purposes, this means that "even an officer [in Craig's case] who acted with malice in procuring the warrant or the indictment will not be liable if the facts supporting the warrant or indictment are put before an impartial intermediary such as a magistrate or a grand jury." Hand v. Gary, 838 F.2d 1420, 1427 (5th Cir. 1988) (internal quotation marks omitted).
SSRN: Ending the Zero-Sum Game: How to Increase the Productivity of the Fourth Amendment by Ric Simmons IN Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 36: Abstract:
Every criminal procedure student learns on the first day of class that Fourth Amendment policy represents a zero-sum game: a constant struggle between the individual privacy of citizens and the needs of law enforcement. In reality, however, the “competition” between law enforcement and criminals does not have to be zero-sum. In order to see why, we need to see the criminal justice system not as a competition, but instead as an industry. This article applies economic principles to try to find ways to increase the efficiency of the criminal justice system — that is, to maximize output while minimizing costs. The costs to the system are both the intangible loss of privacy that is associated with surveillance, as well as the tangible, actual monetary cost incurred by law enforcement organizations to undertake the surveillance. The output that we are seeking is crime control, or more specifically in the Fourth Amendment context, the identification of those who are guilty of a crime and collection of evidence which can be used to demonstrate their guilt. Roughly speaking, the more money we spend, and/or the more willing we are to infringe on our own freedoms, the more output we receive in terms of identifying the guilty and recovering incriminating evidence.
However, there are two ways that this industry could in fact be a positive-sum game. First, advances in technologies can increase the effectiveness of surveillance in catching criminals without reducing the privacy rights of ordinary citizens — that is, it is possible to increase the output without increasing the cost. And second, changing norms and attitudes may decrease the value of certain kinds of privacy to individuals, causing the cost of certain types of surveillance to decrease. This can work in the other direction as well: when criminals, rather than police, take advantage of technological advances, the output of the system will decrease even if costs are held constant. Likewise, societal norms could change to make certain types of privacy more valuable, thus increasing the cost to the system. In these situations, the criminal justice system becomes a negative sum game. Once we have identified the productivity of different forms of surveillance, we can take steps to encourage more productive types of surveillance and discourage the less productive ones.
The Article first sketches out a basic formula for analyzing the productivity of different surveillance methods by measuring the cost of the inputs and the benefits of the outputs. It then applies this formula to different methods of surveillance to see how certain methods of surveillance are more productive than others, searches for ways to increase the productivity of surveillance generally. Finally, the Article offers some suggestions for changing the way we regulate surveillance techniques in order to maximize the efficiency of the process.
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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)