Archives for: February 2013, 07

02/07/13

Permalink 08:00:50 pm, by fourth, 414 words, 564 views   English (US)
Categories: General

AR: Suspicionless stop of a boat for safety inspection was unreasonable

A Sheriff’s deputy stopped defendant’s boat for a safety check at 11 pm on an otherwise busy recreational lake. There was nothing remarkable about defendant’s operation of the boat to call attention to it. During the stop, the deputy determined defendant was under the influence. The stop was without reasonable suspicion and unreasonable. State v. Allen, 2013 Ark. 35, 2013 Ark. LEXIS 54 (February 7, 2013) (4-3):

At issue is a brief stop by a law-enforcement officer to assure that a vessel complies with applicable safety requirements. It is a stop at the order of a law-enforcement officer and constitutes a seizure that is certainly less intrusive than a traditional arrest; however, it is a seizure and means that the law-enforcement officer is “lawfully present” and under a duty to act where the law enforcement officer reasonably suspects a crime has been or is about to be committed. See Ark. R. Crim. P. 3.1 (2012). A seizure under the Fourth Amendment must be based on specific, objective facts indicating that society’s legitimate interests require the seizure of the particular individual or that the seizure must be carried out under a plan embodying explicit, neutral limitations on the conduct of individual officers. See Brown, 443 U.S. at 51. Regardless of how brief or slight the intrusion, or how weighty the public interest, “an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy is not subject to arbitrary invasions solely at the unfettered discretion of officers in the field.” Id.

Sergeant Tucker testified that, while he tried to stop and perform a safety check on as many vessels as he could in a given day, there was no plan and nothing to determine which boats he stopped. There were no specific, objective facts about Allen’s vessel to indicate that society’s legitimate interests required the seizure of Allen and his particular vessel. As the circuit court found, Allen’s vessel was being legally operated in an unremarkable fashion. Sergeant Tucker testified that he did not believe that he had “the unfettered discretion to pull over any boat at any time for any reason that [he desired],” but only to perform a safety check. However, this means that whether the stop is proper depends only on the law enforcement officer’s subjective assertion of his or her purpose when the Fourth Amendment requires objective facts supporting the stop or a plan embodying explicit, neutral limitations. As the circuit court found, the practice of safety-check stops by law-enforcement officers in this case violates the Fourth Amendment.

Permalink 08:56:38 am, by fourth, 125 words, 515 views   English (US)
Categories: General

CA3: Factors for informant hearsay as a basis for a stop

There was reasonable suspicion for defendant’s arrest after a stop on information from a CI. United States v. Stallings, 513 Fed. Appx. 161 (3d Cir. 2013):

The following factors are relevant to this inquiry:

(1) [whether] the information was provided to the police in a face-to-face interaction, allowing an officer to assess directly the informant's credibility;
(2) [whether] the informant can be held responsible if her allegations are untrue;
(3) [whether] the information would not be available to the ordinary observer;
(4) [whether] the informant has recently witnessed the criminal activity at issue; and
(5) [whether] the witness's information accurately predicts future activity.

Johnson, 592 F.3d at 449. However, "a tip need not bear all of the indicia-or even any particular indicium-to supply reasonable suspicion." United States v. Torres, 534 F.3d 207, 213 (3d Cir. 2008).

Permalink 08:37:29 am, by fourth, 237 words, 635 views   English (US)
Categories: General

CA11: Lack of even arguable probable cause denies qualified immunity in § 1983 case

“Nevertheless, in cases involving arrests or warrantless searches or seizures, law enforcement officers are entitled to qualified immunity if they had even arguable probable cause. See Swint v. City of Wadley, Ala., 51 F.3d 988, 996 (11th Cir. 1995); Eubanks v. Gerwen, 40 F.3d 1157, 1160 (11th Cir. 1994). Arguable probable cause exists if ‘reasonable officers in the same circumstances and possessing the same knowledge as the Defendants could have believed that probable cause existed.’ Swint, 51 F.3d at 996 (quotation marks omitted).” “[W]e conclude that, given the facts as we must view them for purposes of summary judgment, the officers lacked even arguable probable cause or exigent circumstances justifying their entry into Feliciano's apartment without a warrant or her consent.” Feliciano v. City of Miami Beach, 707 F.3d 1244 (11th Cir. 2013).

“In view of the overwhelming authority and limited information obtained during the officers' cursory investigation, reasonable officers would conclude that entering Nelms's apartment without a warrant violated the Fourth Amendment. Fleming and Whitt are not entitled to summary judgment on their defense of qualified immunity.” Nelms v. Wellington Way Apts., 513 Fed. Appx. 541 (6th Cir. 2013).

Probable cause for arrest grants qualified immunity to arresting officers. Abbott v. Oller, 497 Fed. Appx. 683 (8th Cir. 4, 2013).*

“‘[T]he existence of probable cause will defeat a claim of malicious prosecution and unreasonable search and seizure.’” Fahie v. Rivera, 510 Fed. Appx. 93 (2d Cir. 2013).*

Factual dispute on basis for arrest denies summary judgment. Pane v. Gramaglia, 509 Fed. Appx. 101 (2d Cir. 2013).*

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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
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Little Rock, Arkansas
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2013-14 Term:
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  United States v. Wurie, granted Jan.17, argued Apr. 29 (ScotusBlog)
  Plumhoff v. Rickard, granted Nov. 15, argued Mar. 4 (ScotusBlog)
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  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)

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  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."
—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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