The defendant was alleged to have stashed a bag of drugs between his screen door and the inside door. Because the door was unlocked, and it was not considered a perimeter door, he lacked an expectation of privacy there. Christian v. State, 172 Md. App. 212, 914 A.2d 151 (January 2, 2007):
The suppression court in this case recognized a difference in the way that the public uses the entry door that leads to the private quarters of the home and the screened door between such an entry door and the street. The suppression court found that the screen door in question was of the variety that would be accessible to strangers approaching the residence, stating:
"... I started thinking in terms of when deliveries are made to a home, when guests come into a house, what do they do[? T]hey open the [screen] door and knock. [¶] Oftentimes packages are placed within those two doors, and from a common sense perspective standpoint, that area between those doors does not or is not afforded that same level of protection as to the area beyond that wooden door where there is an expectation of privacy. [¶] * * * So I'm finding ... there was no reasonable expectation of privacy within that area, that this is basically from a common sense perspective, it is not protected because too much open use is made of that area, and too much unauthorized use is expected in that area, between the storm door and that interior door for there to be an expectation of privacy...."
We agree. The suppression court's factual findings about the nature of the subject screen door are not clearly erroneous. Both the custom of public use of such doors and the visual permeability of screen doors support the suppression court's conclusions. A similar analysis was adopted by the court in United States v. Arellano-Ochoa, 461 F.3d 1142, 1145 (9th Cir. 2006), in a case in which the police officers were confronted with a screen door. The court stated:
"Whether opening a screen door breaches a reasonable expectation of privacy depends on the circumstances. During winter in a cold climate, people ordinarily keep the solid door shut. About the only way for mail and package delivery people, solicitors, missionaries, children funding school trips, and neighbors to knock on the door is to open the screen door and knock on the solid door. People understand that visitors will need to open the screen door, and have no expectation to the contrary. The reason why people do not feel that their privacy is breached by opening the screen door to knock is that it isn't; the solid door protects their privacy."
In the summer, when people leave their solid doors open for ventilation, the screen door is all that separates the inside from the outside. People can get a resident's attention by knocking on the screen door without opening it. Where the solid door is wide open, the screen door is what protects the privacy of the people inside -- not just their visual privacy, which it protects only partially, but also their privacy from undesired intrusion. Where the solid door is open so that the screen door is all that protects the privacy of the residents, opening the screen door infringes upon a reasonable and legitimate expectation of privacy.
The distinguishing factor is not whether the time of year is summer or winter, but whether the screen door is acting as the perimeter barrier to the residence. See State v. Kitchen, 1997 ND 241, 572 N.W.2d 106, 109 (N.D. 1997) ("When officers knock on a door where visitors logically would knock, while engaged in legitimate police activities, they have no less right to be there than any member of the public calling at that home."). See also Fitzgerald v. State, 153 Md. App. 601, 666-67, 837 A.2d 989 (2003) ("[T]he vestibule of the apartment house was no different than a public street or an open field. The police needed no justification for being there."), aff'd on other grounds, 384 Md. 484, 864 A.2d 1006 (2004).
In the present case, the suppression judge found that the solid door to the residence was closed, and that the screen door would have been opened by delivery men and others approaching the house. There was no evidence that the screen door was latched, or that a door knocker or door bell were located on the outside of the screen door. Under the circumstances, we agree with the suppression court's conclusion that appellant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the space between the screen door and the solid entry door of the rowhouse.
The plaintiff had her social security and other identifying information placed on a court's website. The information was used in an identity theft. Posting the information was not an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. Lambert v. Hartmann, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93926 (S.D. Ohio December 29, 2006):
In Kallstrom v. City of Columbus, the Sixth Circuit found that under the first step of the above analysis, the plaintiffs had a privacy interest in personal information of a constitutional dimension. 136 F.3d at 1062. The facts of Kallstrom are that the City of Columbus disclosed personal information contained in police officer personnel files to defense counsel during a criminal trial in which the officers testified against the defendants. Id. at 1058. The court noted that "[i]ndividuals have 'a clearly established right under the substantive component of the Due Process Clause to personal security and to bodily integrity,' and this right is fundamental where 'the magnitude of the liberty deprivation that [the] abuse inflicts upon the victim . . . strips the very essence of personhood.'" 136 F.3d at 1062-63, quoting Doe v. Claiborne County, 103 F.3d 495, 507 (6th Cir. 1996). The Court explained that "it goes without saying that an individual's 'interest in preserving her life is one of constitutional dimension.'" Id., quoting Nishiyama v. Dickson County, 814 F.2d 277, 280 (6th Cir. 1987) (en banc). The court concluded that the disclosure of the officers' addresses, phone numbers, and driver's licenses, as well as the personal information of their family members rose to a constitutional dimension because of the threat to the personal security and bodily integrity of the officers and their family members. Id. at 1063. The court therefore proceeded to the second step, and balanced the officers' interests against those of the city. Id. The court noted that Ohio's Public Records Act required the state to make available all public records to any person, and for purposes of the case before it, assumed that the interest in public access to these records rose to a compelling state interest. Id. at 1064-65. Nevertheless, the court found that the release of the officers' information was not narrowly tailored to serve these interests. Id. at 1065. The court explained: "[w]hile there may be situations in which the release of the this type of personal information might further the public's understanding of the workings of its law enforcement agencies, the facts as presented here do not support such a conclusion." Id.
In Bloch v. Ribar, the Sixth Circuit again found that the plaintiffs had an interest at stake which implicated either a fundamental right or one implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. 156 F.3d at 685. In Bloch, a rape victim and her husband claimed that the sheriff violated their constitutional rights by holding a press conference to release the confidential and highly personal details of the rape by an unknown assailant. Id. at 676. The court noted that "[t]he fact that the crime of rape occurred in this case implicates both a private and a public interest, but the details of the rape primarily implicate a private interest until such time as the public interest in prosecution predominates." Id. at 685-86. Therefore, the court concluded that "a rape victim has a fundamental right of privacy in preventing government officials from gratuitously and unnecessarily releasing the intimate details of the rape where no penalogical purpose is being served." Id. at 686. Moving to the second step of the analysis, the court explained that it appeared that there was no justification for disseminating the details of the rape at the time of the press conference. Id. Therefore, the court found that the plaintiffs had raised a cognizable privacy claim under section 1983. Id.
Unlike Kallstrom and Bloch, the Court determines that Plaintiff's alleged privacy interest in her name, signature, home address, birth date, driver's license number, and social security number do not implicate either a fundamental right or one implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. Plaintiff has only identified a risk of financial harm. While the Court is not unmindful of the problems which may result from the release of personal information, it nonetheless is beyond dispute that plaintiff's injury from the release of information in this case bears no equivalence to the potential and actual harm suffered by the Kallstrom and Bloch plaintiffs, respectively, which harm the Sixth Circuit has found to be protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Therefore, the Court concludes that based upon the allegations in the Complaint, Plaintiff is not entitled to relief under section 1983. The Court finds that nothing within Plaintiff's proposed amendments to the Complaint would alter this conclusion.
Summary judgment was granted officers on alleged unreasonable detention during the execution of a search warrant. The officers said the detention was handcuffing for two hours while the search was completed. The plaintiffs said five hours. Under Summers, the detention was not unreasonable, even if it were five hours. Diaz v. City of New York, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93923 (E.D. N.Y. December 29, 2006).*
NYPD Housing unit had reasonable suspicion to detain defendant for not belonging to the building he was hanging out in when he gave two versions of why he was there, and he claimed a friend in 7B, but nobody in 7B had that name or knew him. People v. Wigfall, 2005 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3493, 234 N.Y.L.J. 74 (Bronx Co. October 17, 2005).*
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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)