- W.D.Mo.: ER’s security staff conducts private searches of GSW victims
- IA: Trespassing on RR property was RS for stop
- CA9: Going directly into pockets exceeded frisk power
- CA6: Excessive force “assault” claim under § 1983 doesn’t necessarily require contact
- N.D.Ga.: PC shown for cell phone and geo-location data
online since Feb. 24, 2003
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Fourth Amendment cases,
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
“I am still learning.”
—Domenico Giuntalodi (but misattributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti (common phrase throughout 1500's)).
"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!”"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."
---Pepé Le Pew
—Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)
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Author Archives: Hall
Defendant showed at a hospital ER with a gunshot wound. Hospital policy was for its security staff to search GSW patients’ clothing for staff safety. This was a private search, and it produced ammunition from a convicted felon. United States … Continue reading
Defendant’s parking on railroad property was trespassing at least, and it was reasonable for the officer to investigate whether it was drug use or underage drinking, what he’d usually find. “Assuming without deciding King was acting on a mere hunch … Continue reading
Jail conditions can be so bad that they amount to a § 1983 “assault” without there being a more traditional assault. Here, it was a suicidal inmate knowingly put into solitary confinement and that could be pled as excessive force … Continue reading
“The Geo-Location Warrant was supported by probable cause because the affidavit established ‘a connection between the defendant and the location to be searched; a link between the location and criminal activity; and the informant’s veracity and basis of knowledge.’” There … Continue reading
Defendant declined to consent to a DNA test during his statement which is sought to be admitted. He later sought and consented to a DNA test. It should not be excluded at trial because it isn’t seeking to penalize his … Continue reading
Reason: A Supreme Court Decision That Did Lasting Damage to the 4th Amendment by Damon Root (“How pretextual traffic stops got the judicial stamp of approval.”)
Reason: How Detectives Caught the Golden State Killer—and Unleashed a Catastrophe for Civil Liberties
Reason: How Detectives Caught the Golden State Killer—and Unleashed a Catastrophe for Civil Liberties by Paul Detrick (“Police were finally able to catch the serial killer using DNA genealogy databases—violating many innocent people’s constitutional right to privacy.”)
Stale information that a warrant existed for defendant was not probable cause when the warrant had been recalled, and no one checked the day of the arrest. State v. Pines, 2021 Wash. App. LEXIS 1160 (May 10, 2021). Subpoenas to … Continue reading
The government’s 15 month delay in searching defendant’s cell phone was unjustified and was not saved by the good faith exception. United States v. Wilkins, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89419 (D.D.C. May 11, 2021):
In a civil case over probable cause to arrest, the USMJ’s determination of probable cause at the preliminary hearing will not be revisited absent a showing of judicial deception. Martinez v. United States, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 13888 (9th Cir. … Continue reading
There was probable cause to stop defendant’s truck: “Probable cause is ‘not a high bar.’ Kaley v. United States, 571 U.S. 320, 338, 134 S. Ct. 1090, 188 L. Ed. 2d 46 (2014). It ‘does not require an actual showing … Continue reading
N.D.Iowa: Ten day delay in getting SW for def’s car where he was in custody and investigation was ongoing was not unreasonable
There was probable cause for the search and seizure of defendant’s vehicle for evidence of a violent crime. The fact a plain view wasn’t possible at the moment of the stop doesn’t mean there wasn’t. The police department with the … Continue reading
Even though Colorado has decriminalized personal use of marijuana, a dog sniff is still reasonable under federal law because possession of marijuana is still a violation of federal law because it’s unlawful for “any purpose.” United States v. Spikes, 2021 … Continue reading
Defendant who orchestrated delivery of a package whose name wasn’t on it as sender or recipient had standing in the package. United States v. Williams, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88747 (N.D. Ill. May 10, 2021):
CA8: A mere hunch possession of something might be criminal was not “immediately apparent” for plain view
Alleged plain view of glass vials on defendant’s couch wasn’t a legitimate plain view because the alleged incriminating nature of the objects wasn’t immediately apparent. It was maybe a hunch and not obvious at all. Grant of suppression motion affirmed. … Continue reading
Juval O. Scott, The Myth of Objectivity in Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence, 36 Criminal Justice 13 (No. 1 Spring 2021):
The reasonableness of 2½ months of pole camera observation of defendant’s house was waived by not filing a motion to suppress until after the First Circuit granted en banc review on that issue and then a month later. United States … Continue reading
Not having a license plate justified defendant’s stop and then running names. Commonwealth v. Malloy, 2021 PA Super 90, 2021 Pa. Super. LEXIS 278 (May 7, 2021). The backup light being on while driving justifies a stop. People v. Ambrose, … Continue reading