- CA11: No jurisdiction to enjoin investigation after execution of SW
- The Epoch Times: Google Gave FBI Location Data for Over 5,000 Devices in Jan. 6 Probe
- S.D.Ind.: Forced Covid test didn’t violate 4A
- CA4: Video showed district court’s findings of reasonableness clearly erroneous
- CA3: Fire scene search for potential spread was exigent
online since Feb. 24, 2003 Approx. 350,000 visits (non-robot) since 2012 Approx. 40,000 posts since 2003
Fourth Amendment cases,
citations, and links
Latest Slip Opinions:
U.S. Supreme Court (Home)
Federal Appellate Courts Opinions
FDsys, many district courts, other federal courts
Military Courts: C.A.A.F., Army, AF, N-M, CG, SF
State courts (and some USDC opinions)
Advanced Google Scholar
Google search tips
LII State Appellate Courts
LexisONE free caselaw
Findlaw Free Opinions
To search Search and Seizure on Lexis.com $
S. Ct. Docket
Solicitor General's site
Briefs online (but no amicus briefs)
Oyez Project (NWU)
"On the Docket"–Medill
S.Ct. Monitor: Law.com
S.Ct. Com't'ry: Law.com
General (many free):
Google Scholar | Google
LexisOne Legal Website Directory
Lexis.com (criminal law/ 4th Amd) $
Findlaw.com (4th Amd)
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Resources
FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (2008) (pdf)
DEA Agents Manual (2002) (download)
DOJ Computer Search Manual (2009) (pdf)
Stringrays (ACLU No. Cal.) (pdf)
Congressional Research Service:
--Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012)
--Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012)
--Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012)
--Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012)
--Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions (2012)
ACLU on privacy
Electronic Frontier Foundation
NACDL’s Domestic Drone Information Center
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Criminal Appeal (post-conviction) (9th Cir.)
Section 1983 Blog
"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
"It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."
—Charles Dickens, “The Old Curiosity Shop ... With a Frontispiece. From a Painting by Geo. Cattermole, Etc.” 255 (1848)
"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)
Website design by Wally Waller, Little Rock
Category Archives: Common law
CA9: Arrest for misd without having seen it violated state law but not 4A; qualified immunity granted
The requirement that an arrest for a misdemeanor have occurred in the officer’s presence is a statutory rule [I thought common law], but not a Fourth Amendment requirement. Here, the officer still had probable cause, but didn’t see it. Not … Continue reading
The officer testified that he first smelled raw marijuana about a minute into the stop. When he got defendant into the patrol car, he could smell it on defendant’s person. That was probable cause for a search of the car … Continue reading
ABAJ: Chemerinsky: Supreme Court looks to common law for guidance in Fourth Amendment cases (“The Supreme Court decided three cases concerning the Fourth Amendment during the October 2020 term. They shared several characteristics.”)
The officer arrested defendant for a completed misdemeanor of stealing a cell phone not occurring in his presence. The manager of the place where it happened wanted defendant arrested. The officer and the manager never informed defendant this was a … Continue reading
Defendant’s misdemeanor vandalism arrest while officers were inside his house was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. Common law on misdemeanor arrests applies, too. United States v. Barajas, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21651 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 4, 2021). Defendant was convicted … Continue reading
A fascinating recitation of the common law of arrest and the ability to resist an unlawful arrest: As the law existed when the common law was adopted by statute in Georgia in 1776, there was such authority. Most states changed … Continue reading
The officer’s entering through an open door didn’t require knock-and-announce at common law. United States v. Sherrod, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 22296 (8th Cir. July 17, 2020):
T. T. Arvind & Christian R. Burset, A New Report of Entick v. Carrington (1765), Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 200131 (2020). Abstract:
CA6: The fact the officer was investigating a misdemeanor that didn’t happen in his presence doesn’t confine the 4A inquiry despite the common law
The Fourth Amendment does not prohibit officers from investigating misdemeanors and making stops based on that, even if the common law prohibits arrests for misdemeanors not committed in the officer’s presence. United States v. Jones, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 9038 … Continue reading
New Law Review Article: The Common Law Endures in the Fourth Amendment by George C. Thomas III: Abstract and Introduction:
D.D.C.: There’s a right of public access to old pen register and SCA orders where no ongoing investigation would be compromised
In a 102 page opinion, with the agreement of the USAO, the D.D.C. finds a limited right of access in old sealed pen register orders and SCA orders and unseals those that will not compromise ongoing investigations. There is an … Continue reading
Today is [or maybe] the 414th anniversay of Semayne’s Case and judicial recognition of knock-and-announce and the castle doctrine
Today (as best as can be determined) is the 414th anniversary of Semayne’s Case recognizing both knock-and-announce and the castle doctrine at common law. Back then, the dates of decisions weren’t as important and they appeared in reporters well after … Continue reading
Cato: Protecting the Home from Warrantless Searches by Jay Schweikert:
Foundation for Economic Education: Who Was the Founding Father of the Fourth Amendment? by Gary M. Galles:
An off-duty police officer was driving from Tulsa where he worked to neighboring Broken Bow in his police car when he was passed by defendant speeding. He didn’t take action until the driving got otherwise erratic, nearly hitting the concrete … Continue reading
An officer received a report of a disorderly misdemeanor in progress and arrived to see part of it. While the facts were conflicting, there was still probable cause for the arrest. The law of citizen’s arrest is not so obvious … Continue reading
An interstate bus traveling from Portland OR to Salt Lake City stopped in Boise. The bus driver was moving luggage around to straighten it up for the boarding passengers, and he smelled marijuana coming from a backpack. He called the … Continue reading
Reviewing the affidavits for the three search warrants, the court is convinced that there is still a risk of compromising the investigation, so the search warrants will remain under seal as to the potential defendant. The court recognizes the right … Continue reading
“This appeal presents a question of first impression about the Fourth Amendment: Can the police arrest someone based solely on a civil writ of bodily attachment for unpaid child support? Ted Phillips appeals his conviction of being a felon in … Continue reading