- D.Colo.: Federal law criminalizing marijuana makes dog sniff in recreational use state reasonable
- CA8: A mere hunch possession of something might be criminal was not “immediately apparent” for plain view
- ABA, CJS: The Myth of Objectivity in Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence
- IL: ER blood draw was private search, and results were obtainable by process
- N.D.Tex.: Motion to suppress 2½ months of pole camera recording untimely
online since Feb. 24, 2003
WebPage Visits: real non-robot hits since 2010; approx. about 30,000 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
"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: Overseizure
Probable cause does not have to be decided where the good faith exception would apply. The warrant was for firearm evidence and had a cell phone search provision. If the cell phone provision was overbroad, that should be severed and … Continue reading
A search of both halves of a duplex under a search warrant for one was unreasonable and had to be suppressed. State v. Lyons, 2021 Conn. App. LEXIS 100 (Mar. 30, 2021). Defense counsel wasn’t ineffective for not challenging the … Continue reading
The Bay County SO executed a drug search warrant at claimant’s father’s house and seized a flat screen TV and PlayStation. Claimant sought return, and the state claimed it was lawfully taken and became county property by operation of law. … Continue reading
D.Conn.: When govt raises an exception to warrant requirement, def must rebut in briefing, but cell phone seizure shown unjustified
In response to defendant’s motion to suppress, the government argued search incident, which the defense didn’t rebut in the papers. Motion denied in part. Defendant’s cell phone seizure is suppressed, however, because the government didn’t show justification for its seizure. … Continue reading
An iCloud search warrant was not overbroad because the warrant sought a lot of material. Based on Apple’s protocols, it essentially had to be, and a time restriction wouldn’t be of any use. United States v. Woolard, 2021 U.S. Dist. … Continue reading
AL: A visitor to premises targeted by a SW who is more than a “transient visitor” is subject to search
Defendant was a visitor at a house that was searched under a warrant for drugs. Her purse was searched, too. “Because Powers was more than a ‘transient visitor’ at Moyers’s house and had a known relationship to the premises, and … Continue reading
Defendant’s computer search release condition had no rational relationship to the crime. He was not a sex offender and there was no computer link to his crimes. United States v. Morgan, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 2972 (7th Cir. Feb. 3, … Continue reading
OH2: The fact a SW had a laundry list of 182 things to search for and seize isn’t fatal where def doesn’t show what was overseized
The search warrant here was for illegal fireworks and listed 182 items to be seized, including fireworks. “Johnson also contends the warrant is invalid because it authorized the seizure of a boilerplate list of 182 items, all or most of … Continue reading
A search warrant for a blood sample implicitly includes testing it. Davis v. State, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 5990 (Tex. App. – Houston (1st Dist.) July 30, 2020). Probable cause existed for seizure of five years of defendant’s Gmail account. … Continue reading
On this record, the second Tasing of plaintiff could be found unreasonable for lack of resistance, which the jury did. Jones v. Treubig, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19883 (2d Cir. June 26, 2020). The search under defendant’s consent for “firearms/evidence” … Continue reading
M.D.Fla.: Exclusionary rule applies to overseizure of tracking information, but blanket suppression not required
There was probable cause for issuance of historical cell phone tracking information and connecting defendant to the phone. The affidavit, however, only sought information for one day, but the warrant covered seven days. The overseizure is suppressed because the exclusionary … Continue reading
CA6: Ptf stated claim for unreasonable continued detention after state’s case collapsed when forensic search of computer came up negative
Plaintiff was arrested for child pornography when officers executed a search warrant at his house based on a video uploaded via the IP address and router in the house. There was probable cause for the arrest, but not for the … Continue reading
Defendant did not show that all the documents seized were attorney-client privileged for purposes of litigation. Some were. However, dismissal is not the appropriate remedy, despite the fact privileged information made it into the media from the arrest warrant materials. … Continue reading
This search warrant was issued in a SSA fraud case alleging a decade of false claims. The search warrant was sufficiently particular and not overbroad. The fact the period of the alleged offense was through January 2014 did not prohibit … Continue reading
Defendant’s motion to suppress was previously denied, but she was allowed to specify what documents were overseized. “[T]he court will consider a motion to suppress specific documents or other evidence based on proof that such items were seized and that … Continue reading
CA1: Alleged overseizure of email under SW would only require partial suppression; def doesn’t identify that which was overseized
Defendant’s motion to suppress electronic data acquired by a Rule 41(e)(2)(B) search warrant on his email account was properly denied. Based on the absence of a time limit in the warrant, it was not unreasonable to interpret the warrant to … Continue reading
MT: Overseizure of contents of cell phone didn’t prejudice def where the overseized information was not offered at trial
Defendant argued that the search of his cell phone violated the Fourth Amendment because more was seized than the warrant allowed. Since none of the excess was offered by the state, he wasn’t prejudiced, and the over seizure didn’t void … Continue reading
The government seized 1.3M documents, and 21 apparently were privileged. This doesn’t show that the government was willful disregarding the warrant or the need to protect privileged materials. His iPhone and laptop were properly seized by plain view then subjected … Continue reading
The officer who had defendant’s cell phone asked her to unlock it. She entered the passcode without sharing it or him seeing her do it. It wasn’t a communicative act. It’s like providing a key. Her motion to suppress the … Continue reading
S.D.W.Va.: Computer SW for drugs led to healthcare fraud evidence; second SW needed; exclusionary rule should apply to deter
The government had a search warrant of ESI for drugs. When the search warrant was executed, they found evidence of healthcare billing fraud. A second search warrant was required, citing the government’s own search manual [noted and linked on the … Continue reading