- D.Nev.: Affidavits for SWs don’t have to prove the underlying crimes
- D.V.I.: Flyover of curtilage from navigable airspace was reasonable
- NJ: Disputes in the facts on appeal show trial court should have held a hearing
- NY: Second SW for phone a year later after first SW failed to show PC wasn’t timely
- GA: Not objecting to mention of “probation” search at trial was not IAC
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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
Search and seizure law consultant
Little Rock, Arkansas
Contact: forhall @ aol.com / The Book
online since Feb. 24, 2003 Approx. 350,000 visits (non-robot) since 2012 Approx. 45,000 posts since 2003 (25,700+ on WordPress as of 12/31/22)
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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
"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)
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Category Archives: Tracking warrant
W.D.Pa.: All Writs Act proceeding for tracking order is a judicial proceeding for common law right of access to records
An All Writs Act proceeding by the government to track someone in real time back in 2020 is a judicial record subject to the common law right of disclosure of court records. In re Forbes Media LLC, 2022 U.S. Dist. … Continue reading
Bloomberg Law: Justices Reject Case Over Real-Time Phone Location Tracking
Bloomberg Law: Justices Reject Case Over Real-Time Phone Location Tracking (“The U.S. Supreme Court declined to weigh whether the Fourth Amendment’s privacy protections are implicated when law enforcement uses cell carrier signals to reveal a person’s whereabouts in real time.”)
CA11: Computer searches as condition of supervised release for gun crime not plain error
The district court did not plainly err in allowing supervised release searches of defendant’s computer for a gun crime. U.S.S.G. § 5D1.3(d)(7). Under precedent, a search condition does not have to be specifically related to the crime. United States v. … Continue reading
OH10: No REP in possession of a stolen laptop that sent its location information
Appellant’s motion to reopen his appeal to reargue his Fourth Amendment claims is denied. Not one thing he proffers can change the outcome of the appeal. There was a basis for a GPS warrant on his vehicle, and there was … Continue reading
EFF brief: Court Orders Authorizing Law Enforcement To Track People’s Air Travels In Real Time Must Be Made Public
EFF: Court Orders Authorizing Law Enforcement To Track People’s Air Travels In Real Time Must Be Made Public by Aaron Mackey:
W.D.Ky.: Tracking def’s cell phone for weeks with an order issued on PC to find him wasn’t unreasonable
A tracking order was issued on probable cause to locate defendant after available public sources didn’t locate him. He argues for a “less intrusive means” type test, which it isn’t called, but the argument fails because the government tried that. … Continue reading
CA11: New facts of alleged illegal search already ruled on not appropriate for successor habeas
Defendant’s attempt at a successor habeas on four grounds includes one that there is new evidence that he was wrongfully arrested. That was previously addressed before the new evidence claim, and it’s denied. “ An applicant cannot create a new … Continue reading
CA6: What is sufficient probable cause for a CSLI or tracking warrant?
What is sufficient probable cause for a CSLI or tracking warrant? “After a lengthy investigation, the federal government uncovered substantial evidence that Dwayne Sheckles was a Louisville distributor for a large drug-trafficking ring. Sheckles pleaded guilty but reserved the right … Continue reading
CA7: State cell phone tracking order issued with PC and was particular
Police got information that cell phone -5822 was used to arrange drug sales. They called the number and set up a few controlled buys. Then they got a state court tracking order for the phone. There is no indication that … Continue reading
M.D.Pa.: Franks hearing denied for speculation on what video evidence might show
Defendant doesn’t get a Franks hearing that the officer knew or should have known that his CI actually went into defendant’s apartment based on video surveillance that allegedly would disprove it. He doesn’t show that the video shows what he … Continue reading
DE: Exclusionary rule not designed to prohibit extra-territorial GPS tracking with warrant
In this post-conviction case, defense counsel didn’t raise the question of extraterritorial monitoring of a warrant installed GPS device. It was installed in 2015 [post-Jones] to track defendant who was an accomplished [except for getting caught] burglar. The court doesn’t … Continue reading
W.D.Mo.: No co-conspirator standing in GPS cell phone tracking
One co-conspirator has no standing in GPS tracking of his co-conspirator’s cell phone. The officers also had probable cause to search their car based on: knowledge they were cell phone store burglars, a Snapchat video with defendants having numerous cell … Continue reading
GA: Even if GPS tracker was unconstitutionally placed, it didn’t affect later SW for vehicle
Defendant first claimed the vehicle was his when the officer asked, and he consented to a search of it. After a few loose rounds of ammunition were found, he disavowed ownership. It turned out there was also a tracking device … Continue reading
OH6: Def’s neighbor was citizen informant in reporting seeing him looking at CP through an open window
Defendant’s neighbor could see him from his house masturbating to child pornography. He called the police and the police corroborated it but walked on the curtilage, too. The neighbor was shown as a confidential informant but was really a citizen … Continue reading
E.D.Mo.: Using cell site simulator with SW was reasonable and particular
A warrant supported by ample probable cause was used for a cell site simulator to find defendant’s cell phones. No conversations were captured. The USMJ compared it to a tracking warrant, which wasn’t unreasonable. The warrant was also constitutionally particular. … Continue reading
CNET: Geofence warrants: How police get data from all devices in targeted areas
CNET: Geofence warrants: How police get data from all devices in targeted areas by Alfred Ng (“The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is also challenging the constitutionality of geofence warrants in a Virginia case. The organization argues that geofence … Continue reading