- DE: Mandamus can’t be used as interlocutory appeal of denial of motion to suppress
- New Law Review: Policing Emotions: What Social Psychology Can Teach Fourth Amendment Doctrine
- D.Utah: Def in jail can’t get unrecorded phone calls to nonlawyers to prepare for trial
- W.D.Mich.: Inmate can’t claim a medical condition and then refuse testing on 4A grounds
- E.D.Tenn.: Items unreasonably seized under SW as outside its scope still not returned because they are forfeitable
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.”
–Josh Billings (pseudonym of Henry Wheeler Shaw), Josh Billings on Ice, and Other Things (1868) (erroneously attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson, among others)
“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: Prison and jail searches
Defendant seeks unrestricted phone access without recording, but not just to his lawyer or standby counsel–every call. No First, Fourth, or Sixth Amendment violation (limited to lawyers). United States v. Cromar, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215498 (D. Utah Dec. 4, … Continue reading
Plaintiff inmate claims to have an allergy. The prison wanted to draw blood to confirm. “Plaintiff has failed to state a claim that the Defendants violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures when they … Continue reading
E.D.Tex.: You can’t remove a state criminal case to federal court to decide your search and seizure question
One can’t remove a state criminal case to federal court via habeas to decide his search warrant motions. Washington v. 5th Dist. Court of Texas, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209404 (E.D. Tex. Oct. 10, 2023), adopted 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading
Merely scrolling through an electronic device at the border is a reasonable border search. United States v. Vrdoljak, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208332 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 20, 2023). The officer was incidentally following defendant, and he observed her driving within … Continue reading
Even though defendant apparently wasn’t driving impaired, once validly stopped, the officer could run DL and LPN checks. The dog sniff didn’t prolong the stop at all. United States v. Drayton, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206461 (N.D. Iowa Oct. 10, … Continue reading
Plaintiff had no reasonable expectation of privacy in a computer given him by Goodwill for whom he worked while he was living in a halfway house. He was still an inmate of the BOP. “There is no reasonable or legitimate … Continue reading
S.D.Cal.: A pending forfeiture action in another district justifies dismissal of Rule 41(g) motion because there is another remedy
This is a Rule 41(g) action for return of property, a superyacht owned by a Russian oligarch seized allegedly in violation of Russian sanctions. The next day, a forfeiture action was filed in the S.D.N.Y., and that provided an adequate … Continue reading
Defendant’s patdown search when he was found lying in a parking lot in medical distress was objectively reasonable as an emergency search, if just for what was on him before paramedics arrived. Meth was found. Lack of a separate state … Continue reading
M.D.Pa.: Police continually banging on def’s door to come out was seizure; no exigency applies; suppressed
Defendant fled from the police in his car in a highspeed chase. They went to his house and came on to defendant’s curtilage, his porch, and shined flashlights through the windows. This was a search on a constitutionally protected area. … Continue reading
The state is obliged to raise whatever issues it can in defense of a warrantless search at the hearing. Piecemeal litigation by motion to reconsider must be avoided. Commonwealth v. Smith, 2023 PA Super 205, 2023 Pa. Super. LEXIS 482 … Continue reading
Confiscation or interference with prison legal mail is a First and Fourteenth Amendment claim, not Fourth. Chenevert v. Kanode, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171627 (W.D. Va. Sep. 26, 2023). There was reasonable suspicion for a frisk of the driver of … Continue reading
M.D.Fla.: Defense counsel was ineffective for not raising valid suppression issue that would have reduced Guideline range below life
Defense counsel at trial was ineffective for not raising a suppression issue that would likely have prevailed and taken defendant from a life sentence down to a 20 year MM. United States v. Dasinger, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168974 (M.D. … Continue reading
The plaintiff is confined in the Texas Civil Commitment Center. He has no privacy interest in the files he’s saved on TCCC common computers for his cases. Rogers v. McLane, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125554 n. 11 (N.D. Tex. June … Continue reading
M.D.Fla.: Briefly asking about “illegal narcotics” during a traffic stop not unreasonable because of fentanyl
Asking a stopped motorist about whether there were illegal drugs in the car was a question of officer safety because of fentanyl. “The questions here primarily involved the presence of weapons, although Officer Ragusa very briefly mentioned ‘illegal narcotics.’ The … Continue reading
NY3: Where no information anyone else could be inside, no justification for protective sweep after def’s arrest
The police had no information even suggesting that another person was in the premises, and a protective sweep after defendant was arrested was unjustified. People v. Hadlock, 2023 NY Slip Op 03819, 2023 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3839 (3d Dept. … Continue reading
Prison email to family members is protected by the First Amendment. “Just as the Fourth Amendment protects against searches by technology unknown in the 18th century, see Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27, 34-38 (2001), the First Amendment protects … Continue reading
Despite Carpenter saying it is limited to historical CSLI, this court concludes there is no meaningful difference between real-time and historical CSLI under Carpenter. Exigency, however, was real. The police were in hot pursuit seeking to question defendant for a … Continue reading
CA10: 2255 petitioner learned after guilty plea A-C communications were recorded in jail; no relief from plea because no effect shown
2255 petitioner was in pretrial incarceration in the private jail in Leavenworth which notoriously recorded conversations between attorneys and clients. He pled guilty with the standard 2255 waiver. This violation of his rights does not survive the waiver, and he … Continue reading
Searching officers do not violate the Fourth Amendment by not leaving a copy of the search warrant, let alone the original. Carter v. Luciano, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101723 (S.D. W. Va. June 12, 2023).* The search warrant was based … Continue reading
Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment complaint that attorney-client communications in jail were overheard does not survive summary judgment. He was a mere eight feet from the jailer who could clearly overhear everything. There was no reasonable expectation of privacy under the circumstances. … Continue reading