- MT: Welfare check of car was reasonable, but extending it was without RS
- OH12: Dog alert on car and def’s person didn’t justify strip search
- ID: Not unreasonable to check wants and warrants on passenger during a traffic stop
- CA6: A minimal showing of nexus is enough for GFE even where PC is lacking
- CA9: Mandated GPS tracking of e-scooters not 4A violation
online since Feb. 24, 2003
WebPage Visits: real non-robot hits since 2010; approx. about 35,000 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: Warrant papers
In this two defendant murder case, the state obtained 18 search warrants for Apple and social media, but only one has been returned. A reporter sought access to the affidavits, and it’s granted. Defense counsel has already been given access … Continue reading
Admission of the search warrant affidavit here at trial with inadmissible hearsay of the CI was a violation of confrontation. State v. Martinez, 2022 Iowa App. LEXIS 410 (May 11, 2022). These search warrant materials remain sealed for one year. … Continue reading
Boilerplate language in a search warrant application for a cell phone isn’t inappropriate, but there must still be a factual showing of probable cause for search of the phone. State v. Baldwin, 2022 Tex. Crim. App. LEXIS 321 (May 11, … Continue reading
Any error in the search warrant return does not affect the search itself. Therefore, it can’t form a basis for suppression. Defendant also disclaimed any interest in the property at the time of the search. State v. McClendon, 2022-Ohio-1441, 2022 … Continue reading
Failure to file the state search warrant papers with the state clerk under state law is not a Fourth Amendment violation. United States v. Baker, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 9315 (6th Cir. Apr. 5, 2022). The signed affidavit being incorporated … Continue reading
State’s destruction of recording of a telephonic warrant application for weapons in a domestic violence case leads to suppression of the search in New Jersey. The prejudice to defendant is because he can’t now challenge the search without it. State … Continue reading
“The issue before us is whether the particularity requirement of the Fourth Amendment is satisfied if a warrant describes the place to be searched as a fraternity house as a whole without specifying a suspect’s actual room in the house, … Continue reading
“For another document to be considered part of a ‘warrant,’ it must be (1) incorporated by reference to the search warrant and (2) accompany the search warrant both when it is authorized by the judge and when the search warrant … Continue reading
D.Guam: Issuing magistrate’s later recusal for knowing target’s dad doesn’t show he wasn’t neutral and detached
After search warrant was issued, the issuing magistrate recused from the rest of the matter because defendant’s father was a longstanding employee of the court. There apparently was no relationship with defendant. This did not present a constitutional problem for … Continue reading
The district court declined to release search warrant materials, but the SEC revealed the investigation. Remanded to reconsider disclosure. L.A. Times Communs., LLC v. United States (In re L.A. Times Communs. LLC), 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 7093 (D.C.Cir. Mar. 18, … Continue reading
The government “points to four circumstances as the basis for an independent reasonable, articulable suspicion to extend the stop for the K-9 deployment: (1) the time of night and location of Mr. Melendez’s vehicle; (2) Mr. Melendez’s nervousness; (3) Mr. … Continue reading
The attachments to the affidavits were attached but not incorporated by words in the affidavit. The court doesn’t decide that this is a Fourth Amendment violation because the good faith exception applies. The search of a cell phone attempted within … Continue reading
W.D.Tex.: Writ of error coram nobis not a remedy nor timely for evidentiary claim in 2013 suppression hearing
Defendant’s petition for writ of error coram nobis is denied as untimely, even if available at all. The claim was authentication of warrant papers as an exhibit in 2013. That’s not even a basis for the writ. He was charged … Continue reading
On this fourth motion to extend deadline, the warrant materials here are ordered sealed for another year because of an ongoing investigation. The court finds redactions aren’t reasonably possible. In re Seized Misc. United States Currency, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading
Defendant argues that the inventory was pretextual to search for evidence of crime, except that there already was probable cause at that point for an automobile exception search. On a later vehicle search, there also was a warrant. Failing to … Continue reading
Defendant originally moved to suppress a search which included a video. Then he decided he needed it at trial, so it was waived. United States v. Savage, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 250209 (E.D.Okla. Nov. 19, 2021) (see Treatise § 60.19, … 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:
A state unsigned warrant was subject to the good faith exception where the issuing magistrate did everything but sign. The magistrate signed the application on the back of the state-mandated form and initialed the warrant. The court doesn’t go so … Continue reading