- 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
ABA Journal Web 100, Best Law Blogs (2017); ABA Journal Blawg 100 (2015-16) (discontinued 2018)
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)
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: GPS / Tracking Data
D.P.R.: Mere presence of FBI at USPO search didn’t make PO ‘stalking horse’
Mere presence of FBI and other law enforcement officers at USPO’s search based on reasonable suspicion did not make the PO a “stalking horse” for the police. United States v. Borges-Sánchez, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66017 (D.P.R. Apr. 14, 2023). … Continue reading
CA5: Mandatory GPS monitoring of charter boats arbitrary under legislation invoked for it
A rule for mandatory GPS monitoring on all charter boats in the Gulf of Mexico, whether used commercially or for personal use at the time, was arbitrarily adopted in violation of the APA. GPS monitoring furthers no government interest under … Continue reading
W.D.Ky.: Search warrant affiant’s reference to water emoji wasn’t false or misleading; it here referred to meth, not sex
Defendant’s Franks motion fails. Defendants’ use of a water emoji could have been a reference to sex, but it could also be a reference to methamphetamine, as has come up in police training and in other cases such as United … Continue reading
CA8: No standing to challenge GPS already installed in CS’s car he borrowed
Defendant had no standing to contest installation of a GPS by the CS in the vehicle he loaned to defendant. Jones specifically recognized this. United States v. Dewilfond, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 33273 (8th Cir. Dec. 2, 2022). Defendant was … Continue reading
Reason: The Federal Government’s Plan to Track Truckers’ Every Movement Is a Privacy Nightmare
Reason: The Federal Government’s Plan to Track Truckers’ Every Movement Is a Privacy Nightmare by Jared McCain (“This surveillance would be unconstitutional—and there’s no reason to believe it will make anyone safer.”) Would it be? NYC’s taxicabs lost this battle … Continue reading
WaPo: Google reaches record $392M privacy settlement over location data
WaPo: Google reaches record $392M privacy settlement over location data by Bryan Pietsch (“Google agreed to pay $391.5 million to 40 states to settle an investigation into its location tracking practices, a coalition of state attorneys general announced Monday. The … Continue reading
MA: GPS monitoring for probation for a sex offense didn’t serve the stated purpose and was unreasonable
Defendant was on probation for a sex offense, and the trial court ordered he wear a GPS monitor for three years as a method of enforcing an “exclusion zone” for the victim’s sake. However, the victim’s location was unknown, so … Continue reading
E.D.N.Y.: Rental car GPS data not comparable to CSLI; it’s just third-party information
Rental car location tracking is significantly different from CSLI. It is purely third-party information. Moreover, the rental car company consented to the taking of the information. United States v. Brown, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166119 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 14, 2022). The … Continue reading
DC: Tracking def off his WMATA fair card was like Knotts and reasonable
Police use of information off of defendant’s WMATA fare card first to find him to arrest him for a robbery on a train and then to place him on a train at the time of the robbery was reasonable. This … Continue reading
MS: SW for Arkansas car’s GPS was used to put it at scene of crime
Defendant’s car was registered in Arkansas and was believed to be in a shootout in Mississippi. The car was found in Arkansas. Defendant was arrested on a Mississippi warrant and a search warrant was issued for the car’s GPS to … Continue reading
NY Bronx: SDT for text message information was overbroad; SW should be sought instead
The court concludes a subpoena duces tecum to T-Mobile for text message information was overbroad. The court recommends the state apply for a search warrant instead. People v. Nelson, 2022 NY Slip Op 50630(U), 2022 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2968 (Bronx … Continue reading
IA: Failure to articulate why state const. applies for different result is waiver
Failure to articulate one’s argument that the state constitution requires a different result is waiver. State v. Versteegh, 2022 Iowa App. LEXIS 434 (June 15, 2022). “Here, the issuing judge reasonably concluded, based on all of the circumstances, that there … Continue reading
D.Minn.: Tracking warrant issued without PC, but GFE still applied
There was no probable cause for the tracking warrant for defendant. But, it was not so lacking in probable cause that the good faith exception does not apply. United States v. Escudero, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89120 (D.Minn. May 18, … Continue reading
M.D.Ala.: Information from seller’s GPS tracker on used car didn’t require a SW
Tracking a used car by its GPS for repossession didn’t violate the Fourth Amendment. Defendant bought a used car apparently to use in a robbery. A license plate reader identified the car and the police easily tracked it back to … Continue reading
OH2: Def had no standing to challenge pings of another’s phone
Defendant had no standing to challenge pings of another’s phone. State v. Farra, 2022-Ohio-1421, 2022 Ohio App. LEXIS 1321 (2d Dist. Apr. 29, 2022). Even a locked safe in a car is subject to the automobile exception. State v. Malone, … Continue reading
D.N.J.: No standing in car GPS def sometimes rode in
Defendant failed to show standing to challenge seizure of the GPS in vehicles he sometimes was a passenger in. United States v. Mims, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72333 (D.N.J. Apr. 20, 2022). There was reasonable suspicion to extend this stop … Continue reading