- 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
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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
"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: Curtilage
Defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in two barns on his farm, one locked and one unlocked with the door partially open. Curtilage to the home doesn’t matter. A later search warrant only described the home and not the … Continue reading
Defendant totaled his car in an accident. The black box evidence was sought by warrant, but the court holds that defendant effectively abandoned the car to the wrecking yard. Vitela v. State, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 2759 (Tex. App. – … Continue reading
Officers following a GPS ping on stolen vehicle with off-road tires came to defendant’s home for a knock-and-talk. Receiving no answer, the officer followed the driveway and saw three storage buildings. “Because the driveway is open to the public and … Continue reading
In the Michigan drone over the curtilage case (posted here), Long Lake Twp. v. Maxon, the parties are directed to brief application of the exclusionary rule to zoning disputes:
A helicopter flyover of the curtilage at 500′ was within FAA regulations and thus was reasonable. Defendant’s racing to the spot of the grow operation was exigency for fear he was on his way to destroy evidence. United States v. … Continue reading
ID: 5th wheel trailer parked, slides out, and hooked up to electricity was an outbuilding subject to the SW
A fifth-wheel trailer parked, jacked, chocked, with extensions out and hooked up to electricity was on the property to be searched. It was not specified in the warrant, but it was treated as an outbuilding covered by the warrant. The … Continue reading
A person can’t pull into a private driveway and insulate him or herself from an officer investigating a traffic offense. Here, the officer was going to just issue a warning but saw drugs in plain view in the car in … Continue reading
A question to a motorist about tattoos during a stop because they might have been prison tattoos wasn’t shown to be related to officer safety and was thus unreasonable. “Here, the circuitous, propensity-based inquiry about defendant’s incarceration history was predicated … Continue reading
The knock-and-talk here was reasonable in its inception, but the officer violated the curtilage by inspecting a car parked there. The state’s argument that reasonable suspicion permitted approaching the car was not raised below so it’s waived. “Furthermore, even if … Continue reading
French v. Merrill, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 2625 (1st Cir. Jan. 28, 2022) (3-3*) (panel decision 15 F.4th 116 (1st Cir. Oct. 1, 2021)). On why rehearing should not be granted:
“In analyzing whether law enforcement officers have qualified immunity in a false arrest claim pursuant to § 1983, the issue is not whether probable cause actually exists but whether a reasonable officer in the officer’s position would have believed he … Continue reading
Third parties to a forfeiture seeking to protect their interest have no standing to challenge legality of the seizure that led to the forfeiture. United States v. Koeln, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3934 (E.D.Mo. Jan. 10, 2022). Defendant’s felony arrest … Continue reading
Applying Dunn to defendant’s apartment hallway curtilage, defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy at his apartment door. There was a locked gate to enter the area that the police somehow bypassed to get in for a dog sniff. State … Continue reading
“When a driver is unconscious, the general rule is a warrant is not needed. (Mitchell, supra, 139 S.Ct. at p. 2531.) The Fourth Amendment “almost always” permits a warrantless blood test when police officers do not have a reasonable opportunity … Continue reading
A shared driveway is not curtilage. United States v. Vasquez, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 230603 (D.Colo. Dec. 2, 2021). 2254 petitioner admits that he had a full and fair opportunity to litigate his search issue and did. The fact he … Continue reading
Jardines does not prohibit a knock-and-talk as long as the officers enter via the normal path. United States v. Hartford, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 226452 (D.Neb. Nov. 24, 2021). A protective sweep of defendant’s car was reasonable, despite his being … Continue reading
The front stoop of a multifamily dwelling in the Bronx isn’t protected curtilage. In re of Y.N., 2021 NY Slip Op 51108(U), 2021 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5975 (Bronx Co. Family Nov. 12, 2021) (unpublished):
The trial court’s suppression order is affirmed. Defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his curtilage and his car parked there. The plain view inside his car and then the search was unreasonable. State v. Serna, 2021 Tex. App. … Continue reading