- W.D.Mo.: ER’s security staff conducts private searches of GSW victims
- IA: Trespassing on RR property was RS for stop
- CA9: Going directly into pockets exceeded frisk power
- CA6: Excessive force “assault” claim under § 1983 doesn’t necessarily require contact
- N.D.Ga.: PC shown for cell phone and geo-location data
online since Feb. 24, 2003
WebPage Visits: real non-robot hits since 2010; approx. about 30,000 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: Curtilage
Trash at the curb for pickup was not on the curtilage under Dunn. The area was wide open. United States v. Lipford, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 12697 (4th Cir. Apr. 28, 2021). Factual disputes aside, this much is undisputed: “The … Continue reading
Defendant’s trash container at the foot of his driveway awaiting pickup was not on the curtilage. Moreover, he had no reasonable expectation of privacy in it sitting there. State v. Peart, 2021 Del. Super. LEXIS 243 (Mar. 25, 2021). Rooker-Feldman … Continue reading
Defendant’s apartment had a box placed out on the ledge below a window visible to passersby. This was not part of the curtilage because it was visible and accessible to others. (Moreover, officers got a search warrant for it. ) … Continue reading
Court declines to extend Bivens to a search in parking lot because it thinks SCOTUS would agree. Bivens was a search of the home. Byrd v. Lamb, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 6844 (5th Cir. Mar. 9, 2021). “Henriquez-Perez has not … Continue reading
M.D.Pa.: Tent in an open field might have had REP, but it was open to view inside and plain view applied
Assuming defendant’s tent in an “open field” area had a reasonable expectation of privacy (as the Ninth Circuit would hold), the tent was open and the officer could see in. There was no curtilage to the tent in an open … Continue reading
OH12: Officer responding to a mistreated dog call could walk to fence and look through then seize dog on exigency
An officer responded to an animal abuse complaint of a maltreated dog in defendant’s backyard. He parked in the driveway and walked to the door to inquire. No answer. He could see a fence with a missing board from the … Continue reading
Defendant’s red Ford Expedition was seen leaving an armed robbery, and the police were looking for it, finding it driving on the street. They followed, and it pulled into a driveway. Defendant shows no reasonable expectation of privacy in the … Continue reading
Police looking for a taxicab fare skipper at 3 am found a door to a garage ajar and entered plaintiffs’ home with guns drawn. They encountered plaintiffs outside their bedroom but never found the fare skipper. Plaintiffs sued. The court … Continue reading
“Ultimately, the Court need not decide which side of the Ramirez-Merriweather line [of probable cause] this case falls. It suffices to say that, especially because the search warrant affidavit makes no mention of any communications involving Jackson’s cell phone, it … Continue reading
Defendant’s driveway was not Curtilage “intimately tied to the home.” United States v. Martinez-Velazquez, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15723 (M.D. La. Jan. 28, 2021):
A city code enforcement officer who came to plaintiff’s door for a couple of minutes to attempt to talk to him about a sign code violation did not violate the curtilage. Clark v. City of Williamsburg, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS … Continue reading
A police officer coming to the back of defendant’s house to look in the window and video him with a cell phone violated curtilage and his reasonable expectation of privacy. State v. Desarro, 2020-Ohio-6815, 2020 Ohio App. LEXIS 4661 (7th … Continue reading
Defendant lived on the grounds of a 24/7 storage building company. At 2:30 am, officers investigating saw cars coming and going from the residence. They approached his building, and the approach way wasn’t curtilage under Dunn. United States v. Powell, … Continue reading
A temporary guest on the property had no standing in the curtilage. Even so, the officer’s merely looking in his vehicle and seeing Sudafed in plain view wasn’t a Fourth Amendment violation. “It is undisputed that Carr had been inside … Continue reading
NY4: No REP in a handgun placed under car bumper in driveway at sidewalk visible from off the property
When defendant saw the police car at night, he crouched down behind the rear bumper of his minivan and stood up. The officers could see a gun there, and it was approximately at where the sidewalk and the driveway met. … Continue reading
The hallway near defendant’s apartment in a multi-unit apartment building was not a constitutionally protected area nor within the apartment’s curtilage. Defense counsel wasn’t ineffective for not moving to suppress his arrest and search in the common area. Commonwealth v. … Continue reading
N.D.W.Va.: A pipe in a car that could have legitimate uses still was incriminating enough for plain view
A pipe logically and usually used for smoking pot was seized in plain view because its incriminating nature was immediately apparent. The fact it could be used for legal substances doesn’t detract from that. United States v. Runner, 2020 U.S. … Continue reading
Defendant’s roof was not a place with a reasonable expectation of privacy despite the fact it was on the curtilage (decided in the context of an ineffective assistance of counsel claim). Davis v. United States, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201562 … Continue reading