- 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
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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
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Little Rock, Arkansas
Contact: forhall @ aol.com / The Book
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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
"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: Franks doctrine
D.Colo.: Bank records have no REP so they can be obtained for restitution purposes
There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in bank records, and the government can obtain them to enforce a restitution order. United States v. Osborn, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90076 (D. Colo. May 23, 2023). Defendant doesn’t get a Franks … Continue reading
OH7: Officer taking the Fifth at suppression hearing because of other matters doesn’t prove Franks violation
At defendant’s suppression hearing, one of the officers was relieved of duty due to other misconduct, and he took the Fifth. On what remains in the affidavit and on the totality doesn’t otherwise show a Franks violation. State v. Hartung, … Continue reading
M.D.Ga.: No right to challenge SW before execution
It isn’t apparent that there’s a right to challenge a search warrant before it is executed. (Rule 17 covers motions to quash subpoenas.) Even if there was, defendant doesn’t carry his burden. United States v. Crumpton, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading
CA8: SW issuing judge not “neutral and detached” just because he didn’t ask questions
A search warrant in Killeen, Texas was issued to look for evidence of a Hobbs Act murder in Lincoln, Nebraska. The affidavit combined information from Texas and Nebraska. There was potential confusion as to whose information was whose but it … Continue reading
CA2: Inventory policy here was attached to pleadings and sufficed
The vehicle inventory search was testified to be within ATF policy, which was attached to the pleadings, and it was. United States v. Brack, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 12197 (2d Cir. May 18, 2023). Officers observed two people making likely … Continue reading
CA9: SW application made “under penalty of perjury” satisfies the “oath or affirmation” requirement
A search warrant application made “under penalty of perjury” satisfies the “oath or affirmation” requirement. United States v. Morrow, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 11933 (9th Cir. May 16, 2023). Defendant prevailed on the merits of his honest services wire fraud … Continue reading
GA: Grant of Franks motion is subject to de novo review
The court erred in finding a Franks violation without considering whether the challenged representation in the warrant was made knowingly, intentionally, or in reckless disregard for the truth. On de novo review, that the trial court erred in finding there … Continue reading
TN: Bounty hunter is not a state actor for 4A
A bailbond bounty hunter is not a state actor for the Fourth Amendment. State v. Wojnarek, 2023 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 160 (May 10, 2023). A Delaware JP issued this search warrant, and it was with probable cause. United States … Continue reading
CA8: Child’s statement there was a gun in felon’s house was PC
Defendant’s child saying “my daddy’s has a gun in there” was sufficient for issuing a search warrant for felon in possession. United States v. Watkins, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 11303 (8th Cir. May 9, 2023).* Driving with an allegedly purloined … Continue reading
D.P.R.: Def’s declaration of a fact dispute didn’t rise to a Franks violation
Defendant’s own declaration that he was outside the apartment when the affidavit said he was inside was just a swearing match, and it didn’t raise a sufficient Franks challenge. United States v. Pierret-Mercedes, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79252 (D.P.R. May … Continue reading
CA10: Def’s response ‘I don’t have a backpack’ was abandonment of the backpack
“Mr. Porter nonetheless attempts to distinguish this case from our other abandonment cases, claiming that in those cases, the defendant’s denial of ownership was clear and unequivocal. But it is hard to imagine a statement plainer than ‘I don’t have … Continue reading
CA8: Omission of fact CI lied about prior murder for hire schemes wasn’t material enough where one recorded ptf
This was a murder for hire scheme. The affiant had good information that the CI was a notorious liar, having falsely alleged other schemes in the past. Here, however, there was “powerful” evidence of probable cause in recordings to back … Continue reading
CA4: “[T]he ability to execute a search does not necessarily imply power to execute a search warrant.”
“[T]he ability to execute a search does not necessarily imply power to execute a search warrant.” Osmon v. United States, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 9177 (4th Cir. Apr. 18, 2023). Defendant’s Franks motion fails because there’s no offer of proof … Continue reading
CA9: Mere typo in SW affidavit doesn’t support Franks challenge
Defendant’s Franks challenge was conclusory and based on mere typographical errors. United States v. Howard, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 9069 (9th Cir. Apr. 17, 2023). Habeas petitioner’s admission of procedural default of his Fourth Amendment claim was an admission there … Continue reading
CA4: CI’s 911 call showing stress of a startling event was reliable
A CI’s 911 call “‘under the stress of excitement caused by a startling event’ (making the call less likely to be preplanned),” was reliable enough for reasonable suspicion. Torres v. Ball, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 9076 (4th Cir. Apr. 17, … Continue reading
M.D.Fla.: Geofence SW decided on GFE alone
In this Hobbs Act robbery case, ATF got a geofence warrant to attempt to isolate who was committing a string of robberies in the Tampa Bay area. Instead of even considering the merits, the court goes directly to the good … Continue reading
E.D.Va.: Seizing def as he was opening his door was an invasion of the curtilage without exigency
After an attempted traffic stop, following defendant to his front door and stopping him after the screen door was opened in between it and the front door was curtilage, even in an apartment building. There was no exigency justifying the … Continue reading
NY Orange Co.: Reasonableness of seizure of firearms under 2A and 4A depends on court order, due process, and objective showing of mental impairment
Following another county court, this one also holds that Second Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights are both fundamental and an order removing firearms must be based on finding of mental impairment and due process. R.M. v. C.M., 2023 NY Slip … Continue reading
OH5: Admission of MJ but no MMJ card was PC
Admission there was marijuana in the car and nobody had a MMJ card was probable cause. State v. Hale, 2023-Ohio-1057, 2023 Ohio App. LEXIS 1025 (5th Dist. Mar. 30, 2023). A conclusory allegation that false information in an affidavit for … Continue reading
CA7: Prima facie Franks violation made not disclosing CI’s motives; remanded
Defendant made his prima facie case of a Franks violation, and he was entitled to a hearing. The informants were involved in a love quadrangle not revealed to the warrant issuing judge. Analyzing the affidavit sentence by sentence, the omissions … Continue reading