- N.D.Ga.: Failure to specify how the R&R was deficient on PC finding was waiver
- Ga.Bar J.: Who Should Guard the Attorney-Client Privilege When Documents are Seized by Law Enforcement,
- OR: For particularity in electronic devices, specify what will be found
- W.D.N.C.: Traffic stop for expired tags went right to criminal history and was overlong
- ID rejects “reasonable mistake of law” and Heien under state constitution; state’s exclusionary rule is broader
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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)
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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: Voluntariness
Three on consent from 7/20
Police responded to a shots fired call. The bodycam video shows that there was consent for entry into the home, albeit granted reluctantly. (Based on the factual recitation, it was likely a warrantless entry could have occurred because there was … Continue reading
OH12: No const’l requirement to call owner before vehicle impoundment
Neither the federal nor state constitution require an officer to call the owner of a car to come and get it off a parking lot rather than it be towed when the driver is arrested. State v. Edwards, 2022-Ohio-2384, 2022 … Continue reading
CA1: Voluntary act after unreasonable stop made evidence admissible
There was no reasonable suspicion for defendant’s seizure on the totality. But, “Sierra-Ayala’s intervening volitional act, in the absence of exploitative behavior by López-Maysonet, renders the discovery of the drugs sufficiently attenuated so as to dissipate the taint of the … Continue reading
CA10: Def’s actions were completely consistent with innocence and did not add up to RS
The officer did not have reasonable suspicion for defendant’s stop or its continuation. Defendant’s actions were consistent with somebody who had nothing to hide, and the district court’s findings got no presumption of correctness. Denial of the suppression motion reversed. … Continue reading
D.S.D.: Def’s delay on his own paperwork extended the stop
The stop was reasonably extended by the passenger’s not providing paperwork timely and in giving apparently false information. United States v. Wise, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65558 (D.S.D. Apr. 8, 2022).* There was reasonable suspicion for defendant’s stop. “The totality … Continue reading
W.D.Ky.: Crime victim with animosity toward def is not unreliable CI just because of that
A crime victim isn’t unreliable for informant hearsay just because of animosity toward the defendant. United States v. Collins, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63999 (W.D.Ky. Feb. 7, 2022). The trial court erred in finding defendant’s consent to a blood draw … Continue reading
D.Neb.: State officer’s jurisdiction is not a 4A question
State officers outside their jurisdiction making an arrest is not alone a Fourth Amendment violation. Virginia v. Moore. United States v. Blair, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47833 (D.Neb. Mar. 17, 2022).* Defendant found to have consented to a search after … Continue reading
N.D.Tex.: Knock-and-talk led to a consent search
Defendant’s knock-and-talk led to a consent search. “Courts consider six primary factors to determine whether consent to a search is knowing and voluntary: (1) the voluntariness of the defendant’s custodial status; (2) presence of coercive police procedures; (3) the extent … Continue reading
D.Neb.: “Defendant’s own characteristics show his consent was voluntary.”
“Defendant’s own characteristics show his consent was voluntary. Defendant was an adult and conversed easily with officers prior to the search. He appeared to be at least of average intelligence. Defendant’s answers to the officer’s questions and his overall demeanor … Continue reading
OH11: No standing in father’s cell phones even when communicating with defense experts
Defendant is charged with killing his wife. He didn’t have standing to challenge a search warrant for his father’s cell phones where attorney-client privilege in their contents was asserted because the father was communicating with expert witnesses in his case. … Continue reading
D.Minn.: Consent to search cell phone was voluntary after def was told of right to refuse and revoke consent once given
Defendant consented to a seizure and search of his cell phone after being told of his right to refuse and to revoke consent at any time. United States v. Fairbanks, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 210371 (D.Minn. Nov. 1, 2021). Plaintiff … Continue reading
D.N.M.: Announcement of unlawful search here led to involuntary confession
“Here, the Agents did not, in the end, violate the Fourth Amendment. So, the question this Court confronts now is whether the announcement of an unlawful search, which is not in fact completed, render an elicited confession involuntary and inadmissible? … Continue reading
OH5: Def’s consent after being told drug dog was coming for her car wasn’t voluntary
The trial court held defendant’s consent was involuntary. She was asked for consent and told that a drug dog was coming so she might as well give it up. The conclusion is supported by the evidence and isn’t clearly erroneous. … Continue reading
W.D.N.C.: Using a key to open a lockbox named in a SW rather than breaking it open is hardly unreasonable
Using defendant’s key to unlock a lockbox within the terms of the search warrant was not unreasonable. United States v. Frady, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205784 (W.D.N.C. Oct. 26, 2021).* [Does he really expect that breaking into it is the … Continue reading