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- CA8: Seizure of cell phone off person by SW wasn’t outrageous conduct warranting return
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- TX2: Slow to pull over and furtive movements is RS
- OH8: Street gambling doesn’t justify frisk for weapons
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Fourth Amendment cases,
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.”
–Josh Billings (pseudonym of Henry Wheeler Shaw), Josh Billings on Ice, and Other Things (1868) (erroneously attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson, among others)
“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: School searches
Seizure of a cell phone in school for 30 minutes that was not searched at all was not unreasonable. McGuire v. Roseville Joint Union High Sch. Dist., 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98392 (E.D. Cal. June 5, 2023).* The warrantless blood … Continue reading
A 13-year-old male student was showing explicit pictures of a 14-year-old girl on his phone at school. The search of the phone by school officials was reasonable under T.L.O., and it led him to juvenile court. O.W. v. Sch. Bd. … Continue reading
A dog sniff outside a hotel room door was reasonable under the state constitution. (And, while other information was illegally gathered, this was enough for the warrant.) Crabtree v. State, 2022 Ind. App. LEXIS 385 (Dec. 1, 2022). Excessive force … Continue reading
CA2: SW said “electronics” and “passwords” to access them, but it did not say “computers”; those words mean computers
The search warrant used the word “electronics” and “passwords” to access them, but it did not say “computers.” “Because the warrant specifically permitted seizure of “electronics,” a category into which computers and tablets would fall under the plain text, not … Continue reading
Assuming random Covid testing of NYC school children is a Fourth Amendment search, the court applies Vernonia School District 47J and special needs and finds it reasonable. Aviles v. De Blasio, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38930 (S.D. N.Y. Mar. 2, … Continue reading
Crime Online: School principal ordered to pay $3.6M for sharing students’ nude pictures online by Jacquelyn Gray (“A former principal in Kentucky who is serving a nine-year federal prison sentence was ordered last week to pay $3.6 million for confiscating … Continue reading
There was reasonable suspicion for a school search because the school authorities had information from a known source that provided it. In re J.A.M., 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 2077 (Tex. App. – San Antonio Mar. 11, 2020). Defendant’s chokehold on … Continue reading
This juvenile was subjected to a suspicionless bookbag search by school security in a St. Louis public school that found a gun. The court finds the search was reasonable based on the school safety factor alone. In the Interest of … Continue reading
Education Week (blog): Justices Decline to Review Case Involving Strip Search of 4-Year-Old at School
Education Week (blog): Justices Decline to Review Case Involving Strip Search of 4-Year-Old at School by Mark Walsh:
New Law Review Article: Jason P. Nance, Implicit Racial Bias and Students’ Fourth Amendment Rights, 94 Ind. L. J. 47 (2019):
Drug testing of substitute teacher applicants was reasonable. School employment is different and protection of the environment of children is paramount. Friedenberg v. School Board of Palm Beach County, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 35905 (11th Cir. Dec. 20, 2018):
Tech Advocate: Can Schools Search Students’ Personal Devices by Matthew Lynch:
CA9: School resource officer’s arrest of alleged bullying middle school girls ‘to prove a point’ and ‘make [them] mature a lot faster’ was unreasonable under T.L.O.
Arresting middle school girls for alleged bullying and fighting at school violated the Fourth Amendment and was unreasonable: “After concluding that the girls were unresponsive and disrespectful, the deputy arrested the girls ‘to prove a point’ and ‘make [them] mature … Continue reading
A school principal received a report from a CI student that the juvenile had a gun in school. He sent for the student who came to the office where a school resource officer and a street officer were waiting. “For … Continue reading
WaPo: Body searches of 900 Georgia students by sheriff’s office leads to $3 million settlement by Susan Hogan:
School search of a student for merely being tardy was unreasonable under Vernonia and Earls and other cases for lack any factual basis, let alone reasonable suspicion. State v. Williams, 2017 Mo. App. LEXIS 659 (June 27, 2017):
NYTimes: ‘How Far Can They Go?’ Police Search of Hundreds of Students Stokes Lawsuit and Constitutional Questions
NYTimes: ‘How Far Can They Go?’ Police Search of Hundreds of Students Stokes Lawsuit and Constitutional Questions by Jacey Fortin: Worth County High School was buzzing with late-year activities on April 14. Seniors had recently taken their group photo for … Continue reading
“Based on the facts of this case, we hold that the school’s protocol requiring searches of unattended book bags—to determine ownership and whether the contents are dangerous—furthers the compelling governmental interest in protecting public-school students from physical harm. We further … Continue reading
techdirt: Legislators, School Administrators Back Off Cellphone Search Bill After Running Into ACLU Opposition
techdirt: Legislators, School Administrators Back Off Cellphone Search Bill After Running Into ACLU Opposition by Tim Cushing: