- SC: Exigency for CSLI was shooting victim left for dead and defendant was armed and dangerous
- CA3: Delaware “hit and hold” practice for entries not decided because of consent
- CA11: No jurisdiction to enjoin investigation after execution of SW
- The Epoch Times: Google Gave FBI Location Data for Over 5,000 Devices in Jan. 6 Probe
- S.D.Ind.: Forced Covid test didn’t violate 4A
online since Feb. 24, 2003 Approx. 350,000 visits (non-robot) since 2012 Approx. 40,000 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
"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)
Website design by Wally Waller, Little Rock
Category Archives: Inventory
“In either event, the officers were justified in searching the wrecked vehicle to get it out of the ditch for an inventory or for officer safety. Officers searched the vehicle in an effort to find the purported driver’s name or … Continue reading
E.D.Wis.: Inventory was unreasonable where SOP didn’t mention inventory for overtinting and cash found wasn’t inventoried but was instead delivered to DEA
Even assuming that a tow and inventory is permissible for an illegal tint violation (comparing Atwater v. Lago Vista on trivial arrests not being unreasonable), the inventory police did not address such incidents and the inventory itself mentioned “backpack” without … Continue reading
D.R.I.: Removing back cover of cell phone to see the serial number not unreasonable during inventory
Defendant was in a car that was stopped for overtinting, and that led to a tow and inventory. The police searched for and obtained the serial numbers of four cell phones found during the inventory. They were not otherwise searched, … Continue reading
The inventory here wasn’t complete because defendant’s cell phone wasn’t in the inventory and apparently left behind. [Now that’s ironic.] A gun and ammunition were. Because they are dangerous instrumentalities, that makes the inventory reasonable. “It is not obvious to … Continue reading
D.Neb.: Inventory reasonable and followed SOP despite officer’s expectation to find evidence of crime
The inventory here was reasonable despite the fact the officer suspected illegal items in the vehicle. A criminal search was not the sole motivating factor, and the inventory followed SOPs. United States v. Nielsen, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 249611 (D.Neb. … 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
MA: A computer check during a traffic stop would dispel any RS, and failure to do so was unreasonable
Defendant’s car had an inspection rejection sticker for safety defects, but state law grants a 60 day grace period for correction. A computer check would have answered any questions. “Accordingly, we conclude that whether the troopers’ suspicion was reasonable in … Continue reading
TN: Where car was abandoned, there were no reasonable alternatives to impoundment available to the police
Tennessee recognizes that impoundment and inventory can be avoided if there are reasonable alternatives to it at the time. Here, defendant’s car was abandoned on the road and, when they arrived, it was in the process of being towed and … Continue reading
The Fourth Amendment does not require that a motorist who’s car is about to be towed and would be inventoried can make alternative arrangements to avoid the tow. State v. Patterson, 2021-Ohio-4617, 2021 Ohio App. LEXIS 4542 (11th Dist. Dec. … Continue reading
The tow and inventory of the car defendant was driving, his grandmother’s, without a valid license was an abuse of the officer’s discretion. Here, the vehicle was parked in the grandmother’s driveway when the stop occurred. The officer’s practice of … Continue reading
Defense counsel wasn’t ineffective for not challenging the inventory search of defendant’s car because the inventory was reasonable. After the arrest of the occupants, the vehicle had to be towed, and the inventory was within policy and not a pretext … Continue reading
“In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Cooley, we conclude the federal law enforcement officer working as an agent for the tribal drug enforcement agency had jurisdiction to detain Suelzle for a reasonable time while awaiting a state officer … Continue reading
A Chicago PD officer was watching the streets with surveillance cameras, and he observed defendant apparently with a firearm under his shirt. That report to others who conducted the frisk was collective knowledge for a stop [although that phrase isn’t … Continue reading
Paramedics and an officer arrived at a medical emergency call. While defendant was being prepared for transport, the officer checked defendant’s coat and felt a pill bottle which he looked at in case it had anything to do with his … Continue reading
“For these reasons, we conclude that the officers had a reasonable, non-pretextual, community-caretaker rationale for impoundment: securing an uninsured vehicle on the side of a public road with inadequate taillights until a licensed driver with a legitimate connection to the … Continue reading
The officer’s failure to complete the inventory after finding a gun in plain view and seizing it was reasonable under the circumstances. Jim v. State, 137 Nev. Adv. Op. 57, 2021 Nev. LEXIS 59 (Sept. 23, 2021):
“Therefore, the officers’ decision to list the items recovered during the inventory search in the Incident Report and not on the Impound Report does not invalidate the inventory search.” United States v. Morris, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182946 (E.D.Mich. Sept. … Continue reading
Defendant was a visitor to a hotel room and he had no standing to challenge its search. He had no key to the room and no luggage or other belongings, and he couldn’t show he was a guest of either … Continue reading
NJ declines to adopt a reasonable mistake of law justification for an automobile stop and resulting search. At issue was a traffic law barring license plate frames that cover information on the plate that resulted in 100,000 stops per year. … Continue reading
Tulsa police’s impoundment of defendant’s car was a pretext for an inventory search. The inventory policy didn’t even mention impoundment. United States v. Woodard, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 22443 (10th Cir. July 27, 2021):