- 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
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: Stop and frisk
MA: Crack pipe seen in plain view of passenger compartment justifies search of whole car
“The question presented by this appeal is whether a State trooper’s plain view observation of a used crack pipe in a motor vehicle provides probable cause for a warrantless search of the entire vehicle for contraband drugs. Concluding that it … Continue reading
S.D.Miss.: Acting “shifty” during a stop justified patdown for officer safety
The patdown here was reasonable for officer safety because defendant was known to associate with firearms, wore baggy clothing that could have concealed a firearm, and he was acting “shifty” and “favoring his pockets.” United States v. Gillin, 2023 U.S. … Continue reading
CA11: Inventory applied even if automobile exception not satisfied
The search of defendant’s car would have happened as a result of an inventory search whether or not the automobile exception applied. Therefore, inevitable discovery was satisfied. United States v. Russell, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 3820 (11th Cir. Feb. 17, … Continue reading
CA9: 4A requires no less intrusive measures for inventory
The officers impounding defendant’s vehicle weren’t constitutionally required to allow him to contact others to take possession of the vehicle for him. United States v. Anderson, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 35865 (9th Cir. Dec. 29, 2022). See Metropolitan News-Enterprise Three … Continue reading
M.D.Fla.: 14 years of emails in a complicated tax fraud scheme wasn’t overbroad
Fourteen years worth of emails wasn’t overbroad here. “The case involves a complex tax evasion scheme taking place over many years and across international borders. A wide variety of documents would be relevant to prove this scheme. The warrant in … Continue reading
W.D.Wash.: Dog sniff in apt building breezeway violated no REP, and it was moot anyway
On the totality, there was probable cause for cell phone search warrants. One can attempt to explain away the pieces, but the totality shows it. A dog sniff in the breezeway of an apartment complex violated no reasonable expectation of … Continue reading
MI: No RS for getting def out of car for a frisk
Defendant’s stop was justified, but getting him out of the vehicle for a frisk was not. Suppressed. People v. Turner, 2022 Mich. App. LEXIS 4943 (Aug. 18, 2022) (2-1). On the totality, defendant consented to an interview in his own … Continue reading
NY2: Search of wallet during a frisk unreasonable
Officers violated the Fourth Amendment during defendant’s frisk when they removed his wallet from his pocket and searched it. People v. Lewis, 2022 NY Slip Op 04920, 2022 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4797 (2d Dept. Aug. 10, 2022). The officer … Continue reading
MI: Extending stop for photographs and fingerprints unreasonable
The Grand Rapids PD’s policy of photographing and fingerprinting people without probable cause or reasonable suspicion in a Terry stop violated the Fourth Amendment. It was a trespass on the body. Johnson v. Vanderkooi, 2022 Mich. LEXIS 1359 (July 22, … Continue reading
CA4: Def’s Facebook post and demeanor justified stop-and-frisk
Defendant’s Facebook post and his past supported reasonable suspicion for his stop and frisk of his fanny pack at a fair. He was a known member of a violent gang with a felony conviction, his house had been recently shot … Continue reading
CA7: Stop-and-frisk at gunpoint was reasonable
Defendant’s actions justified a stop and frisk at gunpoint, and it was still a mere detention and not an arrest. United States v. Olson, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 19744 (7th Cir. July 18, 2022):
NJ: Refusal of a frisk without RS does not add to RS
There was no reasonable suspicion for defendant’s stop. People who live in a “high crime area” do not have lesser constitutional protection. The facts here just didn’t support a frisk, and he had a right to refuse one, and that … Continue reading
N.D.Ala.: Imprecision in the SW affidavit isn’t a Franks violation
Imprecision in the affiant investigator’s words doesn’t equate to recklessness for Franks purposes. United States v. Tubbs, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73473 (N.D.Ala. Mar. 14, 2022).* Defendant’s alleged Franks violation wasn’t even material based on all the evidence that the … Continue reading
MS: Open fields covered by state const.; warrant required for administrative search
A warrant is required for administrative searches under the Mississippi constitution, which also protects all land owned by the complainant, including open fields. Plain view is inapplicable here. The exclusionary rule applies to this administrative search and seizure. Okhuysen v. … Continue reading
D.Conn.: CI was personally involved in info he provided, and he was further corroborated by an unrelated wiretap
The CI here was untested for prior reliability, but the information was detailed and had the CI’s personal involvement. Moreover, an unrelated wiretap provided some corroboration of the CI’s involvement. This probable cause finding is not a close call. If … Continue reading
N.D.Fla.: § 2241 habeas can’t be used to review another USDJ’s denial of a motion to suppress
A defendant can’t use a 2241 habeas as a way to appeal denial of a motion to suppress by another district judge. Butler v. Cook, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 247876 (N.D.Fla. Nov. 30, 2021). Controlled buys from defendant a few … Continue reading
MA: Driver’s and passenger’s conduct during traffic stop helped create RS for frisk of passenger in backseat
During a traffic stop, the driver and front seat passenger were argumentative and threatening for a fight. The officers surmised that this was a distraction from the vehicle because it could have a firearm in it. On the totality, there … Continue reading
CA6: Officer routinely asking “about drugs, weapons, and dead bodies” during traffic stops doesn’t unreasonably extend them
Officer “Mathieson testified that it is his habit to ask about drugs, weapons, and dead bodies during traffic stops. In any event, police officers are permitted to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation and look for evidence of a … Continue reading
TX2: Unlawful stop-and-frisk leads to suppression of patdown and search and abandonment during flight
Defendant’s stop was without reasonable suspicion. His alleged consent was not voluntary and his flight and abandonment were not attenuated but were caused by the illegal stop and frisk. Massey v. State, 2021 Tex. App. LEXIS 9820 (Tex. App. – … Continue reading