- 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
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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: Private search
OH5: EMT wasn’t state actor for 4A purposes in detaining def
A paramedic kept defendant from driving after an accident because defendant was too impaired to drive. That was not a government seizure, even if the paramedic was a state actor. State v. Cruz, 2023-Ohio-794, 2023 Ohio App. LEXIS 760 (5th … Continue reading
NY1: Announcing “NYPD arrest warrant” after entry through an unlocked door violated knock-and-announce
Announcing “NYPD arrest warrant” after entry through an unlocked door violated the state statute on knock-and-announce. People v. Jones, 2023 NY Slip Op 01262, 2023 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1248 (1st Dept. Mar. 14, 2023). A successor 2255 petition based … Continue reading
S.D.Cal.: Police declining to search on wife’s consent could follow her to spot and watch her do it without it being govt action
Under the two-part test, the Court finds that Ms. Valenzuela was not functioning as a government instrument at the time of her [*17] search. As to the first prong, the Chula Vista officers clearly “knew of” Ms. Valenzuela’s actions because … Continue reading
GA: Police reentry into hotel room after medical emergency required SW
Officers responded to a medical emergency at a hotel room. They left and reentered to seize contraband, and the reentry required a warrant. The exigency had passed. State v. Wood, 2023 Ga. App. LEXIS 101 (Feb. 28, 2023). The suppression … Continue reading
W.D.N.C.: Frisk by security at a bar was purely private search
Defendant was frisked by security entering a bar, and a gun was found. They kept it for the police. This was purely a private search. United States v. Wood, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16555 (W.D.N.C. Feb. 1, 2023). The district … Continue reading
D.Ariz.: No REP in CP; AOL did a private search sending to NCMEC
AOL reported potential child porn to NCMEC, and that was within its terms of service. That was a private search. Moreover, “[t]his Court concludes that society has decided the interest in ‘privately’ possessing child pornography is illegitimate. Opening the image … Continue reading
CA9: Private search of CSLI made it admissible in admin proceeding
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries received information from whistleblowers of cell site location information the defendant business collected to show alleged violations of state law. This was a private search, and Carpenter is not implicated. Kleiser v. … Continue reading
D.R.I.: Church rectory was subject to a SW and it was treated as a single-family dwelling with separate bedrooms
A church rectory was the subject of a child pornography search warrant. Multiple people lived there, but there was no sign that it was a multi-family type dwelling: “A more detailed description of the building, however, is not provided. From … Continue reading
MN: Reliable hearsay can be considered for PC
In determining probable cause, “reliable hearsay” may be considered. State v. Dixon, 2022 Minn. LEXIS 483 (Nov. 9, 2022). The question of lack of probable cause was not in the motion to suppress, but the trial court held there was, … Continue reading
S.D.W.Va.: Protective sweep under a bed is reasonable
The protective sweep here looking under the bed was reasonable. It’s where people hide. Defendant’s contention the sweep went further isn’t clear. Some things were moved and opened, but a search warrant had been executed between the sweep and her … Continue reading
CA5: Motel owner who opened room door without police asking was a private actor
Police attempted a knock-and-talk at a motel, but no one opened the door. The motel owner here was watching so he opened the door on his own. He asked the officers before he did, but they said they needed a … Continue reading
MN: When prosecution shows private search doctrine applies, defense has burden to show government action
When a defendant moves to suppress the evidence obtained from a warrantless search and the State proves that the private search doctrine applies, the burden to show that the private party was acting on behalf of the government falls on … Continue reading
IL: Requirement of some testing of fire sprinkler system doesn’t require a search
A condominium association installed a newer fire protection system, and it was subject to annual testing. The ordinance only required it be tested by somebody, and who would likely be a contractor. It did not compel a search under the … Continue reading
D.Iowa: CA8 probably wouldn’t adopt CA5’s private search foreseeability element
A foreseeability requirement in the private search doctrine, apparently applicable in the Fifth Circuit is not followed in this district court in the Eighth Circuit. United States v. Hayes, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98528 (D.Iowa June 2, 2022):
CA9: Private searcher mimicking her computer search for police was reasonable
Defendant’s former girlfriend found child pornography on his computer. She took the computer to the Reno sheriff’s office, and the police there had her show them what she did and go no farther. This was admitted by the government to … Continue reading
NM: Motion to suppress checkpoint stop too general to put state on notice
“We conclude Defendant’s motion was insufficiently particular to alert the metropolitan court or State that the grounds for suppressing evidence related to the checkpoint’s illegality.” “Defendant’s motion, rather, was based upon the State lacking reasonable suspicion to detain Defendant. The … Continue reading
D.Nev.: Private prison’s recording of attorney-client calls states a claim
A criminal defense lawyer stated a claim against a private prison operator under the wiretapping laws for recording attorney-client calls. Bliss v. Corecivic, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10953 (D.Nev. Jan. 18, 2022). 2254 petitioner’s illegal search claim barred by Stone. … Continue reading
MO: Trial court’s credibility findings on search incident of backpack was binding on appeal
The trial court suppressed the search of defendant’s backpack as incident to his arrest. The trial court heard conflicting testimony on whether it was within his reach, and concluded it was not. That’s binding on the standard of review. State … Continue reading