- 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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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)
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Category Archives: § 1983 / Bivens
CA11: Three CIs with overlapping information corroborated each other
Three informants’ overlapping information corroborated one another such that establishing their veracity was unnecessary. The affidavit in support of the warrant contained enough indicia of probable cause that an officer’s reliance was not unreasonable as it sufficiently linked the residence … Continue reading
OH7: Officer taking the Fifth at suppression hearing because of other matters doesn’t prove Franks violation
At defendant’s suppression hearing, one of the officers was relieved of duty due to other misconduct, and he took the Fifth. On what remains in the affidavit and on the totality doesn’t otherwise show a Franks violation. State v. Hartung, … Continue reading
CA6: Younger requires the federal case over an arrest or search be stayed, not dismissed
The district court improperly dismissed plaintiff’s case under Younger because of ongoing state proceedings it implicated. It should have stayed it instead. Neal El v. Showman, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 12604 (6th Cir. May 22, 2023). The Fourth Amendment does … Continue reading
CA9: SOL on search claim starts with the search
Case over search dismissed on SOL grounds. Plaintiff on notice from the time of the search. Reyes v. Cty. of Wash., 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 9353 (9th Cir. Apr. 19, 2023). The officers obtaining and executing the warrant for defendant’s … Continue reading
M.D.Fla.: Geofence SW decided on GFE alone
In this Hobbs Act robbery case, ATF got a geofence warrant to attempt to isolate who was committing a string of robberies in the Tampa Bay area. Instead of even considering the merits, the court goes directly to the good … Continue reading
S.D.N.Y.: The exclusionary rule doesn’t apply in § 1983 cases
The exclusionary rule doesn’t apply in § 1983 cases. Villafane v. City of N.Y., 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52149 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 27, 2023). There was probable cause for the search warrant for defendant’s DNA. United States v. Burkhalter, 2023 U.S. … Continue reading
W.D.N.C.: 2255 claim of merely failing to investigate a search claim doesn’t state a post-conviction claim
2255 petition’s claim that defense counsel failed to investigate whether a motion to suppress should have been filed fails. There was a search warrant, and there’s no suggestion it was invalid. Fluid v. United States, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51173 … Continue reading
E.D.La.: No standing in car with stolen LP and no explanation for why driving it
“The Government, however, also provided evidence that the vehicle is not titled to Duncan and had a stolen license plate, arguing that these facts in conjunction establish that while Duncan possessed the vehicle, there is nothing to suggest he did … Continue reading
NE: Failure to deliver SW to def not 4A violation and doesn’t warrant suppression
Defendant was the subject of a search warrant for a blood draw. The fact he wasn’t given a copy of the warrant doesn’t require reversal. He clearly knew what was going on. State v. Svendgard, 31 Neb. App. 596, 2023 … Continue reading
W.D.Ky.: Allowing theft from house after a search had a state remedy, so no § 1983 remedy
Plaintiff alleged the Sheriff’s Office, after a search, gave the keys to his place to a convicted felon who stole from him. He has a state remedy, not a § 1983 remedy. Stone v. Taylor Cty. Sheriff Dep’t, 2023 U.S. … Continue reading
W.D.Tex.: Tasering a suspect before search of the person didn’t taint the search
Tasering a suspect before a search of the person doesn’t taint the search. They were unconnected. United States v. Turner, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12453 (W.D. Tex. Jan. 25, 2023).* Defendant in his 2255 doesn’t show ineffective assistance of counsel … Continue reading
Army: Remotely wiping seized cell phone and watch tampered with search
The prosecution established defendant interfered with a search by remotely wiping her cell phone and watch when she knew they were in the possession of CID and to be searched in a manslaughter investigation. United States v. Strong, 2023 CCA … Continue reading
SC Const. search and seizure and privacy provision protects abortion rights; Idaho says theirs doesn’t
The state 1971 constitutional amendment recognizing a right to privacy was really enacting what the people always believed about privacy. It provides: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches … Continue reading
N.D.Ill.: City’s destruction of street cam video was not shown to be in bad faith
Defendant’s motion to dismiss for a discovery violation in not timely processing a subpoena for a street corner camera that allegedly would show that defendant’s turn signal was on and the stop was wrong is denied. The city didn’t timely … Continue reading
CA3: SOL for arrest and search under § 1983 runs from then
The SOL begins with plaintiff’s arrest and search, not the prosecution. Here it was time-barred. (Plaintiff also doesn’t establish any grounds for equitable tolling other than the library was inaccessible during Covid, and he did nothing for over two years.) … 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
CA6: Third-party standing in § 1983 fails
Plaintiff is the employer of people detained at a job site. Because their individual claims were small, the company sued for them. The third party standing claim under § 1983 fails, and the employer also admitted that the employees likely … Continue reading
D.Or.: Ptf stated 1A retaliation claim that SW for his property was because of his speech
Plaintiff stated a claim that execution of a search warrant for his property and writings was retaliation for exercise of First Amendment rights. “Here, when the evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, a reasonable juror could … Continue reading
N.D.Ind.: Franks hearing ordered over officer’s claim of smell of MJ
Defendant gets a Franks hearing even if to rebut the government’s claim the good faith exception applies. The affiant officer claimed there was an “overwhelming” smell of marijuana coming from defendant’s house as they approached for a knock-and-talk, which was … Continue reading