- D.Md.: Def did not go to trial because counsel misstated the chances of success of a suppress motion
- N.D.Ind.: Typo in SW home address was cured by picture of house
- E.D.Ark.: Def’s statements disassociating himself from the premises searched showed no standing
- CA11: Reasonable mistake of law on basis for stop was not 4A violation
- M.D.La.: Car could be searched when it was stopped near home being searched with SW
online since Feb. 24, 2003
WebPage Visits: real non-robot hits since 2010; approx. about 35,000 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
"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: Abandonment
D.Conn.: Flight from the police with abandonment of stuff obviates the need to decide RS for the stop
Defendant’s flight from the police and abandonment of items in flight was not while he was “seized.” Thus, the need to decide reasonable suspicion for a stop is obviated. United States v. Sockwell, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215294 (D.Conn. Nov. … Continue reading
A laptop computer left in the former marital home for a decade is abandoned property. United States v. Hartley, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212137 (E.D.Mich. Nov. 3, 2021). Petitioner seeks to bring five claims in a successor habeas petition, and … Continue reading
NY3: Tossing backpack from one’s window into the window of the abandoned house next door to avoid seizure is a waiver of REP
When the police came to his house, defendant threw a backpack with a sawed-off rifle from his second floor window into a window of the house next door. He claimed that house was his uncle’s, but it was unsecured and … Continue reading
CA11: Bag dropped to feet when def arrested couldn’t be searched incident to arrest; no safety concern
Officers accosted defendant to arrest him, and he dropped a paper bag. It could not seriously be argued that the bag contained a weapon. Moreover, the government did not argue abandonment. The district court erred in not granting the motion … Continue reading
Defendant listed the address searched with his PO. That gives him standing. Probation had reasonable suspicion for the search of that place. United States v. Shearry, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204764 (M.D.Ga. Oct. 25, 2021). Defendant was a frequent visitor … Continue reading
The state did not need a search warrant to test DNA retrieved from an abandoned cigarette butt. Carpenter doesn’t remotely apply. People v. Mendez, 2021 NY Slip Op 21275, 2021 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5148 (Bronx Co. Oct. 13, 2021). Defendant … Continue reading
Defendant fled up stairs when the police entered on a search warrant. He was captured finally on the third floor landing and was brought downstairs. A gun was found where he was lying on the floor. It was abandoned. United … Continue reading
M.D.Tenn.: Harassment of a parolee as reason for exclusion has to come from something other than the alleged const’l violation
Defendant was on supervised release, and he was stopped for a traffic offense. The officer was admittedly courteous, but defendant still claims harassment as a reason to invoke the exclusionary rule. “[T[he Court concludes that if the exclusionary ‘may’ apply … Continue reading
Defendant’s motion in limine against AT&T records is granted. The government failed to show an independent source that it knew of information sought before an illegal search. “The government did not shown that the decision to subpoena the records was … Continue reading
An asserted fact in the search warrant affidavit that was critical to the target of the search and thus the place to be searched proved to be wrong, which the officer revealed when he learned. Still, the search warrant was … Continue reading
Some smell of marijuana in car with three people didn’t establish probable cause without the officer being able to say it came from defendant’s person. I.G. v. State, 21A-JV-479 (Ind. App. Sept. 10, 2021). Defendant ran from a fight in … Continue reading
The collection of information for probable cause for the warrant included a reasonable inference that defendant’s home was a base of operations for a drug trafficking operation, and this was nexus. United States v. Jackson, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144185 … Continue reading
The search warrant affidavit here could have been relevant to the drug quantity calculation, and defendant should have put it into evidence at sentencing. United States v. Rollerson, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 22622 (7th Cir. July 30, 2021). Defendant was … Continue reading
Defendant was driven to an ER after 2 am for having been shot. Out in the ER parking was the car with blood and guns in it. A state judge issued a search warrant for the car, and that resulted … Continue reading
The patdown of defendant was manifestly unreasonable, and defendant’s flight was thereafter. The exclusionary rule should be applied to this. Johnson v. United States, 2021 D.C. App. LEXIS 187 (July 15, 2021):
A search incident of the unconscious defendant was unreasonable because it lacked any justification. He wasn’t arrested to be searched incident to it. United States v. Johnson, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125188 (N.D. Ind. July 6, 2021). Defendant abandoned his … Continue reading
There was no reasonable suspicion for defendant’s detention before he fled the officer. The alleged abandonment occurred after the unreasonable seizure, so it was involuntary. United States v. Dudley, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117108 (D. Nev. June 23, 2021). Florida’s … Continue reading
IA: State constitution prohibits warrantless trash search; “Current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence is a mess.”
Finding Iowa law long recognized trespass was an unreasonable entry, the state Supreme Court holds under the state constitution that trash out for collection by the trash collector is not abandoned property, and defendant still retained a reasonable expectation of … Continue reading
This 14 day delay between the seizure of his cell phones and the application of the warrant to seize them is reasonable. In addition, there is no Fourth Amendment right to have a search warrant issued sooner than it was, … Continue reading
Window tint violations require a stop to verify. “But the Supreme Court has said that ‘[t]o be reasonable is not to be perfect, and so the Fourth Amendment allows for some mistakes on the part of government officials, giving them … Continue reading