- W.D.Mo.: ER’s security staff conducts private searches of GSW victims
- IA: Trespassing on RR property was RS for stop
- CA9: Going directly into pockets exceeded frisk power
- CA6: Excessive force “assault” claim under § 1983 doesn’t necessarily require contact
- N.D.Ga.: PC shown for cell phone and geo-location data
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Fourth Amendment cases,
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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
"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: Plain view, feel, smell
CA8: A mere hunch possession of something might be criminal was not “immediately apparent” for plain view
Alleged plain view of glass vials on defendant’s couch wasn’t a legitimate plain view because the alleged incriminating nature of the objects wasn’t immediately apparent. It was maybe a hunch and not obvious at all. Grant of suppression motion affirmed. … Continue reading
Defendant was in an emergency room having been shot. Having presented himself for medical treatment, his bloody clothes were cut off him, and they were reasonably seized by law enforcement officers when they were seen in plain view in white … Continue reading
IL: For “immediately apparent” in plain view, only “practical, nontechnical” probability that incriminating evidence is involved is required
On the incriminating nature of an object in plain view being “immediately apparent,” “[a]ll that is required is a ‘“practical, nontechnical”’ probability that incriminating evidence is involved.” People v. Molnar, 2021 IL App (2d) 190289, 2021 Ill. App. LEXIS 192 … Continue reading
The mistaken identity stop of defendant was reasonable on the totality, and, when a blunt fell to the ground, there was probable cause to go further. United States v. Smith, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71223 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 26, 2021). … Continue reading
A vehicle could be stopped just because there was a warrant on the passenger. Here, ICE made the stop, and it was reasonably related to its justification. United States v. Murillo-Gonzalez, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38494 (D. N.M. Mar. 1, … Continue reading
M.D.Pa.: Tent in an open field might have had REP, but it was open to view inside and plain view applied
Assuming defendant’s tent in an “open field” area had a reasonable expectation of privacy (as the Ninth Circuit would hold), the tent was open and the officer could see in. There was no curtilage to the tent in an open … Continue reading
Because of medical marijuana being law in Pennsylvania, the smell of marijuana in a car alone is no longer enough for probable cause. More is required. Commonwealth v. Grooms, 2021 Pa. Super. LEXIS 79 (Feb. 24, 2021):
Officers’ entry onto abandoned property next door to defendant’s place to get a better view of his place was reasonable. He had no reasonable expectation of privacy there or in the view from there. However, they saw contraband in plain … Continue reading
Defendant’s red Ford Expedition was seen leaving an armed robbery, and the police were looking for it, finding it driving on the street. They followed, and it pulled into a driveway. Defendant shows no reasonable expectation of privacy in the … Continue reading
The trial court’s order finding probable cause to search a car just based on the smell of marijuana alone from the passenger compartment is contrary to two state decisions involving medical marijuana and is reversed. Commonwealth v. Shaw, 2021 Pa. … Continue reading
The acquisition of defendant’s CSLI in 2013 followed law at the time and was reasonable, and the good faith exception applied. Carpenter came four years after the trial. Lofton v. State, 2021 Ga. LEXIS 28 (Feb. 15, 2021). The officers … Continue reading
AL: A visitor to premises targeted by a SW who is more than a “transient visitor” is subject to search
Defendant was a visitor at a house that was searched under a warrant for drugs. Her purse was searched, too. “Because Powers was more than a ‘transient visitor’ at Moyers’s house and had a known relationship to the premises, and … Continue reading
“[T]he mere presence of marijuana or the commission of a marijuana-related vehicle infraction in a state where adults may legally possess and transport it does not give officers probable cause to suspect that a vehicle contains contraband.” United States v. … Continue reading
911 was called by defendant’s mother about his possible cardiac arrest. When the officer arrived, defendant was alert and fine, and his drugs were in plain view. Their seizure was valid. Glanden v. State, 2021 Md. App. LEXIS 80 (Feb. … Continue reading
There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in the interior of a car visible through the window. United States v. Swartz, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 248194 (N.D. W.Va. Dec. 11, 2020),* adopted, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10918 (N.D. W.Va. Jan. … Continue reading
Dialing defendant’s cell phone from the call log of a seized cell phone was not a search. If defendant wanted his number to remain private, he should block the number or turn off the phone. United States v. Katana, 2021 … Continue reading
On the facts of this case, the mere odor of marijuana wasn’t enough to show probable cause. The officers never explained why they believed that or what their training was. Bunnell v. State, 2020 Ind. App. LEXIS 538 (Dec. 18, … Continue reading
A city inspector followed state statute and entered upon a homeowner’s property after he saw a deck and above ground pool being built in violation of the local housing code. The entry was reasonable and did not require a administrative … Continue reading
In a criminal copyright infringement case, a search warrant issued, and the police seized an attorney memorandum in plain view. The court finds the attorney-client privilege was waived by prior disclosure to others. United States v. Dallmann, 2020 U.S. Dist. … Continue reading