- HI: Miranda warnings required whenever PC developes for arrest
- WA: Stop to inquire of paying transit fare violated state constitution
- OH1: Defense counsel ineffective for not challenging state’s alleged consent after they announced “we’re going to be doing a search warrant here”
- CA10: Five seconds is de minimus under Rodriguez
- Reason: An Oregon Man Was Wrongly Imprisoned for Almost a Year Because of an Error in a DMV Database
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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
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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: Excessive force
E.D.Mo.: A lien on property here is not a 4A seizure
A lien on property here is not a Fourth Amendment seizure. Trident Steel Corp. v. Siffin, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43138 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 15, 2023). “Against that backdrop, a reasonable officer could certainly have interpreted Mr. Harris’s sudden lurch … Continue reading
CA5: Videos alone show no QI
Based on the videos alone, there was excessive force and qualified immunity is denied. Ducksworth v. Landrum, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 5807 (5th Cir. Mar. 10, 2023):
KS: Excessive force in unnecessary stop by PIT maneuver led to death of passenger which is suppressed
Defendant refused to stop for a broken windshield infraction, and he fled. The officer PITted his car, and the passenger died. Defendant was charged with murder for the passenger’s death. The trial court held that the seizure resulting in the … Continue reading
D.Neb.: DTF officer’s moving luggage out of an interstate bus luggage hold wasn’t an unreasonable interference with possessory interest
Defendant was riding on an interstate bus, and at the stop at Omaha, a DTF officer pulled defendant’s bag out of the luggage hold to see who would claim it. This interference with the luggage was minimal and did not … Continue reading
CA6: Allegedly misrepresenting purpose of entry here had no bearing on use of deadly force once inside
Whether the officer lawfully entered the house by misrepresenting his purpose has nothing to do with the objectively justifiable use of deadly force inside. Sawyer v. City of Soddy Daisy, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 3108 (6th Cir. Feb. 7, 2023). … Continue reading
GA: BOLO for aggressive driver in gray car didn’t support stop
There was no reasonable suspicion for defendant’s stop for being an “aggressive driver in a gray car.” The trial court properly suppressed. State v. Glanton, 2023 Ga. App. LEXIS 55 (Feb. 3, 2023). (“In considering these factors we find (1) … Continue reading
CA10: Excessive force claim not obvious, so QI applies
Plaintiff resisted getting out of her car after a traffic stop and repeated requests then orders to do so. She was taken down and claims injuries. This is not an obvious constitutional violation under Graham, so the officer gets qualified … Continue reading
NY3: No-knock permitted by circumstances at scene
The warrant application and warrant did not mention no-knock, but the facts and circumstances at the scene justified it. People v. Hayward, 2023 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 464, 2023 NY Slip Op 00461 (3d Dept. Feb. 2, 2023). Exigency justified … Continue reading
NE: Police don’t have to decide the constitutionality of the laws they enforce
Police officers are not legal scholars, and they don’t have to guess as to the constitutionality of the laws they enforced. They need only act reasonably in reliance on statute or ordinance. State v. Albarenga, 313 Neb. 72 (Dec. 23, … Continue reading
IN: dog sniff outside a hotel room door was reasonable under the state constitution
A dog sniff outside a hotel room door was reasonable under the state constitution. (And, while other information was illegally gathered, this was enough for the warrant.) Crabtree v. State, 2022 Ind. App. LEXIS 385 (Dec. 1, 2022). Excessive force … Continue reading
USA Today: Police kill far too many people during traffic stops. We must change why stops are made.
USA Today: Police kill far too many people during traffic stops. We must change why stops are made. by Finesse Moreno-Rivera (“Police have killed more than 1,000 Americans this year – more than any other point in the past decade, … Continue reading
CA2: Not unreasonable here to use flashbang device in execution of SW
Defense counsel was not ineffective for not challenging the use of a flashbang device in execution of the search warrant at defendant’s home. The Fourth Amendment does not usually require limits on how the warrant should be executed. Here, it … Continue reading
E.D.Ark.: Inmate states claim against Sheriff and jail phone provider that privileged attorney calls were turned over to police
Plaintiff Texas inmate was in an Arkansas county jail in 2015-17, and he discovered in 2021 through his current defense lawyer that the county jail phone contractor turned over telephone calls between him and his criminal defense lawyer to the … Continue reading
E.D.N.Y.: A single incident of legal mail being opened in jail doesn’t state a claim
A single incident of legal mail being opened before it got to plaintiff in a county jail doesn’t state a constitutional violation. Braithwaite v. Suffolk Cty. N.Y., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204233 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 9, 2022). There is no reasonable … Continue reading
D.Neb.: Affidavits for SWs are judged by what they contain, not what they lack
Affidavits for search warrants are judged by what they contain, not what they lack. United States v. Cass, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195502 (D. Neb. Sep. 30, 2022), adopted, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197043 (D.Neb. Oct. 26, 2022). It was … Continue reading
CA9: In excessive force case, those that did not shoot get QI; facts on those that did are in dispute
Officers who actually fired their weapons here do not get qualified immunity, but those who did not do. Peck v. Montoya, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 28822 (9th Cir. Oct. 18, 2022):
CA7: 4½ days to figure out ptf was innocent didn’t violate 4A or 14A
“Eli Martinez spent four and a half days in custody while he tried to explain to his jailers that his brother, Hector M. Rodriguez, was the one described in an arrest warrant. After Martinez was released, he sued two probation … Continue reading
CA5: Standard of review for QI in excessive force cases
In this excessive force case, the Fifth Circuit discusses qualified immunity in the heat of a confrontation. Henderson v. Harris County, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 28436 (5th Cir. Oct. 12, 2022). The standard of review:
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