- 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
ABA Journal Web 100, Best Law Blogs (2017); ABA Journal Blawg 100 (2015-16) (discontinued 2018)
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)
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
"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)
Website design by Wally Waller, Little Rock
Category Archives: DNA
LA5: SW improperly suppressed without applying GFE
The trial court erred in not finding the search warrant here was saved by the good faith exception. “Upon review of the application, we find none of the scenarios proposed in Leon are present in this case. Thus, the trial … Continue reading
NYT: Your DNA Can Now Be Pulled From Thin Air. Privacy Experts Are Worried.
NYT: Your DNA Can Now Be Pulled From Thin Air. Privacy Experts Are Worried. By Elizabeth Anne Brown (“New DNA collecting techniques are ‘like catnip”’for law enforcement officials, says Erin Murphy, a law professor at the New York University School … Continue reading
ABA: Regulating Forensic Genetic Genealogy: Balancing Privacy Concerns with the Needs of Law Enforcement in a Time of Consumer DNA Testing Services
Regulating Forensic Genetic Genealogy: Balancing Privacy Concerns with the Needs of Law Enforcement in a Time of Consumer DNA Testing Services by Devinder Hans (ABA Mar. 28, 2023)
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
CA3: Going from home to a drug deal is nexus to the home
“Contrary to Torres’ arguments, when an individual is suspected of dealing narcotics, probable cause to search his home does not demand a showing that he deals those narcotics at his home. The common-sense likelihood that drug dealers keep evidence of … Continue reading
OH6: State could get a jury instruction that defendant refused to submit to a DNA search
The state could get a jury instruction that defendant refused to submit to a DNA search. State v. Roberts, 2023-Ohio-142, 2023 Ohio App. LEXIS 131 (6th Dist. Jan. 18, 2023). The facts in isolation may not show reasonable suspicion but … Continue reading
AR: Claim state’s response to motion to suppress was judicial admission has to be presented to trial court
To argue that the state’s admissions in a response to a motion to suppress amount to a judicial admission of fact, the issue has to be argued to the trial court to preserve it. Otherwise, the trial court is free … Continue reading
D.N.J.: No 6A right to have counsel present at execution of a DNA warrant in the jail
There is no Sixth Amendment right for counsel to be present when a DNA sample is taken from defendant at the jail by warrant. United States v. Hubbard, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3661 (D.N.J. Jan. 9, 2023). CBP had reasonable … Continue reading
OH3: An expert witness is not required on the staleness of CP
There is no requirement of an expert in child pornography investigation to be an affiant to provide information about lack of staleness. Also, this was raised for the first time on appeal. State v. Benedict, 2022-Ohio-3600, 2022 Ohio App. LEXIS … Continue reading
DC: Tracking def off his WMATA fair card was like Knotts and reasonable
Police use of information off of defendant’s WMATA fare card first to find him to arrest him for a robbery on a train and then to place him on a train at the time of the robbery was reasonable. This … Continue reading
Wired: Police Used a Baby’s DNA to Investigate Its Father for a Crime
Wired: Police Used a Baby’s DNA to Investigate Its Father for a Crime (“The blood is supposed to be used for medical purposes—these screenings identify babies with serious health issues, and they have been highly successful at reducing death and … Continue reading
CT: John Doe DNA arrest warrant based on touch DNA is too general to satisfy the particularity requirement
A John Doe DNA arrest warrant based on touch DNA is too general to satisfy the particularity requirement. State v. Terrance Police, 2022 Conn. LEXIS 123 (May 10, 2022):
MD: Def’s DNA from a prior dismissed case admissible here
Defendant’s DNA was obtained in a 2014 case that was dismissed. The DNA from that was used to connect him to this case. The prior DNA results are not excludable just because the case went away. Hayes v. State, 2022 … Continue reading
NY Oneida: Order for DNA sample doesn’t require a pending criminal case
A DNA sample can be sought by court order before a criminal case is filed. People v. Forte, 2022 NY Slip Op 22066, 2022 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 873 (Oneida Co. Mar. 9, 2022). The scope and manner of the stop … Continue reading
NPR: San Francisco DA drops charges against woman linked to crime through rape victim DNA
NPR: San Francisco DA drops charges against woman linked to crime through rape victim DNA by Vanessa Romo (The DA found it a Fourth Amendment violation).