- IL: Circumstances made SW affidavit admissible at trial
- Professional Responsibility in Criminal Defense Practice (4th ed. 2023) now on Westlaw
- IN: Fundamental (plain) error of S&S claims requires the evidence be fabricated, not just unconstitutionally obtained
- USA Today: A camera mounted on a light pole took video of police beating Tyre Nichols. What to know about ‘SkyCop.’
- Galveston Co. Daily News: Galveston SWAT team wrecks wrong house in search for wrong suspect
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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
"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: Reasonableness
GA: Sound of shuffling of feet after announcement of raid justified entry in 3 seconds; no weapons found
Officers entered within about three seconds after announcing and hearing shuffling of feet. Defendant was sitting on the couch, and there were no firearms. The test is whether there is a reasonable possible fear of firearms in the house that … Continue reading
Officers had probable cause and nexus and showed particularity to defendant’s cell phone. He’d previously been accused of recording undressed women and was involved in an upskirting. Here he’d been accused of sex with drugged women and recording some of … Continue reading
Officer’s failure to turn on his bodycam before frisk here doesn’t require an adverse inference of destruction of evidence. Bad faith isn’t shown. United States v. Aguirre-Cuenca, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 1105 (4th Cir. Jan. 18, 2023). Defendant’s appeal is … Continue reading
The no-knock provision in this search warrant was not based on a showing of necessity based on this case. It was based on experience and generalities. [In addition, defendant was supposedly standing in the front yard, so what about the … Continue reading
W.D.Okla.: Validity of a stop doesn’t depend on whether a traffic offense actually happened, just whether there is RS it did
“[T]he constitutionality of the stop does not depend on whether the driver did, in fact, commit a traffic violation. The standard is reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. If an officer reasonably thinks he saw a driver commit a traffic infraction, then … Continue reading
CA8: “[E]ven if a technical violation of Nebraska law occurred when signing the warrant that is not a basis for suppressing the evidence” under 4A
“[E]ven if a technical violation of Nebraska law occurred when signing the warrant that is not a basis for suppressing the evidence” under the Fourth Amendment. United States v. Becker, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 35626 (8th Cir. Dec. 27, 2022). … Continue reading
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
NY Daily News: NYPD settles lawsuit over unconstitutional warrant checks (“Conducting a warrant check on someone without sufficient cause violates a person’s fourth amendment rights, civil rights attorneys say.”) WaPo: NYPD ends tactic of prolonging stops to check for warrants … Continue reading
A traffic stop to flirt with a motorist violates clearly established law. But this is a more complicated. “Ultimately, Plaintiff’s appeal rises and falls on the question of whether Defendant’s conduct violated clearly established law. To the degree that Defendant acted … Continue reading
Defendant’s release condition of a firearm restriction and Fourth Amendment waiver because of a prior misdemeanor firearms conviction doesn’t violate the Second Amendment under New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen (2022). Heller supports the court’s conclusion. … Continue reading
IN: Mistake of law to an illegal search or seizure applies to the scope of the law, not whether it even exists
The mistake of law “defense” to an illegal search or seizure applies to the scope of the law, not whether it even exists. Here, it didn’t. White v. State, 2022 Ind. App. LEXIS 390 (Dec. 8, 2022). The specific characteristics … Continue reading
Plaintiff was arrested for disorderly conduct for disrupting a public meeting after repeatedly being told to shut up. His claim that his ejection from the meeting and then the arrest violated Robert’s Rules of Order isn’t a constitutional claim. Burton … Continue reading
Indiana rejects Heien under the state constitution. It is incongruous to justify a stop when the law shouldn’t even allow it. Mercado v. State, 2022 Ind. App. LEXIS 377 (Nov. 23, 2022):
In the Lindell cell phone search warrant case, the media seeks access to the affidavit. The government has established that, despite the vast public interest, the affidavit should remain sealed while the investigation progresses. In re Search Warrant, 2022 U.S. … Continue reading
D.R.I.: Church rectory was subject to a SW and it was treated as a single-family dwelling with separate bedrooms
A church rectory was the subject of a child pornography search warrant. Multiple people lived there, but there was no sign that it was a multi-family type dwelling: “A more detailed description of the building, however, is not provided. From … Continue reading
Failure to notify an arrestee of the reason for his arrest in violation of the statute does not make the arrest violate the Fourth Amendment or state constitution. State v. Lancaster, 2022 Ida. LEXIS 133 (Nov. 1, 2022). There were … Continue reading
The protective sweep here looking under the bed was reasonable. It’s where people hide. Defendant’s contention the sweep went further isn’t clear. Some things were moved and opened, but a search warrant had been executed between the sweep and her … Continue reading