- 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: Special needs
Assuming random Covid testing of NYC school children is a Fourth Amendment search, the court applies Vernonia School District 47J and special needs and finds it reasonable. Aviles v. De Blasio, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38930 (S.D. N.Y. Mar. 2, … Continue reading
Plaintiff challenged UA drug tests administered by the VA because the doctors there were trying to wean him off opiates. Those tests were reasonable under the special needs exception and for medical purposes. Gorney v. Veterans Administration, 2020 U.S. Dist. … Continue reading
GPS monitoring of Tier III sex offenders is a search, and it is shown to be valid under the special needs exception. “As to the governmental interest, the Court notes that the State’s interest in deterring and preventing sexual offenses … Continue reading
TN: Hair follicle test of parents in juvenile court on less than PC was justified by special needs doctrine
The juvenile court here had justification to order a hair follicle test on defendant for drug use because of the high interest in protecting the children. The search was justified under special needs. That ultimately led to his prosecution. State … Continue reading
Maine’s statute that requires a blood draw of the driver in a fatal or near fatal accident without probable cause violates the Fourth Amendment. Thus, the 2007 case upholding the statute is overruled. It cannot be categorized under the special … Continue reading
WA: Was a courthouse security search that turned up drugs properly limited? Remanded for more fact finding
An issue that hasn’t appeared in appellate decisions for a while: May a jacket be searched for drugs at courthouse security? Not here, but more fact finding required. The CSO felt a cell phone to remove it from a pocket, … Continue reading
This juvenile was subjected to a suspicionless bookbag search by school security in a St. Louis public school that found a gun. The court finds the search was reasonable based on the school safety factor alone. In the Interest of … Continue reading
CA2: More regular home visits of sex offenders to verify information reasonable under “special needs”
Suffolk County contracted with a private non-profit to verify registered sex offenders’ addresses, and that required home visits. Plaintiff sued for violation of the Fourth Amendment. The court holds that their actions were permitted under the “special needs” exception because … Continue reading
Random suspicionless drug testing of any probationer (even those from nondrug cases), satisfied the Fourth Amendment and state constitution under special needs. State v. Hinnenkamp, 2019 Kan. App. LEXIS 44 (July 5, 2019):
A state case worker who photographed a partially unclothed child at school gets qualified immunity for a special needs search of the child. No SCOTUS or circuit case says that the special needs doctrine does or does not apply here. … Continue reading
NJ: GPS monitoring of sex offender still on supervision is reasonable under “special needs”; one not on supervision is not
Two sex offenders sued over their GPS monitoring. The state defended under the special needs doctrine. GPS monitoring of SO still on supervision is reasonable, but it is unreasonable as to the one off supervision. H.R. v. N.J. State Parole … Continue reading
Children were removed from the home because of suspected child abuse and subjected to forced gynecological and rectal exams without any court authorization or parental knowledge or consent. The court assumes the “special needs” doctrine applies and then finds it … Continue reading
Reasonable suspicion is not required for a jail book-in strip search. Defendant was arrested for a drug offense, and he was freely moving around in book-in, but a search ultimately happened, and a baggie of cocaine was protruding from his … Continue reading
Officers responding to an armed robbery call were in the vicinity and parked in the street with top lights on along a possible escape route creating de facto checkpoint or roadblock. Because of time of day, there were few cars … Continue reading
MA: Admin search doctrine or special needs didn’t permit a discretionary suspicionless search of a car on a prison parking lot
The trial court judge properly allowed defendant’s pretrial motion to suppress evidence seized during a warrantless search of his motor vehicle while it was parked in a parking lot outside a correctional facility, where, at the time a police officer … Continue reading
Statute mandating GPS monitoring of all Tier III sex offenders granted parole or probation without reference to their individual risks of recidivism did not violate the Fourth Amendment under Vernonia’s “special needs” exception. Plaintiffs did not have a legitimate privacy … Continue reading
CA9: It was obvious by signs and longstanding practice that military bases are secure; having to lockup belongings before a consensual interview on the base wasn’t a seizure
Plaintiff was employed by the military, and NCIS had him come to a base for an interview about budgetary matters. The base was secure and everybody entering was subject to search and knew it from the signs. In the interview … Continue reading
The recording of non-attorney jail calls from Rikers Island and turning them over to the DA’s office does not violate the constitution. Defendant was warned by signs, and thus knew, his calls were being recorded. The NYC Department of Corrections … Continue reading
CA8: Linn State Tech College’s student drug testing policy constitutional; special needs proven [Update: rev’d en banc 12/22/16]
Missouri’s Linn State Technical College’s student drug testing policy is constitutional under the Fourth Amendment. After the prior appeal, Barrett v. Claycomb, 705 F.3d 315 (8th Cir. 2013), the district court erred in conducting a program-by-program analysis of where the … Continue reading