- MT: Welfare check of car was reasonable, but extending it was without RS
- OH12: Dog alert on car and def’s person didn’t justify strip search
- ID: Not unreasonable to check wants and warrants on passenger during a traffic stop
- CA6: A minimal showing of nexus is enough for GFE even where PC is lacking
- CA9: Mandated GPS tracking of e-scooters not 4A violation
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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: Forfeiture
Kansas Reflector: Kansas law enforcement routinely produces error-filled reports on seized cash and property
Kansas Reflector (via Rawstory): Kansas law enforcement routinely produces error-filled reports on seized cash and property by Duane Schrag:
Firearms allegedly found “improperly secured” in defendant’s home during a search are not contraband subject to forfeiture. Commonwealth v. Fleury, 2022 Mass. LEXIS 149 (Mar. 31, 2022).* Defendant was stopped for overtinted windows, and, when he got out of the … Continue reading
United States v. $48,940 in United States Currency, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51246 (D.Mass. Mar. 22, 2022):
When there’s a seizure for forfeiture and the DEA adopts it, the state court loses jurisdiction to return it. Hare v. Mack, 2022 Ala. LEXIS 8 (Jan. 21, 2022). Police responded to a shots fired call at an apartment where … Continue reading
Third parties to a forfeiture seeking to protect their interest have no standing to challenge legality of the seizure that led to the forfeiture. United States v. Koeln, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3934 (E.D.Mo. Jan. 10, 2022). Defendant’s felony arrest … Continue reading
Techdirt: Boston Police Department Used Forfeiture Funds To Hide Purchase Of Surveillance Tech From City Reps
Techdirt: Boston Police Department Used Forfeiture Funds To Hide Purchase Of Surveillance Tech From City Reps by Tim Cushing (“We’ve seen this happen (obviously months or years after the fact thanks to the secretive source of funds) in some of … Continue reading
HI: Two year delay between seizure and attempted forfeiture of gambling devices violated statute and was unreasonable
Two year delay between seizure of gambling machines under a warrant and initiating forfeiture proceedings was unreasonable. “In conclusion, the failure of HPD and the Prosecutor to comply with the twenty day and forty-five day statutory deadlines contained in HRS … Continue reading
Reason: Dallas Police Took $106,000 From a Traveler. They Haven’t Explained Why. (“A police dog’s alert prompted the search, and the money was seized via civil asset forfeiture.”)
techdirt: Institute For Justice Survey Shows How Philadelphia’s Forfeiture Program Preyed On Poor Minorities
techdirt: Institute For Justice Survey Shows How Philadelphia’s Forfeiture Program Preyed On Poor Minorities (“The Institute for Justice managed to kill off most of Philadelphia’s severely abused civil forfeiture program in 2018. Litigation resulted in a consent decree that banned law enforcement from seizing … Continue reading
NYT: Former Shoe Shiner Wins Back Nearly $30,000 Seized by Federal Agents by Michael Levenson (“Authorities at an airport last year seized a bag of cash that Kermit Warren was carrying to buy a truck. It was his life’s savings … Continue reading
Axios: Survey: Philly’s civil forfeiture program targeted Black residents by Mike D’Onofrio (“A new survey sheds light on how Philadelphia’s civil asset forfeiture program disproportionately targeted Black residents before it was reformed three years ago.”)
There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in an ISP’s mere subscriber records. “The Government points out that it received Defendant’s name, address and telephone number as the subscriber of the subject IP address, but did not request or receive … Continue reading
E.D.Wis.: Citing forfeiture seizure statute in SW application and warrant doesn’t require forfeiture, too
The government sought a search warrant under Rule 41 and also cited the forfeiture seizure statute, 18 U.S.C. § 983. Failure to seek forfeiture doesn’t void the search. United States v. Palma, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137870 (E.D.Wis. May 27, … Continue reading
The Crime Report: How Civil Asset Forfeiture Turns Authorities into ‘Bounty Hunters’ by Eva Herscowitz (“Civil asset forfeiture gives police officers the right to seize cash, cars and homes from people who haven’t been convicted of a crime, which is … Continue reading
LATimes: FBI wants to keep fortune in cash, gold, jewels from Beverly Hills raid. Is it abuse of power?
LATimes: FBI wants to keep fortune in cash, gold, jewels from Beverly Hills raid. Is it abuse of power? by Michael Finnegan (“When FBI agents asked for permission to rip hundreds of safe deposit boxes from the walls of a … Continue reading
W.D.N.Y.: Calling def to scene of SW execution does not permit search of def’s phone in SW for house
Defendant came to meet the police at their request after talking to them on his cell phone. They had probable cause to believe that the phone had evidence on it. Since he came in without the phone on him, it … Continue reading
Reason: After the Cops Seized Her Car, the Government Waited Five Years Before Giving Her a Chance To Get It Back
Reason: After the Cops Seized Her Car, the Government Waited Five Years Before Giving Her a Chance To Get It Back by Jacob Sullum (“In Massachusetts, Malinda Harris argues, civil asset forfeiture routinely violates the right to due process.”)
Reason: Civil Forfeiture Does Not Seem To Reduce Drug Use or Help Fight Crime by Jacob Sullen (“A new study provides further evidence that property seizures are driven by financial motives rather than public safety concerns.”) Contingent fee law enforcement?
ProPublica: Police Say Seizing Property Without Trial Helps Keep Crime Down. A New Study Shows They’re Wrong.
ProPublica: Police Say Seizing Property Without Trial Helps Keep Crime Down. A New Study Shows They’re Wrong. By Ian McDougall (“Civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow police to seize property without trial, are frequently justified as tools to seize millions … Continue reading
The Appeal: With Little Evidence, Pennsylvania State Police Seized $600,000 From Drivers (“An investigation by The Appeal and Spotlight PA found that troopers in three counties have taken big money from drivers, many of whom were never charged.”)