Category Archives: Community caretaking function

D.Md.: Def voluntarily entered passcode into phone where there was a SW for his face and fingerprint to open it

Police had a search warrant for defendant’s cell phone and face and fingerprint to open it. He remained silent. They got past the first step and the phone asked for the passcode. He entered the first four digits without prompting … Continue reading

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E.D.N.Y.: To get CSLI, there must be some showing the phone was involved in the crime

Just saying that criminals usually have their cell phones on them is not sufficient for probable cause. Something tying the phone to the crime, however, is enough. Here it was text messages.United States v. Rutledge, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76534 … Continue reading

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IA: A drug pipe in def’s possession doesn’t help show PC for DWI (but other evidence did)

“But while the drug pipe in the passenger’s pocket does not lend support for probable cause that Roe was operating while intoxicated, excluding this evidence from consideration is not fatal to the warrant as Roe’s other arguments on the lack … Continue reading

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W.D.Mo.: SCA allows state courts to issue out-of-state SWs for ESI

The Stored Communications Act permits state courts to issue search warrants for out-of-state electronically stored information. [In addition, but not discussed, Virginia v. Moore allows federal courts to overlook state law violations as long as everything reasonableness was satisfied. Because … Continue reading

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ND: Opening door of a parked and running semi when driver didn’t wake up was to gather information and was unreasonable

“Thus, we conclude law enforcement was acting outside the scope of the community caretaking function when opening the semi door and stepping onto the running boards in an attempt to gather information without first attempting to get a response from … Continue reading

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N.D.N.Y.: Escapee from BOP halfway house had no REP in apt. where he was found

Defendant was an escapee from a BOP halfway house, and he had no reasonable expectation of privacy where he was found. Also, he was subject to a search condition at the halfway house, and that’s not avoided by escape. United … Continue reading

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OH4: Entry to recover AR-15 was reasonable, even though it was hard to find

Officers responding to a 911 call were told there was an unsecured AR-15 in the house. The entry to retrieve it was reasonable, and Caniglia v. Strom is distinguishable. State v. Pine, 2023-Ohio-2191, 2023 Ohio App. LEXIS 2166 (4th Dist. … Continue reading

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CA6: Opening car door without warning exceeded community caretaking function

The police community caretaking function has a long and important history that goes back nearly 800 years. But, seeing defendant parked in the snow with the engine running and apparently asleep, opening his car door to check on him was … Continue reading

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CA4: Search of unlocked van with door ajar left overnight on bank parking lot with visible assault rifle was reasonable under community caretaking function

A bank employee saw a van parked on the bank’s lot that had been there overnight. Officers responded and saw an assault rifle in the passenger compartment. “Around 12:30 [p.m.], without knocking or announcing their presence, Lambert and Wagner pulled … Continue reading

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D.N.M.: Possession of a gun in car in Walmart parking lot wasn’t a crime and search for it under community caretaking function unreasonable

Police were called to a Walmart parking lot in Albuquerque because defendant was “unconscious” in his car in his car, and a gun was visible. The seizure of the gun and the interrogation surrounding it can’t be justified under the … Continue reading

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KS: Chance of suicide justified public safety stop

Finding a car parked in a place where people notoriously went to commit suicide justified this public safety encounter. The officer smelled marijuana coming from the car and searched it. State v. McDonald, 2023 Kan. App. LEXIS 5 (Feb. 3, … Continue reading

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D.Minn.: All theories to suppress must be raised to USMJ on referral or it’s waived

Defendant’s storage unit had the doors and handles tested with Ion Scanning. He had no reasonable expectation of privacy in that. Before the USDJ, however, he raised it was a trespass to do it as the officers did. That’s waived … Continue reading

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E.D.Mich.: No sanction for automatic purge of bodycam video of this raid

The raid in this case was recorded on bodycams but the official retention policy at the time was to hold video for only 60 days unless it was flagged to be kept despite the fact that cases take longer than … Continue reading

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D.Alaska: On reconsideration, govt revealed officer misconduct, and court finds him not credible

After defendant’s motion to suppress was denied, the government alerted the court and defense to an internal investigation of the state trooper involved just concluded where 43 instances of violation of policy and procedure were documented. The search here turned … Continue reading

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CT: Entry onto def’s deck was for community caretaking function

The officer’s entry onto defendant’s deck here was of a community caretaking function to inform defendant that a loved one was going to the hospital. It was like a knock-and-talk. State v. Kuehn, 2022 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2075 (Sep. 13, … Continue reading

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MA: Ptf stated claim for unjustified community caretaking entry to investigate alleged elder abuse

Plaintiff was caring for a 95-year-old retired priest. She stated a claim for a Fourth Amendment violation for a warrantless entry into her house, in part, under the community caretaking function without justification. Gallagher v. S. Shore Hosp., Inc., 2022 … Continue reading

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OH5: Both patdowns without RS

Defendant’s first minute-long patdown was unreasonable, but produced nothing. There was no separate reasonable suspicion for the second one. State v. Barcus, 2022-Ohio-2491, 2022 Ohio App. LEXIS 2355 (5th Dist. July 20, 2022). Police went to defendant’s house on a … Continue reading

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CA11: Absolute prosecutorial immunity doesn’t apply to failure to recall a material witness warrant leading to arrest

Absolute prosecutorial immunity does not apply to failure to recall a material witness warrant that caused a voluntary witness to be arrested later. Kassa v. Fulton Cty., Ga., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 19762 (11th Cir. July 18, 2022). There was … Continue reading

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MT: Welfare check of car was reasonable, but extending it was without RS

The officer was justified in a welfare check of defendant sleeping in his car, but it never developed into reasonable suspicion. The stop was unreasonably extended. State v. Zeimer, 2022 MT 96, 2022 Mont. LEXIS 479 (May 24, 2022). A … Continue reading

Posted in Administrative search, Community caretaking function, Informant hearsay, Inventory, Reasonable suspicion | Comments Off on MT: Welfare check of car was reasonable, but extending it was without RS

MI: Merely passing money to a man in car who counted it is not RS

Merely passing money to a man in car who counted it is not reasonable suspicion. People v. Soulliere, 2022 Mich. LEXIS 798 (Apr. 22, 2022). Defendant was stopped for an alleged unsafe lane change and expired Pennsylvania tags. There was … Continue reading

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