- HI: Miranda warnings required whenever PC developes for arrest
- WA: Stop to inquire of paying transit fare violated state constitution
- OH1: Defense counsel ineffective for not challenging state’s alleged consent after they announced “we’re going to be doing a search warrant here”
- CA10: Five seconds is de minimus under Rodriguez
- Reason: An Oregon Man Was Wrongly Imprisoned for Almost a Year Because of an Error in a DMV Database
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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
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Little Rock, Arkansas
Contact: forhall @ aol.com / The Book
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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: Open fields
D.S.C.: Lack of nexus to def isn’t grounds for motion to suppress; that’s a trial question
Lack of nexus between drugs and the defendant is an evidentiary question for trial, not a motion to suppress. The search is legal in any event. United States v. Cunningham, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43510 (D.S.C. Mar. 14, 2023). The … Continue reading
S.D.Miss.: Even suppressed drugs can be figured into drug weight for sentencing
Even if a motion to suppress had been pursued and defendant prevailed, suppressed drug weight can be used at sentencing. United States v. Coleman, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10826 (S.D. Miss. Jan. 23, 2023). Pro se plaintiffs fail to state … Continue reading
D.S.D.: SW for shallow grave didn’t describe location well enough to easily find it, but GFE applies
The warrant’s direction to search for a shallow grave was not particularly described, and it was found a mile away from where the warrant directed. The attachment wasn’t incorporated. Still, however, the good faith exception applies. This was negligent at … Continue reading
OH3: In flyover case, def carries burden of showing a “search” and violation of FAA rules
In a helicopter flyover case, defendant carried the burden of showing that the police conducted a “search” that violated his reasonable expectation of privacy by flying too low in violation of FAA rules. He didn’t here; remanded. State v. Jordan, … Continue reading
MI: REP in def’s barns despite being a distance from home
Defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in two barns on his farm, one locked and one unlocked with the door partially open. Curtilage to the home doesn’t matter. A later search warrant only described the home and not the … Continue reading
D.Neb.: Officer’s personal knowledge of the accused and the place to be searched is sufficient for PC
“In short, if the source of the information here had been a citizen-informant rather than a law enforcement officer, this assertion of personal knowledge by a known informant, under oath and personally present before the clerk-magistrate, combined with corroborating details … Continue reading
MS: Open fields covered by state const.; warrant required for administrative search
A warrant is required for administrative searches under the Mississippi constitution, which also protects all land owned by the complainant, including open fields. Plain view is inapplicable here. The exclusionary rule applies to this administrative search and seizure. Okhuysen v. … Continue reading
CA8: A car with a flat tire is still inherently mobile for automobile exception
“The officers indisputably had probable cause to search Short’s vehicle, and an easily repairable flat tire did not cause the vehicle to lose its inherent mobility.” United States v. Short, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 19242 (8th Cir. June 29, 2021). … Continue reading
CA4: Baltimore’s aerial surveillance program doesn’t violate 4A
Baltimore PD’s Aerial Investigative Research program (AIR) does not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy of Baltimore residents, and denial of the preliminary injunction is affirmed on appeal. Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle v. Baltimore Police Dep’t, 2020 U.S. App. … Continue reading
D.C.Cir.: Alleged seizure of open fields not a 4A claim, but it is a 5A claim
The North American Butterfly Association sued the federal government over a part of the Mexican border wall on their butterfly preserve being Fourth and Fifth Amendment claims. Their Fourth Amendment claim is dismissed because it involves alleged seizure of open … Continue reading
techdirt: Fourth Circuit Appeals Court Seems Skeptical That Baltimore’s Aerial Surveillance System Violates The Fourth Amendment
techdirt: Fourth Circuit Appeals Court Seems Skeptical That Baltimore’s Aerial Surveillance System Violates The Fourth Amendment by Tim Cushing (“The legal fight over Baltimore’s aerial surveillance system continues. Airplanes armed with powerful cameras fly constantly over the city, allowing law … Continue reading
St. Louis Public Radio: Baltimore’s Aerial Surveillance Could Offer Preview For St. Louis
St. Louis Public Radio: Baltimore’s Aerial Surveillance Could Offer Preview For St. Louis by Emily Woodbury (“Last October on St. Louis on the Air, the CEO of the Ohio-based company Persistent Surveillance Systems described his wish to bring the company’s … Continue reading
CNN: Police used drones to monitor nudity at a Minnesota beach
CNN: Police used drones to monitor nudity at a Minnesota beach by Jay Croft (“Police near Minneapolis used drones last week to check if sunbathers at a lakeside beach were breaking the law by going nude or topless. The Golden … Continue reading
Nat’l L. Rev.: The Constitution Protects Faces in the Crowd
Nat’l L. Rev.: The Constitution Protects Faces in the Crowd by Theodore F. Claypoole (“Unlimited law enforcement application of facial recognition software to surveillance footage is an unreasonable search and a violation of Constitutional rights for people in a peaceful … Continue reading
Lawfare: Did a Government Drone Flight Over a Protest Violate the Fourth Amendment?
Lawfare: Did a Government Drone Flight Over a Protest Violate the Fourth Amendment? by Nathaniel Sobel (“On May 28, protestors in Minneapolis demonstrated late into the night against the killing of George Floyd and police brutality. The next day, on … Continue reading
FL1: Officers crossing protected lands to get to unprotected lands to make a plain view doesn’t justify exclusion
“Police entered protected property to get to unprotected property to make an observation in open fields. That prior unlawful intrusion doesn’t justify exclusion. “Florida law is relatively clear whether to suppress evidence discovered on a person’s property during an officer’s … Continue reading
MS: Def was in open fields when he encountered wildlife officers and admitted he had meth on him
On the opening day of dove hunting season, wildlife officers were out. They heard shooting from open lands and went to investigate. They encountered defendant and another, and defendant tossed a bag aside when officers approached him. They asked what … Continue reading
W.D.Tenn.: Putting a wildlife camera on ptf’s open fields wasn’t a violation of the 4A
Officers putting a wildlife camera on plaintiff’s open fields wasn’t a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Hollingsworth v. Tenn. Wildlife Res. Agency, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181311 (W.D. Tenn. Oct. 21, 2019):
Cato blog: What’s That Buzzing Overhead? It’s An OSHA Drone
Cato blog: What’s That Buzzing Overhead? It’s An OSHA Drone by Walter Olson:
VT reaffirms state const’l REP in posted open fields
Vermont’s state constitution grants a reasonable expectation of privacy to open fields posted with no trespassing signs. A game warden (vested by state law with all law enforcement powers) violated defendant’s reasonable expectation of privacy by entering upon his posted … Continue reading