- D.Nev.: Affidavits for SWs don’t have to prove the underlying crimes
- D.V.I.: Flyover of curtilage from navigable airspace was reasonable
- NJ: Disputes in the facts on appeal show trial court should have held a hearing
- NY: Second SW for phone a year later after first SW failed to show PC wasn’t timely
- GA: Not objecting to mention of “probation” search at trial was not IAC
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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
Search and seizure law consultant
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: Subpoenas / Nat’l Security Letters
TN: By killing one’s host, guest standing is lost
By attacking and killing his hosts, his parents, defendant lost guest standing, if he would have had it at all. Police conducted a welfare check and found severed body parts in plastic tubs and on the stove, including a head … Continue reading
WY: Inventory policy reasonably permitted opening containers
The inventory policy reasonably permitted opening containers. Beckwith v. State, 2023 WY 39, 2023 Wyo. LEXIS 39 (Apr. 27, 2023). Years after a seizure but still pre-indictment, the plaintiff sought return of property while the government was still investigating. It’s … Continue reading
SCOTUS has a third-party records tax summons case, but not necessarily a 4A case, yet; it might become one
Added to Most Recent SCOTUS cases is Polselli v. Internal Revenue Service, 21-1599, cert. gr. Dec. 9, 2022, argument Mar. 29, 2023 (ScotusBlog). It is a third-party records summons case where the parties’ cert papers don’t even mention the Fourth … Continue reading
CA7: GJ can subpoena target’s surveillance video of how SW was executed
The corporation was the target of a search warrant for violating the Clean Water Act. The warrant took a whole day to execute. After reviewing its own video of the premises, they made claims of misconduct against the executing officers … Continue reading
NJ: SDT for S&W records on use of its products in NJ was enforced; 1A and other claims preserved
Subpoenas for documents under the state Consumer Fraud Act about the ability of average consumers to use plaintiff’s firearms for personal or home defense were enforceable under the Fourth Amendment. Plaintiff’s claims under other amendments are preserved for later. Platkin … Continue reading
CA4: Govt is not responsible when a subpoenaed party turns over more than was sought
The government is not responsible when a subpoenaed party turns over more than was sought. United States v. Taylor, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 33418 (4th Cir. Dec. 5, 2022). Officers executing a search warrant at defendant’s house repeatedly made it … Continue reading
D.N.M.: DEA admin. subpoena to doctor’s office for all patient records of 41 was overbroad
A DEA administrative subpoena to a doctor’s office was overbroad where it sought all patient records for 41 patients. The doctor’s objection is sustained. The subpoena needs to be narrower in scope to match that of the investigation. United States … Continue reading
D.Me.: DEA could subpoena records investigating robbery of a marijuana dispensary
The DEA’s administrative subpoenas over records of the suspect over the alleged robbery of a marijuana dispensary were lawful exercises of power. Carpenter does not apply to mere phone records. United States v. Candelario, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199195 (D. … Continue reading
E.D.Tenn.: Walmart Pay records do not require SW
A search warrant isn’t needed for investigators to access information from Walmart Pay. Carpenter doesn’t apply. United States v. Whipple, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153126 (E.D. Tenn. Aug. 25, 2022). A claim that the officer presented false information to get … Continue reading
W.D.Tex.: Protective sweep justified despite hearing no one inside
A protective sweep of defendant’s apartment was reasonable on the totality despite the officers not hearing anyone inside. United States v. Turner, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144215 (W.D. Tex. Aug. 12, 2022). “At no point did Veney voluntarily submit to … Continue reading
NY Bronx: SDT for text message information was overbroad; SW should be sought instead
The court concludes a subpoena duces tecum to T-Mobile for text message information was overbroad. The court recommends the state apply for a search warrant instead. People v. Nelson, 2022 NY Slip Op 50630(U), 2022 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2968 (Bronx … Continue reading
D.D.C.: JPMorgan complying with SDT to 1/6 committee not a 4A search
A third-party record keeper providing material to the January 6th Select Committee under subpoena is not a Fourth Amendment violation. “Here, under any of the above standards, it is plain that JPMorgan did not engage in state action when it … Continue reading
E.D.Tenn.: Finding ammo not matching seized firearm justifies further search
Officers finding ammunition from a different caliber gun than the one found justifies a further search. United States v. Berry, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98684 (E.D.Tenn. May 3, 2022), adopted, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98639 (E.D.Tenn. June 2, 2022). Plaintiff’s … Continue reading
GA: Court ordered 4A waiver for probation doesn’t make the sentence void
Trial court’s imposition of a Fourth Amendment waiver did not make the sentence void. Gainey v. State, 2022 Ga. App. LEXIS 261 (June 1, 2022). The defense, of course, cannot get a search warrant for the contents of a cell … Continue reading
techdirt: Ninth Circuit Takes Another Look At NSLs, Says Indefinite Gag Orders Still Aren’t Constitutional Problem
techdirt: Ninth Circuit Takes Another Look At NSLs, Says Indefinite Gag Orders Still Aren’t Constitutional Problem by Tim Cushing:
N.D.N.Y.: Younger doctrine bars suit against state AG investigation’s subpoena
Plaintiffs’ claims that various constitutional rights were infringed by the state Attorney General’s alleged politically motivated investigation are barred by the Younger doctrine. As to the Fourth Amendment claim, it was directed at subpoenas. Trump v. James, 2022 U.S. Dist. … Continue reading
MI directs its CoA to consider application of exclusionary rule in zoning case
The Michigan Supreme Court remanded Long Lake Twp. v. Maxon, 2021 Mich. App. LEXIS 1819 (Mar. 18, 2021) (posted here) to determine below whether the exclusionary rule should apply in a zoning case. Long Lake Twp. v. Maxon, 2022 Mich. … Continue reading
IA: Automobile exception search of glove compartment here was unreasonable
Search of the glove compartment is reasonable to look for evidence of ownership of a car already subject to search, but that wasn’t an issue here because there was no reason to. State v. Marcott, 2022 Iowa App. LEXIS 385 … Continue reading
C.D.Cal.: Eastman’s claim 1/6 House Committee’s subpoena is without authority or overbroad is denied
John Eastman’s claims against the Jan. 6 House Committee subpoena for records fail on his claim for injunctive relief. (Attorney-client privilege will be taken up later.) Eastman v. Thompson, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25546 (C.D.Cal. Jan. 25, 2022). On the … Continue reading
CA1: Third-party doctrine applies to prescription drug monitoring program
This is an action to enforce a DEA administrative subpoena to the New Hampshire Prescription Drug Monitoring Program for specific prescriptions. The court declines to equate prescription records with other medical records because the pharmacy industry is closely regulated. It … Continue reading