- 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: Cell site location information
D.N.M.: Three days of warrantless real time CSLI was reasonable because of exigency
Three days of real time CSLI was obtained by the police because of a missing child, and it was reasonable as exigency. United States v. Torres, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44017 (D.N.M. Mar. 15, 2023).* No qualified immunity for Tasing … Continue reading
N.D.Ga.: Realtime CSLI for 24 hours based on exigency was reasonable under Carpenter
Realtime CSLI for one day to locate defendant and a child he had with him was reasonable under Carpenter. United States v. Castellanos, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41654 (N.D. Ga. Feb. 17, 2023), adopted, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40281 (N.D. … Continue reading
ars technica: FBI finally admits to buying location data on Americans, horrifying experts
ars technica: FBI finally admits to buying location data on Americans, horrifying experts by Ashley Belanger (“FBI director denied that the agency currently purchases location data.”)
M.D.Pa.: SW for cash derived from drug sales was particular enough
The search warrant for U.S. currency derived from illegal drug sales was sufficiently particular as to the warrant for defendant’s house. United States v. Jones, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33429 (M.D. Pa. Feb. 28, 2023). The CSLI warrant here was … Continue reading
Cal.4: Without specific argument, court won’t look to SW and affidavit to make it for the appellant
Without specific argument, the court of appeals will not scour the record and the search warrant affidavit to make a party’s argument for him. Billauer v. Escobar-Eck, 2023 Cal. App. LEXIS 144 (4th Dist. Feb. 28, 2023) (anti-SLAPP case; not … Continue reading
VT: Realtime CSLI (“pinging”) requires a SW under state constitution
Realtime CSLI (“pinging”) requires a search warrant under the state constitution, following some states. That information is not regularly kept by cell phone providers, and the state has an interest in protecting that privacy interest. State v. Murphy, 2023 VT … Continue reading
CA9: Private search of CSLI made it admissible in admin proceeding
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries received information from whistleblowers of cell site location information the defendant business collected to show alleged violations of state law. This was a private search, and Carpenter is not implicated. Kleiser v. … Continue reading
SC: Exigency for CSLI was shooting victim left for dead and defendant was armed and dangerous
There was exigency for CSLI. “Thus, this was not a standard criminal investigation seeking cell phone data; rather, this request sought to address an ongoing emergency because Carter was potentially armed and dangerous, had been involved in a violent crime … Continue reading
CA6: Carpenter not retroactive and doesn’t support successor habeas
Carpenter doesn’t suffice for a successor habeas. Besides, he’d lose on the merits. “Taylor cannot meet the statutory criteria for filing a second or successive habeas corpus petition. First, he does not rely on any newly discovered evidence. Second, ‘the … Continue reading
D.Md.: Body armor found during vehicle search in drug case not more prejudicial than relevant
Body armor found during a vehicle search under a warrant is not excluded as more prejudicial than relevant under F.R.E. 403. This is a drug case, and it’s no more prejudicial than the drugs and firearms that presumably will be … Continue reading
E.D.N.Y.: Rental car GPS data not comparable to CSLI; it’s just third-party information
Rental car location tracking is significantly different from CSLI. It is purely third-party information. Moreover, the rental car company consented to the taking of the information. United States v. Brown, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166119 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 14, 2022). The … Continue reading
KQED: Cellphone-Tracking Tool Offers Police ‘Mass Surveillance on a Budget’
KQED: Cellphone-Tracking Tool Offers Police ‘Mass Surveillance on a Budget‘ by Garance Burke and Jason Dearen (AP):
OH11: Driver not matching owner of car not RS
Just because the driver isn’t the owner doesn’t mean the car is stolen. See Kansas v. Glover. This was extending the stop without reasonable suspicion. State v. Dunlap, 2022-Ohio-3007, 2022 Ohio App. LEXIS 2828 (11th Dist. Aug. 29, 2022); State … Continue reading
E.D.Pa.: Work product privilege in product of a SW is burden of defense
A special master reviewed the product of the search warrant for work product materials. The defendants have the burden of proof on work product, and they didn’t meet it. United States v. Vepuri, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151833 (E.D. Pa. … Continue reading
OH7: Questioning def about drugs on his person extended stop
The traffic stop was delayed, and the public safety exception was not applicable, where the officer asked a compound question, and the questioning only appeared directed at getting an admission by appellant that he had drugs on him and suggesting … Continue reading
IL: Arrest on a CPD “investigative alert” unreasonable
The use of an CPD “investigative alert” to arrest defendant was unreasonable and a violation of the Fourth Amendment (but harmless on the totality). People v. Smith, 2022 IL App (1st) 190691, 2022 Ill. App. LEXIS 329 (July 18, 2022). … Continue reading