- IL: Circumstances made SW affidavit admissible at trial
- Professional Responsibility in Criminal Defense Practice (4th ed. 2023) now on Westlaw
- IN: Fundamental (plain) error of S&S claims requires the evidence be fabricated, not just unconstitutionally obtained
- USA Today: A camera mounted on a light pole took video of police beating Tyre Nichols. What to know about ‘SkyCop.’
- Galveston Co. Daily News: Galveston SWAT team wrecks wrong house in search for wrong suspect
online since Feb. 24, 2003 Approx. 350,000 visits (non-robot) since 2012 Approx. 45,000 posts since 2003 (25,700+ on WordPress as of 12/31/22)
Fourth Amendment cases,
citations, and links
Latest Slip Opinions:
U.S. Supreme Court (Home)
Federal Appellate Courts Opinions
FDsys, many district courts, other federal courts
Military Courts: C.A.A.F., Army, AF, N-M, CG, SF
State courts (and some USDC opinions)
Advanced Google Scholar
Google search tips
LII State Appellate Courts
LexisONE free caselaw
Findlaw Free Opinions
To search Search and Seizure on Lexis.com $
S. Ct. Docket
Solicitor General's site
Briefs online (but no amicus briefs)
Oyez Project (NWU)
"On the Docket"–Medill
S.Ct. Monitor: Law.com
S.Ct. Com't'ry: Law.com
General (many free):
Google Scholar | Google
LexisOne Legal Website Directory
Lexis.com (criminal law/ 4th Amd) $
Findlaw.com (4th Amd)
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Resources
FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (2008) (pdf)
DEA Agents Manual (2002) (download)
DOJ Computer Search Manual (2009) (pdf)
Stringrays (ACLU No. Cal.) (pdf)
Congressional Research Service:
--Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012)
--Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012)
--Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012)
--Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012)
--Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions (2012)
ACLU on privacy
Electronic Frontier Foundation
NACDL’s Domestic Drone Information Center
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Criminal Appeal (post-conviction) (9th Cir.)
Section 1983 Blog
"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)
Website design by Wally Waller, Little Rock
Monthly Archives: August 2022
CA9: Oral amendment to SW to add a place to be searched never incorporated violates 4A, but GFE here because no controlling authority
Officers had a search warrant for plaintiff’s hotel room searching for evidence of a drug operation. They called the issuing judge for permission to search plaintiff’s home under the same affidavit, which was orally granted, but the warrant was not … Continue reading
Police seized 46 firearms from a murderer’s parents that had nothing to do with his crimes and they were never used in any proceeding. Eight years later after the son’s death sentence was affirmed on direct appeal and habeas, the … Continue reading
MD: Full searches of cell phones can be a general search; there must be particularity or time limitation
Blanket full searches of cell phones without a particularity or time limitation can violate the Fourth Amendment and become a general search. It is suggested there be a search protocol if possible to limit the officers’ discretion. Despite all those … Continue reading
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
DDC: Delay in return of seized cell phone not necessarily unreasonable; Rule 41(g) provides procedural due process
DC Metro police seized numerous cell phones from BLM protestors, and they sued to recover them. The DC police policy wasn’t followed, but only by negligence, and that doesn’t state a claim against it. Rule 41(g) applies despite lack of … Continue reading
The search warrant for Sen. Burr’s cell phone is unsealed in part after about a year under the common law right of access to judicial records. In re L.A. Times Communs. LLC to Unseal Court Records, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading
NLJ: Will Judicial Polarization Lead to More Strategic ‘Unpublished’ Opinions? (“Because unpublished opinions aren’t precedential and don’t typically get reviewed by full courts, some court watchers worry that panels could use them to get their desired outcome in a particular case … Continue reading
Defendant’s Fourth Amendment ineffective assistance of counsel claim is presented on appeal differently than at the hearing level, and that’s waiver. State v. Lessley, 312 Neb. 316 (2022). The affidavit for search warrant was issued with probable cause under the … Continue reading
Plaintiff’s § 1983 suit that only claimed violations of state law did not state a Fourth Amendment claim. Lyons v. City of Abbeville, Ala., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 24110 (11th Cir. Aug. 26, 2022). Defendant does not get return of … Continue reading
D.D.C.: SW for documents permitted search of any place they could be, not just where def said they were
Officers executing a search warrant for evidence of animal abuse in Washington D.C. used a battering ram on the door without waiting for defendant to come to the door. They had a warrant for veterinary documents on the animals and … Continue reading
CA5: Multiple cell phones found with a quantity of drugs creates inference phones are for drug trafficking
When multiple cell phones and drugs are found together in a car, it’s a reasonable conclusion the cell phones are related to drug trafficking. The search of the phones reasonably led to child porn. United States v. Morton, 2022 U.S. … Continue reading
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
The good faith exception is determined before probable cause. If there is objective good faith, the rest doesn’t matter. The burden is on the defense to show the good faith exception doesn’t apply. United States v. Ledesma, 2022 U.S. Dist. … Continue reading
MN: When prosecution shows private search doctrine applies, defense has burden to show government action
When a defendant moves to suppress the evidence obtained from a warrantless search and the State proves that the private search doctrine applies, the burden to show that the private party was acting on behalf of the government falls on … Continue reading
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
Police entering defendant’s neighbor’s house to arrest him when he was visiting violated the Fourth Amendment. There was no exigency justifying it. State v. Bookman, 2022 N.J. LEXIS 678 (Aug. 24, 2022). Even if the knock-and-announce rule applies to entries … Continue reading
“The affidavit also attempts to establish the link between the use of cell phones and the drug trafficking under investigation. Metzger’s warning to McFaul on social media, which presumably was accomplished through the use of an electronic device like a … Continue reading
NCIS presented a search authorization that a military judge later determined was likely lacking in the showing of probable cause. To remedy that, NCIS did a new affidavit for warrant and presented it to a USMJ also with potential jurisdiction … Continue reading
N.D.Ohio: University exam proctor’s requirement of room scan before video test violates REP under 4A
The proctor of this university examination on video required a room scan to prove the student was alone. The room scan violated plaintiff’s reasonable expectation of privacy. CSU’s reliance on Wyman v. James is rejected. That case is 51 years … Continue reading