- 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
ABA Journal Web 100, Best Law Blogs (2017); ABA Journal Blawg 100 (2015-16) (discontinued 2018)
by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
Search and seizure law consultant
Little Rock, Arkansas
Contact: forhall @ aol.com / The Book
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: November 2022
CA3: Fire scene search for potential spread was exigent
The fire department arrived at a kitchen stove fire in an apartment building that was out. Informed of a sparking stove, fireman suspected there could be a fire in the basement. In the basement they found faulty wiring but no … Continue reading
MN: “Deer-in-the-headlights” look is a factor in RS
“But statements about a deer-in-the-headlights facial expression are commonplace in caselaw assessing whether a police officer has articulable, reasonable suspicion to justify a stop under the Fourth Amendment. There are over a dozen federal appellate decisions, including an opinion from … Continue reading
D.Mass.: Park ranger’s arrest of def outside park wasn’t 4A violation, even if statute violated
“Ruiz argues that, because Carozzi lacked the statutory authority to arrest him outside the park, the arrest violated his Fourth Amendment rights, and therefore all evidence collected subsequent to his arrest (i.e., the breathalyzer results) must be suppressed. In the … Continue reading
Reason: The Federal Government’s Plan to Track Truckers’ Every Movement Is a Privacy Nightmare
Reason: The Federal Government’s Plan to Track Truckers’ Every Movement Is a Privacy Nightmare by Jared McCain (“This surveillance would be unconstitutional—and there’s no reason to believe it will make anyone safer.”) Would it be? NYC’s taxicabs lost this battle … Continue reading
N.D.Cal.: There’s almost always PC in the contents of a stolen car, such as something of owner’s
There is probable cause to believe that there’s evidence of the crime in a stolen car. “It follows on this record that at a minimum there was also probable cause to believe that evidence of those suspected crimes (either car … Continue reading
D.S.D.: Totality of circumstances showed def likely resided in dwelling for entry on arrest warrant
Based on the totality of circumstances, officers finally had good reason to believe defendant resided in the dwelling he was found in, and the arrest warrant alone was enough to justify entry. United States v. Ulrich, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading
CA6: Violation of Robert’s Rules of Order prior to ptf’s arrest not a constitutional violation
Plaintiff was arrested for disorderly conduct for disrupting a public meeting after repeatedly being told to shut up. His claim that his ejection from the meeting and then the arrest violated Robert’s Rules of Order isn’t a constitutional claim. Burton … Continue reading
WI: Failure to swear SW affiant not 4A violation if officer understood it was under oath
The failure to actually ask the affiant officer “do you swear to tell the truth” isn’t constitutionally required for a search warrant affidavit. The officer need only understand that he or she was swearing to the truth of the contents. … Continue reading
WI: Warrantless entry into curtilage was not hot pursuit
The officers here were not in continuous hot pursuit when they entered defendant’s fenced-in backyard, his curtilage. They went there on a call, and they weren’t following. Entry suppressed. State v. Wilson, 2022 WI 77, 2022 Wisc. LEXIS 99 (Nov. … Continue reading
Reason: What’s the Original Public Meaning of “Searches” in the 4th Amendment?
Reason: What’s the Original Public Meaning of “Searches” in the 4th Amendment? by Orin Kerr (“I recently helped put together a panel, that you can watch below, on an important question of Fourth Amendment history and law: What is the … Continue reading
MI: With decrim of MJ, smell from a car no longer PC
With decriminalization, the [normal] smell of marijuana coming from a car is no longer probable cause. Also, defendant was seized when he was directed out of his vehicle and a bunch of law enforcement officers were waiting for him. People … Continue reading
FL1: Bedroom and bathroom being separated by wall didn’t make house multi-family
Defendant’s bedroom and bathroom were separate in the dwelling, walled off, but there was no outward appearance that it was an independent living unit: One address, one mailbox, one kitchen, a single-family dwelling on the tax rolls. He went out … Continue reading
IN rejects Heien under state constitution
Indiana rejects Heien under the state constitution. It is incongruous to justify a stop when the law shouldn’t even allow it. Mercado v. State, 2022 Ind. App. LEXIS 377 (Nov. 23, 2022):
MO: Objection for “lack of foundation and improper procedure” not a 4A challenge
An objection to a BAC test for lack of foundation and improper procedure does not preserve a Fourth Amendment challenge. Petersen v. State, 2022 Mo. LEXIS 226 (Nov. 22, 2022). The officers made a valid plain view to damage to … Continue reading
D.Minn.: Lindell SW affidavit remains under seal to protect investigation
In the Lindell cell phone search warrant case, the media seeks access to the affidavit. The government has established that, despite the vast public interest, the affidavit should remain sealed while the investigation progresses. In re Search Warrant, 2022 U.S. … Continue reading
HI: Three weeks detention after finding of PC without another court proceeding wasn’t unreasonable
It was not a Fourth Amendment violation to hold defendant for a grand jury indictment when probable cause was found “after a preliminary hearing but the case is dismissed without prejudice due to a defect in the institution of the … Continue reading
D.Or.: Ptf stated 1A retaliation claim that SW for his property was because of his speech
Plaintiff stated a claim that execution of a search warrant for his property and writings was retaliation for exercise of First Amendment rights. “Here, when the evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, a reasonable juror could … Continue reading
Gizmodo: ‘Gap’ in App Store Rules Endangers Reproductive Data, [only 9] Top Law Enforcement Chiefs Say
Gizmodo: ‘Gap’ in App Store Rules Endangers Reproductive Data, Top Law Enforcement Chiefs Say by Dell Cameron (“Attorneys general in nine states and the District of Columbia are urging Apple this week to introduce new App Store requirements designed to … Continue reading