In Ohio, cell phones protected by the 4th amendment's prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure by the government. In a recent decision, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that police officers need to obtain a warrant in order to search a cell phone. This decision by the Ohio Supreme Court takes into consideration the fact that cell phones … [Read more...]
Do the Police Need a Warrant to Attach a GPS Tracking Device to Your Car? (Updated)
Right now, it depends which part of New York you live in. In Westchester and Albany, the police do not need a warrant to place a GPS tracking device on your car, but in Nassau County they do. On March 24th, the New York Court of Appeals heard oral arguments (video here) in the case of People v. Weaver, which will probably lay out a uniform rule … [Read more...]
After Gant, Is New York’s Car Search Rule Stricter, More Lenient or Juuuust Right?
Last week, the Supreme Court announced the groundbreaking decision of Arizona v. Gant, significantly limiting the police's ability to conduct searches of automobiles "incident to a lawful arrest" without either a warrant or probable cause. Before the Gant case, however, New York courts have consistently interpreted the State Constitution much more … [Read more...]
Confiscatory Texas Town Officials Subject to RICO Prosecution?
I talking with my employer, Elliot Schlissel, Esq., about my post yesterday regarding the case of the Tenaha, TX police department's use of apparently unreasonable searches and seizures to obtain money and property from travelers through their town to bolster their local budget. I told him that the individuals involved are being sued for violations … [Read more...]
Police Stop, Search & Confiscate Everything You Have…?
The Chicago Tribune has just picked up on a story from over a month ago at mysanantonio.com. The Texas town of Tenaha is using a state forfeiture law that gives the police the right to seize any property used in a crime to bolster that department's budget. Police officers have been using this law to stop cars traveling through their tiny (pop. … [Read more...]
Just How Extreme Must Police Negligence Be to Suppress?
Our office does a lot of criminal defense work, so I am always interested in developments in 4th Amendment Search and Seizure law. Last month, the Supreme Court made it more difficult for a defendant to have evidence suppressed in its decision in the case of Herring v. U.S. In that case, police consulted clerks in a neighboring county regarding … [Read more...]
Interesting Legal Links
Understanding when the police can frisk you: Nicole Black at Sui Generis offers her take on the pros and cons of the Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. Johnson, that I commented on here. A SWAT team invades an innocent family's home when a VOIP-using prankster makes a fake 911 call: The Fourth Amendment blog: "SWATting" will get somebody killed … [Read more...]
When Can the Police Pat You Down?
As an appropriate follow up on this post from Monday about the Court of Appeals, Second Circuit's decision a few days ago, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday about a related matter. In Arizona v. Johnson, the Supreme Court released a unanimous decision clarifying when a "pat down" for weapons is or is not in violation of the 4th Amendment … [Read more...]
Knowing When Police Are Allowed to Stop Your Car
The "Wait a Second!" blog recently reported on a decision by the Second Circuit, the Federal Appeals Court with Jurisdiction over New York, from January 8th, that clarifies and expands the rule on when the police can search a car. As background, the court is addressing the question of when a police officer may search someone's car without … [Read more...]