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...]
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...]