Today Americans communicate billions of times a day through e-mail and text messaging. Today, the most private pieces of information are communicated by using cell phones. Americans often communicate their private information through e-mail and text message. How can we keep these matters private? Do Americans have a right to privacy over their … [Read more...]
Vehicle Searches Incident to Arrest
When can police officers search a vehicle? When they are arresting the occupant of the vehicle. In 1981, the United States Supreme Court in the case of New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454, stated "when a policeman has made a lawful custodial arrest of the occupant of an automobile, he may as a contemporaneous incident of that arrest, search the … [Read more...]
Strip Searches: The Court Of Appeals Says No, No!
Is it a common practice for police to use a search warrant to strip search every person in a location without a strong indication the place is "devoted" to criminal activity. Recently the New York State Court Of Appeals said that drugs found on one man in 2006 during a raid of an apartment in Syracuse can not be used as evidence. Robert … [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...]
Incorporating the 2nd Amendment Against the States – Kirkland & Ellis is on the Case
As I posted on Jan. 30th, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided the case of Maloney v. Cuomo. Jim Maloney (pictured, right) was charged with possession of nunchaku ("nunchucks") in his Long Island, New York home. He challenged the constitutionality of New York's ban on nunchaku possession on 2nd Amendment grounds. But the 2nd … [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...]