Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures and provides that warrants may only be granted upon findings of probable cause. The Fourth... more +
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures and provides that warrants may only be granted upon findings of probable cause. The Fourth Amendment applies to the States via the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Important areas of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence flow from questions surrounding the definitions of "search" and "seizure," the applicability of the Amendment to so-called "stop and frisk" situations, the level of control that must be exerted by law enforcement before an individual is deemed "seized," and the "exclusionary rule," just to name a few.    less -
News & Analysis as of

BB&K Police Bulletin: California Court of Appeal Clarifies Eleventh Amendment Immunity for State Officials

Court Holds Sheriff Not Subject to Damages Under Section 1983 - Overview: The California Court of Appeal clarified that the Eleventh Amendment immunity does not apply in civil rights actions brought in California...more

Status Updates - January 2015

Fake-out stakeout. For several months now, we’ve been covering the increasingly prevalent use of social media by law enforcement agencies conducting criminal investigations. In one such instance, the FBI sent a link to a...more

It’s Reassessment Time in Indiana. Can the Tax Assessor Waltz into Your Home or Business?

Not under the U.S. Constitution. However, the chapter of Indiana’s property tax code addressing real property assessment provides that a county assessor or authorized representative “may, after first making known the...more

Supreme Court Update: Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. V. Owens (13-719) And Heien V. North Carolina (13-604)

Greetings, Court fans Long before he became Chief, John Roberts quipped that "[o]nly Supreme Court justices and schoolchildren are expected to and do take the entire summer off." Right now, the Justices are in the midst...more

Drone on Drones: New Court Decision Reflects Shifting Views on Privacy in Public

Whenever drone policy is raised as a topic, privacy concerns follow close behind it as a discussion point. The idea of aerial surveillance that is cheaper, less time-intensive and requires fewer man hours to get off the...more

Subscriber Does Not Have Fourth Amendment Privacy Interest in Own IP Data

In 2012, the Supreme Court decided the case of United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945 (2012). Jones involved the government's use of a GPS tracking device on a vehicle and the information gleaned therefrom. The holding was...more

Supreme Court Update: Warger V. Shauers (13-517), Integrity Staffing Solutions V. Busk (13-433) And Order List

We're back with summaries of the first signed decisions of the term, Warger v. Shauers (13-517) on whether Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) precludes juror testimony during a proceeding in which a party seeks to secure a new...more

Court strikes down California’s “collect on arrest” DNA collection law

In November 2004, California enacted a law requiring that anyone arrested for a felony have their DNA collected. This amounted to a significant expansion of the prior law that allowed for collection of DNA after conviction. ...more

Remote Search Warrants and the Continued Threat to Privacy Rights

What were you doing Wednesday, November 5, 2014? If you are a staunch Republican, you might have been toasting the election results from the day before, dreamy-eyed and dancing. If you are a staunch Democrat, you might have...more

Supreme Court Update: Carroll V. Carman (14-212), Johnson V. City Of Shelby (13-1318) And Order List

Greetings, Court fans! We're back with decisions two and three of OT14 (did you already forget about Lopez v. Smith?) as well as last week's news of cert petitions granted and likely to be granted. Police officers...more

Privacy and Fourth Amendment Issues Among Legal Concerns for Law Enforcement Use of Body-Worn Cameras

While there are many considerations for police departments interested in using body-worn cameras in the field, including policy issues and deployment procedures, there are some legal — and somewhat controversial — hurdles...more

Drone on Drones: Gov. Brown Vetoes AB 1327, Protecting Police Use of Drones

Amid controversy over the bill and its potential consequences, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed AB 1327 this Sunday. The bill would have required law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before using a drone to gather criminal...more

Fourth Amendment Precludes Inspection Of Private Property Even In Assessment Review Litigation

Recently there has been increasing debate regarding if and when assessing jurisdictions, or its agents, can invade the privacy of New York residents. Even New York’s governor has been impacted by this issue. Last week, the...more

Public employers, you can’t drug test as if you were in the private sector

Karen Voss was offered a newly created position of Solid Waste Coordinator with the City of Key West. The job entailed marketing and planning related to the city’s recycling programs, and “overseeing other tasks within the...more

Second Circuit Finds Fourth Amendment Violation in Law Enforcement Retention of Computer Files Not Within Scope of Search Warrant

On June 17, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a significant Fourth Amendment decision in United States v. Ganias. The decision is premised on the well-established notion that, because of...more

Southern District Opinion Allows Seizure of Emails From Host Provider With Minimal Showing of Probable Cause

A Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge last week approved the government’s ability to conduct searches and seizures of entire email accounts stored by third-party providers like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Apple...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Police Order To Stay Put While Conducting Background Check Is A Seizure Under Fourth Amendment

The Command Can Implicate Municipal Liability - Overview: The Ninth Circuit recently held that, when a police officer orders a suspect to “stay put,” that command constitutes a seizure under the Fourth Amendment of the...more

U.S. Supreme Court: Warrant Generally Required to Search Information on a Cell Phone, Even Incident to Arrest

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that police officers must generally secure a warrant before searching through the contents of a cell phone of a person they arrest. This decision will have important implications for...more

Supreme Court to Protect Information on Cell Phones

The digital age has created a world in which over-sharing is the norm and electronic devices are capable of storing significant amounts of one’s personal information. However, in an important step to protect the privacy of...more

Five Lessons for Employers from California v. Riley

In the waning days of its current term, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in California v. Riley that police officers generally violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches by conducting a...more

Editorial: High Court Is Swinging Pendulum Back On 4th Amendment

Fourth Amendment law is anything but static. If one surveys the jurisprudential landscape over the last 50 years, there are three amendments that the U.S. Supreme Court cannot leave alone: the First, the Fourth and the Fifth....more

Legal Updates for Government Entities Covering May and June 2014

Arizona Court of Appeals (heading) Immunity under A.R.S. § 12-820.03 Glazer v. State of Arizona, --P.3d--, 2014 WL949114 (Ariz.App. 2014) This case arises out of a cross-over crash on I-10 south of...more

United States Supreme Court: Warrants are required to search digital data on seized cell phones

On June 25, 2014, in Riley v. California, a unanimous United States Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment requires that police obtain a warrant prior to searching the digital data found on an arrested suspect’s cell...more

U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision Raises Questions About Cell Phone Searches in Schools

The long-standing test for searching students at school requires that the search must be based on a “reasonable suspicion” that the student violated a school rule or law. A recent criminal decision from the United States...more

U.S. Court of Appeals Decision: Cell Location Data is Protected Under Individual’s Expectation of Privacy

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently considered whether cell site location data is protected by the Fourth Amendment. On June 11, 2014, the court issued its decision in favor of privacy rights: the...more

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