Fourth Amendment Police

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

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

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

Supreme Court Decides Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Riley v. California, No. 13-132, and United States v. Wurie, No. 13-212, holding that police must generally obtain a warrant before searching a cell phone...more

U.S. Supreme Court Cell Phone Privacy Decision Deserves Employer Attention

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week in Riley v. California that police generally may not conduct a warrantless search of digital data stored on the cell phone of someone who has been arrested. The...more

Supreme Court Relies on Reed Smith Brief in Cell Phone Search Cases

The Supreme Court decided Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie yesterday, June 25, and unanimously held that the search incident to arrest doctrine does not allow law enforcement officers to search data on cell...more

Court: Police Need Warrant to Search Phone. But Guess What? They Get to Keep Your Phone While They Get One.

Will cops still get access to cell phone data post arrest? You bet. Today’s Supreme Court decision just means they need to get permission from a judge before they start searching who you have been texting. And odds are very...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Officers Must Obtain Warrant to Access Data on Arrestee's Mobile Phone Device

Overview: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that police officers may not search digital information on a mobile phone device seized from a person who has been arrested without a warrant. In Riley v. California and U.S. v....more

Search Me: The Constitutionality of “Stop and Frisk” Policies

The constitutionality of the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) “stop and frisk” policy (which resulted in thousands of pedestrians detained and patted down without reasonable suspicion) was the subject of intense...more

Ordinance Authorizing Warrantless Inspections of Hotel Records is Unconstitutional

Motel owners challenged a Los Angeles Municipal Code provision requiring hotel guest records to be made available to any Los Angeles Police Department officer for inspection. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Use of Deadly Force: Officers’ Pre-Shooting Conduct Included in the Totality of Circumstances Test...

Overview: Deputies shot and killed Shane Hayes inside his home. His daughter filed suit against the deputies and the county for excessive force, Fourth Amendment violations, negligent wrongful death and claims against the...more

Magistrate’s Issuance of Warrant Demonstrates that Officers’ Actions are “Objectively Reasonable” and Thus Entitled to Qualified...

A man brought a lawsuit against police officers alleging violations of his Fourth Amendment rights. The officers conducted searches of his car, home, and workplace in connection with allegations that he disseminated indecent...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Qualified Immunity: Warrantless Entry in Hot Pursuit of Misdemeanant Not "Plainly Incompetent"

Overview: The U.S. Supreme Court recently reversed a Ninth Circuit decision denying qualified immunity to a California police officer in hot pursuit of a suspected misdemeanant. The suspect had entered an enclosed front yard...more

Illinois Criminalizes Electronic Vehicle Tracking With Limited Exceptions

Recently, Illinois enacted HB 1199, which makes it illegal for any person or entity in Illinois to use an electronic vehicle tracking device to determine the location or movement of a person....more

Federal Judge Rejects NYPD’s ‘Stop and Frisk’ Policies

In a decision issued today that could potentially change the way police operate in the Big Apple, U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin (S.D.N.Y.) ruled that, for years, New York City police officers have been...more

BB&K Police Chief Bulletin: Custodial Arrest - Only Three Ways to Support Custodial Arrest for Suspected Infraction

Overview: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that police could not take into custody a person cited for an infraction (in this case, trespassing) unless the arrestee has no satisfactory identification, refuses...more

Your dumb smart phone will give you up to the police!

Your smart phone stores everything you expect to keep private, and in many states that information is readily available to the police! And police access to your private information may not even require a warrant. Will your...more

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