Fourth Amendment Supreme Court of the United States

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

Supreme Court Update: Bosse V. Oklahoma (15-9173) And Order List

Greetings, Court Fans! Fresh from a three-day weekend, the Court made short work yesterday of its first decision of the term, a per curiam summary reversal in Bosse v. Oklahoma (15-9173). Though the case touched upon an...more

Unclaimed Property Disputes Over State Priority Take Center Stage, Head to U.S. Supreme Court and the Third Circuit

Disputes over the unclaimed property priority rules continue to intensify. The U.S. Supreme Court accepted review of a clash involving more than 20 states regarding the right to take custody of official checks. ...more

Supreme Court Update: Mathis V. United States (15-6092), Utah V. Strieff (14-1373), Birchfield V. North Dakota (14-1468) And...

The Court finished up OT15 this morning with decisions in Voisine v. United States (14-10154), holding that a reckless domestic assault qualifies as a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" under the federal...more

Utah v. Strieff

EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM AN UNLAWFUL DETENTION IS ADMISSIBLE IF A VALID ARREST WARRANT IS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCOVERED - Narcotics detective Douglas Fackrell conducted surveillance on a South Salt Lake City residence based on...more

Rival Court Decisions Reflect Shifting Views on Privacy in Public

With the spotlight on one high-profile battle that pits privacy rights against public safety interests, another crucial, similar dispute is making its way through the courts. How to evaluate new technology and its potential...more

Supreme Court Update: Kansas V. Carr (14-449) And Order List

Wiggin and Dana just opened a shiny new office Washington, D.C., but it seems our arrival has been eclipsed by that of another force of nature in the nation's capital. Perhaps anxious to skip town before it's buried, the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Might Foreshadow Expansion of the Qualified Immunity Defense in Excessive Force Cases

The past several years have seen a slew of high-profile excessive force cases, often highlighted by cell phone or dash-cam video. These cases have placed increasing pressure on local police departments, which continue to...more

Qualified Immunity and Deadly Car Chases: Is the Pendulum Heading the Other Way?

The past several years have seen a slew of high-profile excessive force cases against law enforcement officers, often highlighted by cell phone video. These cases have placed increasing pressure on local police departments,...more

Supreme Court denies cert in case involving cell location privacy rights

On July 31, 2015, Quartavious Davis petitioned for certiorari in Davis v. United States, No. 15-146 asking (1) whether the acquisition of a cell phone user’s location data from his cellular service provider constitutes a...more

High Court Grants Broader Immunity to Police Using Deadly Force in Chases

Officers are immune from liability in lawsuits alleging use of deadly force against fleeing suspects unless it is “beyond debate” that a shooting was unjustified and clearly unreasonable, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled. The...more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update - October 2015

The "Dancing Baby" Case—Ninth Circuit Rules That "Fair Use" Must First Be Considered Before Sending Takedown Notices Under the DMCA - Why it matters: On September 14, 2015, the Ninth Circuit ruled in Lenz v. Universal...more

You Can Check Out Any Time You Like… But Your Information Might Never Leave

When you check into a hotel, do you assume that the clerk asks for your license plate number to avoid accidentally towing your car? Or that guest services wants to know how many people are in your group to make sure that...more

Warrantless access to cell phone location data may be heard by the Supreme Court

A number of courts have considered whether the Fourth Amendment requires the government to obtain a warrant to access historical and/or real time cell phone geographic location information, known as CSLI. CSLI is cell site...more

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Privacy Rights for Los Angeles Hotel Operators

In a win for privacy advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a City of Los Angeles municipal ordinance permitting warrantless police searches of hotel registries is unconstitutional. The subject ordinance (Los Angeles...more

Supreme Court Invalidates Los Angeles Law Authorizing Warrantless Searches of Hotel Records

In City of Los Angeles v. Patel, the Supreme Court invalidated a Los Angeles law that allowed law enforcement officials to inspect hotel and motel guest registries at any time, without a warrant or administrative subpoena....more

SCOTUS Extends Same-Sex Marriage Rights Nationwide

As has become its custom, the Supreme Court left one of its most high-profile decisions for the end of its term, holding by a 5-4 vote that the Constitution requires states to recognize same-sex marriages. As a result, state...more

Supreme Court Decides City of Los Angeles v. Patel

On June 22, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided City of Los Angeles v. Patel, No. 13-1175, holding that facial challenges can be brought under the Fourth Amendment and that a municipal ordinance requiring hotel operators to...more

City of Los Angeles vs. Patel Update: U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Warrantless Searches of Guest Registries

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a law enacted by the City of Los Angeles requiring hotel owners to comply with warrantless inspections of their guest registries upon demand by law enforcement officers. The High Court,...more

A Border Search Doctrine Without Borders? A Court Pushes Back Against Searches of Laptops and Cellphones

Last year, the Supreme Court in Riley v. California (134 S. Ct. 2473 (2014)) recognized the unique characteristics of laptops and cellphones and held that police generally may not search the cellphone of an individual who has...more

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals: Warrantless Cell Site Data Constitutional

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, sitting as a full panel, has ruled that law enforcement may acquire historical cell site data information (i.e., past location information) from wireless telecommunications...more

E-Discovery Update: When Personal and Work Data Collide

In the modern world, employees routinely receive work-related data on personal mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and access personal data on work-owned devices. ...more

Supreme Court Update: Rodriguez v. United States (13-9972); United States v. Wong (13-1074 And 13-7075); Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet,...

When is a sniff not up to snuff (as far as the Fourth Amendment is concerned)? Ten years ago, in Illinois v. Caballes (2005), the Court held that a dog sniff conducted during a lawful traffic stop does not violate the Fourth...more

Riley and the Third-party Doctrine

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued one groundbreaking opinion in two cases regarding cellphone searches incident to arrest. In a unanimous opinion, the court held that under the Fourth Amendment, police must...more

Supreme Court Decides Rodriguez v. United States

On April 21, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Rodriguez v. United States, No. 13-9972, holding that, absent reasonable suspicion, the Fourth Amendment prohibits police from prolonging a traffic stop to conduct a dog...more

GPS Monitoring of Sex Offenders Is a Fourth Amendment Search

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Another Reminder that Sex Offender Restrictions are Under Scrutiny - Forcing someone to wear an ankle bracelet to monitor her or his location is a Fourth Amendment search, the U.S. Supreme...more

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