Fourth Amendment Warrantless Searches

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. v. Ganias: Second Circuit Limits Government’s Ability to Use Electronic Material Seized Beyond Scope of Warrant for Different...

In a recent decision that provides important guidance in the developing law related to government seizure of electronic records in criminal investigations, on June 17, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second...more

Supreme Court Fires Shot Across The Bow Of NSA Metadata Collection

Recent revelations concerning the activities of the National Security Agency (“NSA”) include reports that the NSA and other government agencies have – in secret – routinely collected in bulk the “metadata” associated with...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

Can A GPS Result In TMI?

The answer is “yes” – tracking employees by using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) can give an employer too much information (TMI). Surreptitious Surveillance In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court held (in the case of U.S....more

Legal Updates for Government Entities Covering March and April 2014

The Gallaghers sued TUSD and a TUSD school employee, Michael Corum, alleging that Corum sexually abused and/or exploited their developmentally challenged daughter at a TUSD school. The Gallaghers claimed that TUSD was...more

Microsoft Mail and the 4th Amendment: Do Any of Us Seriously Think We Have a Right Not to Have Email Seized as Possible Evidence?

A perspective on the recent Fourth Amendment and privacy considerations raised by Judge James C. Francis' recent Memorandum and Order: 'In The Matter Of A Warrant To Search A Certain E-Mail Account Controlled And Maintained...more

Maryland v. King: Possibly The Most Important Criminal Procedure Case in Decades

Many Supreme Court observers, including no less than Justice Samuel Alito himself, have described Maryland v. King as perhaps the most important criminal procedure case that the Court has decided in decades. While this may...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Warrantless Home Search

Supreme Court Upholds Warrantless Home Search Where One Occupant Consents Following Suspect’s Arrest - Overview: The Supreme Court has ruled that police officers can conduct warrantless home searches based upon one...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: 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

Appeals Court: Forced Rectal Search of Suspect Violates 4th Amendment

In a recent opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit addressed whether it was constitutionally reasonable for police to use a doctor – in this case, a doctor “who is known to conduct unconsented intrusive...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

Week in Review - August 1, 2013

Some people spend more time with their smartphones than with their friends. This attachment to technology has a number of implications, and not just for a person’s social life. This week the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals...more

Concerned About NSA Snooping? Perhaps You Should Be More Concerned About The DOJ And SEC

In 2008, Rajat Gupta made a handful of short phone calls to his friend Raj Rajaratnam. The information that Gupta conveyed to Rajaratnam in those phone calls is now likely to cost Gupta millions of dollars, two years in...more

CFPB: Spying to Protect the Consumer

It all began with a Bloomberg article. Although the CFPB spying on the financial habits of at least 10 million consumers seems to be a far cry from NSA's spying on the telephone calls, emails, snail mails, website usage, and...more

Math Test Equals Strip Search? It Just Doesn’t Add Up

Recently in Quebec, a high-school staff stripped searched a class of twenty eight sophomores before a math exam. ...more

Warrantless Searches of Electronic Communication

Recent news about federal executive agencies obtaining information on private citizens without warrants has many Americans concerned about an erosion of civil liberties. Both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the...more

A Legislative Solution to Prosecutors’ Tracking of Suspects Via Their Devices?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona underlined the importance of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments and drew a line that law enforcement must not cross – all in the interest of...more

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