Fourth Amendment

United States v. Willie Evans (11th Cir. May 2020)

The Court affirmed the district court's finding that officers' warrantless search of a home was justified under the "emergency aid exception." The Court held that the officers had a reasonable belief that a dog's whimpering inside the house was a human in need of emergency aid based on their initially responding to a 911 regarding gun shots, the defendant's belligerent behavior prior to his arrest, and the officers' belief that someone else may have been in the house.

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Kansas v. Charles Glover, Jr. (U.S. Supreme Court, April 6, 2020)

In an 8-1 opinion, the Supreme Court held that an officer has reasonable suspicion justifying a traffic stop when he runs a vehicle's license plate and learns that the registered owner's license has been revoked or suspended. The Court held that it is reasonable for an officer to assume that the vehicle's driver is the registered owner, even where the registered owner's license has been suspended, because the data shows that many individuals who have suspended licenses continue to drive anyway.

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United States v. Terrill Rickmon, Sr. (7th Cir. March 2020)

In a matter of first impression involving the use of ShotSpotter, GPS-enabled technology that detects gunfire, the Court held that there was reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle emerging from an area where gunfire was detected based on the short lapse of time between the detection and the stop, the vehicle's proximity to the area, the behavior of the occupants, and other circumstances.

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United States v. Robert Warren Scully (5th Cir. March 2020)

The Court affirmed the defendant's conviction, holding that the good faith exception applied to law enforcement's search of two separate addresses despite only identifying one address in the search warrant. The Court noted that the lack of signs distinguishing the two addresses and their proximity made it reasonable for the officers to treat the two addresses as one.

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United States v. Corey Smith (5th Cir. March 2020)

The Court affirmed the defendant's conviction, holding that a traffic stop was not unlawfully prolonged where the officers had reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle and asked questions about the driver and passengers' reasons for travel and destination, and new reasonable suspicion was created based on "implausible elements" and contradictory answers in the driver and passengers' responses to the questioning.

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