Recently Cedar Grove cops set up a DWI sobriety checkpoint in Essex County, New Jersey. During a six hour period, 1,450 vehicles passed through the area, per the news. But the cops did not arrest one driver for driving while intoxicated. I have to tell you, this warms the very cockels of my heart. This is especially heartwarming because officers conducted field sobriety tests on seven drivers who “exhibited signs of intoxication.” But they did not arrest anyone for DWI. And it’s as if Police Chief Joseph Cirasa read my mind. He claims this was a resounding success! With no arrests to show, he claims the goal was to deter. Read More
Previously I blogged about Michigan v. Long.1 The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) broke new ground under federal law with respect to two issues in Long: SCOTUS review of state court decisions, and Terry searches of cars. With respect to its jurisdiction to review decisions based on adequate and independent state grounds, SCOTUS articulated a “plain statement” rule for state courts to follow. Additionally, with respect to the Fourth Amendment, SCOTUS applied Terry v. Ohio 2 to protective searches of cars, requiring proof of a reasonable belief about the presence of weapons. This blog post will look at Read more
In Terry v. Ohio, SCOTUS crafted an exception to the requirement of a warrant and probable cause, allowing police to protectively search a person.1 But to fall within the exception, the circumstances must provide police with a reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct and a reasonable belief the person poses a danger. Subsequently, SCOTUS determined the police may search incident to arrest an individual’s wingspan without a warrant based on Terry principles.2 Furthermore, SCOTUS expanded the individual’s wingspan to include a recently occupied vehicle, also based on Terry principles.3 Read more
Previously I blogged about New Jersey v. T.L.O. 1 The focus of this post, State of New Jersey v. Best 2 applies T.L.O. to a warrantless car search on school property by a school official. The United States Supreme Court in T.L.O. addressed whether the exclusionary rule applies to evidence seized by a school official without police involvement in juvenile delinquency proceedings. SCOTUS answered this question in the affirmative.
Notwithstanding the State’s position that school officials act as surrogates for the actual parents (in loco parentis), the Court decided they are State Actors. Indeed, by rejecting the State’s position, SCOTUS reasoned the breadth and Read more
In 1984, a juvenile delinquency case from New Jersey went before the Supreme Court of the United States. SCOTUS addressed two questions. First, the Court addressed whether the Fourth Amendment applies to public school officials. Additionally, the Court considered the proper standard to assess searches and seizures by public school officials. The case was New Jersey v TLO.
New Jersey v TLO: Factual History
A Piscataway High School teacher found two girls smoking in the bath room. Since this was against school rules, the teacher took the girls to the Principal’s office. Subsequently, an Assistant Vice Principal questioned the girls Read more
Stop and Frisk in Brownsville, Brooklyn:
Residents Question a Police Tactic
I have blogged about Donald Trump‘s support for the NYPD use of stop, question, and frisk as a national model. Please watch this 2010 report about the law, policy, people, and stop-and-frisk in Brownsville. Do cops issue tickets in part to make money for their municipalities? Will Trump adopt a stop-and-frisk policy for Muslims in order to create the national database he promised? When does public cynicism influence policy? To borrow the words of Benjamin Franklin, should Americans give up some of their liberty to get a little temporary safety? Read more
“Stop and Frisk” As National Policy?
State and federal law protect individuals from unreasonable government intrusion. Thus, “stop and frisk” is an exception to the law, not the general rule. The no-nonsense tough-talk appearance of a national stop and frisk policy might appeal to some people. But the right to be left alone is more important—and that’s no bull! It is the law. Consequently, judges, prosecutors, and defense lawyers take it seriously. Read more
On June 17, 2012, protesters marched against NYPD’s aggressive stop-and-frisk policy.
This video is about their march.
The Fourth Amendment
The Fourth Amendment prohibits the government from violating “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
Additionally, Read more
First, this will set forth the general standards under state law.
Next, this will explain standing under federal law.
Finally, this will define the particular categories for standing under state law. Read more