Warrantless Search of a motorcycle

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WTR
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Re: Warrantless Search of a motorcycle

#16

Post by WTR » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:57 pm

We had a case where animal control and sheriff's deputies actually lured a mastiff out of an enclosed yard and then followed the dog closely enough for the dog to finally turn around and bark so the Deputy said he feared for his own well being and shot the dog dead. Final irony.....the dog that was killed was not the one folks had complained about.

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Flightmare
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Re: Warrantless Search of a motorcycle

#17

Post by Flightmare » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:06 pm

OlBill wrote:TAM,
I'd like to have a beverage with you some day.
It's definitely fun when he's able to make the monthly breakfasts. Always a thoughtful and informative discussion to be had.
Deplorable lunatic since 2016

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C-dub
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Re: Re : Warrantless Search of a motorcycle

#18

Post by C-dub » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:42 pm

OlBill wrote:Seems the consensus is the police can come on my property and touch my property without a warrant?
IMHO, you're reading too much into mine and some others' opinions. Specifically, in this particular case LE had received a tip that this person was the one they were looking for and that he had the motorcycle parked outside of his home. Also, when LE arrived at the house to have a look see even though the bike had a cover on it they cold still make a good assumption based on its unique shape and other identifiable characteristics that could be seen without touching anything. Given that, it was at that point when LE decided to look under the cover to verify the VIN number and other characteristics.
I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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warnmar10
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Supreme Court justices defend privacy rights

#19

Post by warnmar10 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:36 pm

WASHINGTON — A heroin-toting, unauthorized rental car driver and the owner of a stolen motorcycle that twice eluded police got some love from the Supreme Court Tuesday.

In two cases testing the reach of the Fourth Amendment's privacy protection, a majority of justices appeared to side with the suspects over the government when their constitutional rights were threatened.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/pol ... 017382001/

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C-dub
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Re: Warrantless Search of a motorcycle

#20

Post by C-dub » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:59 pm

I'm just a little stunned. I thought for sure the bike one was going to go against the suspect.

Maybe that's why I'm not a SCOTUS Justice. :headscratch
I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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srothstein
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Re: Warrantless Search of a motorcycle

#21

Post by srothstein » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:49 pm

philbo wrote:I've been following this case waiting to see this one plays out. I think that a search warrant should have been obtained, but fully expect SCOTUS to uphold this verdict given the courts conservative nature and it's tendency to support law enforcement.
I have been trying to get more information on this case since I heard about it. I also think a warrant was required, but I can see some of the VA state arguments. I fully understand the argument that a motor vehicle is easily mobile so the search is justifiable without a warrant, IF there is probable cause. I just think the fact that it was covered by a tarp so very little of it could be seen changes it more from a search of a vehicle to a search of a container (the tarp sort of).

I was thinking more that the SCOTUS would overturn it since they even bothered to take the case. It was upheld by the VA appeals and state supreme court, so SCOTUS even hearing it meant there was a lot of curiosity about it and it wasn't settled (or as settled as the VA attorneys thought).

Based on the article posted after today's oral arguments, it does look like it could go either way. I think a major part of this is going to be the amount of knowledge and probable cause for the search. They were looking for a specific color motorcycle that had fled at high speed. I do not know if they had the full plate or not. They found social media posts leading them to this house. The content of those posts will be critical to the case. Do they give probable cause to believe the specific bike is the one that ran? Or just cause to think this guy owned a bike of the same make and model to justify questioning him? I think these points will make a big difference in the case.
Steve Rothstein

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C-dub
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Re: Warrantless Search of a motorcycle

#22

Post by C-dub » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:08 am

srothstein wrote: I was thinking more that the SCOTUS would overturn it since they even bothered to take the case. It was upheld by the VA appeals and state supreme court, so SCOTUS even hearing it meant there was a lot of curiosity about it and it wasn't settled (or as settled as the VA attorneys thought).
That is an interesting point. I wonder what their uphold:overturn ratio is based upon who petitions to have it heard by the SCOTUS. Does that sentence even make sense? It does in my head, but I'm not sure it'll make sense to others. :shock: :lol:
I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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crazy2medic
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Re: Warrantless Search of a motorcycle

#23

Post by crazy2medic » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:41 am

E.Marquez wrote:
warnmar10 wrote:
E.Marquez wrote:... Worse scenario would be, the LEO feels threatened by my dogs and shoots them, ...
Meh, that doesn't really happen IRL, not without good reason.
I accept that you think that to be true in good faith , my recent last 2 years experience in the K9 world, leads me to believe otherwise . :tiphat:
You kill one of my dogs, then we are at war, I don't care the reason or the why, my dogs, my property, our home, I WILL make you pay and I don't care WHO you are!
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thatguyoverthere
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Re: Warrantless Search of a motorcycle

#24

Post by thatguyoverthere » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:08 pm

srothstein wrote: I fully understand the argument that a motor vehicle is easily mobile so the search is justifiable without a warrant, IF there is probable cause.
Personally, I DON'T get that. What difference does it make if it's a car (or motorcycle or go-cart) and it's mobile? They had mobile vehicles and transportation that could outrun other mobile vehicles and transportation of that time back when the 4th Amendment was written and ratified. The 4th says, in part: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..." It does NOT say: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, UNLESS THEY ARE ON A FAST HORSE THAT MIGHT OUTRUN THE POLICE."

I believe that many of our enumerated Constitutional rights have been tweaked, twisted, confined, restrained and diluted by passage of so many additional laws, and by the mental contortions of activist judges over the years, that some of those "rights" seem to be almost nonexistent at this point.

Sorry, srothstein, not picking on you. :tiphat: It's just that the great divide between the simple and elegant statements of affirmation of our rights - as laid out in the Constitution - versus many of the modern day, heavy-handed restrictions of those rights is sort of a pet peeve of mine. :rules:

Ok, stepping off my soapbox now. Carry on. :lol:


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Re: Warrantless Search of a motorcycle

#25

Post by srothstein » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:20 pm

Thatguyoverthere,

Don't worry, I do my best to not take disagreements like this personally. I actually enjoy a discussion of both sides of an issue and can learn that way. As long as we don't degenerate into personal attacks, we are good to go.

As for the issue of automobiles being mobile, it is fairly easy logic. I think it gets abused, but let me see if I can explain the logic used by the courts (if I have it right). The biggest point to remember is that the Constitution does not forbid searches without a warrant, just unreasonable ones. That leaves the courts, and SCOTUS is the final one, as arbiters of what is reasonable. Most citizens and police do not agree based on their points of view.

The court looked at everything and came up with a general rule that you do not need a warrant to conduct a search if there is probable cause to justify the search and some exigent circumstance that stops you from getting a warrant. The exigent circumstance must be something that means that the search would be futile solely because the police took the time to get a warrant. It can be that someone is actually in immediate danger or that the evidence will be lost. This is what lets police enter a house when they hear someone screaming for help and not get a warrant.

Now, when a cop sees a car and has probable cause to think there is evidence in the car, he usually will not have time to get a warrant or the car will be gone. Think about a traffic stop for a car running a red light. The officer has to be able to stop the car to identify the driver, right? Now, remember that the 4th Amendment applies to both searches AND seizures, and an arrest is a seizure. Identifying the driver is actually a type of search also. If we make the police get a warrant for every traffic stop, effectively we are saying there are no traffic laws that can be enforced.

So, the court looked at this and said most people would agree that we want to enforce traffic laws and allow police to stop cars without getting a warrant first. This is not to say it can be any stop for any reason, but that there must be some probable cause first. As a result, the SCOTUS came up with a generalized exception for a warrant for searching a car as an application of the exigent circumstance rule. They did place a lot of restrictions on it, such as probable cause, no searching a car if the driver/owner is secured and not able to get it in anymore, no searching the car if the person arrested was not in the car at the time of the arrest, etc., but they did give a lot of freedom for the search also.

Of course, there are problems with this. Police officers are just like almost everyone else and when you give them an inch they will try to stretch it to a mile. In this case, that is exactly what the prosecutors are arguing. They are saying that since there is a generalized automobile exception, and this is an automobile (well motor vehicle might be the better term for this but auto is what the courts used), then this was legal. I think the local prosecutor probably agreed with us that the police went a step too far by lifting the cover but had a duty to try to save the case. The courts decided that it was reasonable to do and let it go much further than I think the prosecutor ever believed they would. And the defense attorney is now trying to get the client off the hook.

I think the client deserves to go to jail for the stolen motorcycle, but first the police need to do their jobs right. He should have his record cleared because I think the officer went too far. What the court will say is really a guess, but I have some faith that they will put another limit on the search of automobiles. There is a good chance they will try to split the difference by throwing out this case and saying it was not a search OF the bike as much as a search FOR the bike by lifting the cover. They can make an analogy that the cover is like a container and avoid ruling on automobile searches at all.
Steve Rothstein


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Re: Warrantless Search of a motorcycle

#26

Post by MechAg94 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:05 am

My first thought was they had enough information to go ahead and verify the numbers on the bike, but after thinking about it, they also had enough information to get a warrant. They likely could have hung out a few hours and made sure no one moved the bike until a warrant was obtained.

This case alone seems pretty minor to me, but I agree that if it is allowed for the wrong reasons, it could screw things up a lot. Even if thrown out, the stolen bike won't be given back.


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Re: Warrantless Search of a motorcycle

#27

Post by flechero » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:32 pm

MechAg94 wrote:they also had enough information to get a warrant. They likely could have hung out a few hours and made sure no one moved the bike until a warrant was obtained.
And if the bike was moved by anyone other than the officers, the cover would have been removed, revealing the perfect match to what they were looking for, and sitting there waiting on the warrant for!! :thumbs2:


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Re: Warrantless Search of a motorcycle

#28

Post by philbo » Tue May 29, 2018 5:44 pm

Supreme Court rules against police over motorcycle search in 8-1 vote
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKCN1IU1U2

They got this one right in my opinion

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