Category: Search and Seizure

By Scott Limmer

An attorneys blog about criminal law and procedure, college discipline, Title IX and cases of Interest

Body Searches of High Schoolers Bring Indictments for Sheriff, Deputies

Warrantless Body Searches Leave Teens Traumatized A warrantless drug search of all 900 students at a southern Georgia high school has brought a multi-million-dollar court settlement to be paid to the students, and a grand jury indictment for the county sheriff and two deputies. Early one mid-April morning, the students and staff of Worth County […]


Are Prosecutors Trying to Undercut Lawyer-Client Privilege?

This May, Jessica McElfresh was arrested at gunpoint in San Diego, and local prosecutors soon brought several still-pending marijuana-related felony charges against her, including conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and manufacturing a controlled substance. What begins to make this highly unusual is Ms. McElfresh’s occupation: she’s an experienced criminal defense lawyer, regarded as one of the […]


Out-of-State License Plates Don’t Justify Pot Search, Appeals Court Rules

A federal appeals court, in Vasquez v. Lewis, has ruled that members of Kansas Highway Patrol cannot stop motorists and search their vehicles for marijuana merely because the vehicle has plates from a state with legalized marijuana use. Very late one night in mid-December 2011, Peter Vasquez was driving into eastern Kansas on I-70 in […]


Judges Split on Warrant to Tape

Does the FBI Need a Warrant to Tape Outside a Federal Courthouse? In under two weeks, two California-based federal judges have come up with sharply different answers to the same question: does the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) need a warrant to use hidden recording devices to make audio or videotapes outside federal courthouses? Both […]

New York Supreme Court

DOJ Stops Sharing Federal Asset Seizures with State, Local Police

Shortly before Christmas, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it was suspending a program which allows state and local law enforcement agencies to claim part of the assets seized in federal law enforcement cases. Known as DOJ’s “equitable sharing” program, the somewhat controversial practice lets state and local law enforcers stake a claim under […]


Justice Department Restricts Program Giving Police Incentives for Warrantless Seizures

On January 15, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it was cutting back on a long-running and increasingly criticized federal program encouraging state and local police without warrants to seize cash and property from persons suspected of criminal activity. Many states have civil asset forfeiture laws, which the DOJ action does not affect. But the […]

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