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Vol. 41 No. 1 January / February 2012
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Highlights of This Issue

Special Bulletin

  • United States Supreme Court to Rule Whether Drug Detecting Dogs Can Be Used Outside a Home to Detect Marijuana Growing Activity Inside the Home

United States Supreme Court Action

  • Eyewitness Identification Evidence; Disclosure of Favorable Evidence in Police Files; Civil Rights Liability of Personnel Employed By Privately Run Federal Prisons

Federal and State Decisions

  • Arrest, Search and Seizure Issues: search; what constitutes; striking person with police car; search warrant; premises; scope; visitor’s purse; search incident to arrest and automobile exception; luggage and containers; officer safety; stop and frisk; reasonable suspicion; unidentified citizen informant; walking away from a street fight; misrepresentation by car passenger; “priors” for robbery; officer safety in traffic stops; consent; apparent authority; overnight guest; automobile; scope; second search
  • Interrogation Issues: Miranda; custody; what constitutes; extended duration of traffic stop; threat to bring drug detection dog; tape recording; objective test; DUI arrest; military personnel; “Question First, Mirandize Later” tactics; Missouri v. Seibert; public safety exception; voluntariness; exhortations to cooperate and tell the truth; hope of benefit
  • Crimes; Evidence; Trial Procedure: obstructing a police officer; refusal to provide name and date of birth; identification evidence; mug shots; photo arrays; dissimilarity; complexion; non-police suggestion; police witness; victim’s statements; police expert witness; gangs; first-time testimony
  • Civil Liability/Personnel Law: improper motive for arrest; entry into third party’s residence to serve arrest warrant; failure to obtain medical care for arrestee; deliberate indifference; use of tasers; non-resisting suspects; violation of family integrity; verbal abuse by police in front of children; liability for violating Miranda; jail liability for prisoner assaults; discrimination claims; residency requirements; cronyism and nepotism; discipline; free speech; public criticism of agency; internal investigation records; disclosure of officers’ names; accidental disability benefits


    Special Bulletin
    United States Supreme Court
    Federal and State Decisions
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Special Bulletin

Special Bulletin: United States Supreme Court to Rule Whether Drug Detection Dogs Can Be Used Outside a Home to Detect Marijuana Growing Activity Inside the Home.
Florida v. Jardines, (
http://(docket _11-564_ ( )

The Supreme Court has agreed to clarify when the police may use a drug-sniffing dog at the front door of a house, when police believe the house is being used in drug trafficking. In Florida v. Jardines, the constitutional issue at stake is whether police must have probable cause — a belief that evidence of a crime will be found — before they may use a dog sniff at the front door of a suspected “grow house,” or a site where marijuana is being grown. The case arises from a Miami police officer’s use of a drug-detecting dog in December 2006 to follow up on a “crime stoppers” tip that the house was being used to grow marijuana plants.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled that police needed to have probable cause belief in wrongdoing before they could use the dog at the home, on the premise that the drug sniff was a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. The State of Florida contends that the state ruling conflicts with Supreme Court precedent that a dog sniff is not a search under the Fourth Amendment. “This Court,” the state said, “has explained that a dog sniff is not a search because the sole knowledge that the dog obtains by sniffing is the presence of contraband, which a person does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in possessing in the first place.” The state argues the Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in Illinois_v_Caballes, 543 U.S. 405 (2005), established that dog sniffs are not a Fourth Amendment search and that the Florida courts “are now alone in refusing to follow” that ruling.

In granting review of the probable cause issue, the Court opted not to hear a second question, testing whether police had engaged in a search simply by remaining outside the house while awaiting a search warrant.

Watch for a decision in this case by March of this year.

Issue in Jardines: Whether a dog sniff at the front door of a suspected grow house by a trained narcotics-detection dog is a Fourth Amendment search requiring probable cause.


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