Immigration Lawyers New York



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...[T]testimony about the impact of the Mapp decision [applying the exclusionary rule to the states] can be found in the statement of Deputy Commissioner Reisman: "The Mapp case was a shock to us. We had to reorganize our thinking, frankly. Before this, nobody bothered to take out search warrants. Although the U.S. Constitution requires warrants in most cases, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that evidence obtained without a warrant -- illegally, if you will -- was admissible in state courts. So the feeling was, why bother? Well, once that rule was changed we knew we had better start teaching our men about it." N. Y. Times, Apr. 28, 1965, p. 50, col. 1.

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...[T]he exclusionary rule is a better remedy than a civil action against an offending officer. Unlike the fear of personal liability, it should not create excessive deterrence; moreover, it avoids the obvious unfairness of subjecting the dedicated officer to the risk of monetary liability for a misstep while endeavoring to enforce the law. Society, rather than the individual officer, should accept the responsibility for inadequate training or supervision of officers engaged in hazardous police work.

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When a state-court decision is clearly based on state law that is both adequate and independent, we will not review the decision. Michigan v. Long, 463 U.S. 1032, 1041 (1983). But when "a state court decision fairly appears to rest primarily on federal law, or to be interwoven with the federal law," we require that it contain a "'plain statement' that rests upon adequate and independent state grounds," otherwise, "we will accept as the most reasonable explanation that the state court decided the case the way it did because it believed that federal law required it to do so."

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[W]e have upheld certain regimes of suspicionless searches where the program was designed to serve "special needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement." See, e.g., Vernonia School Dist. 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646, 132 L. Ed. 2d 564, 115 S. Ct. 2386 (1995) (random drug testing of student-athletes); Treasury Employees v. Von Raab, 489 U.S. 656, 103 L. Ed. 2d 685, 109 S. Ct. 1384 (1989) (drug tests for United States Customs Service employees seeking transfer or promotion to certain positions); Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives' Assn., 489 U.S. 602, 103 L. Ed. 2d 639, 109 S. Ct. 1402 (1989) (drug and alcohol tests for railway employees involved in train accidents or found to be in violation of particular safety regulations). We have also allowed searches for certain administrative purposes without particularized suspicion of misconduct, provided that those searches are appropriately limited. See, e.g., New York v. Burger, 482 U.S. 691, 702-704, 96 L. Ed. 2d 601, 107 S. Ct. 2636 (1987) (warrantless administrative inspection of premises of "closely regulated" business); Michigan v. Tyler, 436 U.S. 499, 507-509, 511-512, 56 L. Ed. 2d 486, 98 S. Ct. 1942 (1978) (administrative inspection of fire-damaged premises to determine cause of blaze); Camara v. Municipal Court of City and County of San Francisco, 387 U.S. 523, 534-539, 18 L. Ed. 2d 930, 87 S. Ct. 1727 (1967) (administrative inspection to ensure compliance with city housing code).

We have also upheld brief, suspicionless seizures of motorists at a fixed Border Patrol checkpoint designed to intercept illegal aliens, Martinez-Fuerte, 517 U.S. 806, and at a sobriety checkpoint aimed at removing drunk drivers from the road, Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444, 110 L. Ed. 2d 412, 110 S. Ct. 2481 (1990). In addition, in Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648, 663, 59 L. Ed. 2d 660, 99 S. Ct. 1391 (1979), we suggested that a similar type of roadblock with the purpose of verifying drivers' licenses and vehicle registrations would be permissible. In none of these cases, however, did we indicate approval of a checkpoint program whose primary purpose was to detect evidence of ordinary criminal wrongdoing.

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To constitute a seizure of the person, just as to constitute an arrest -- the quintessential "seizure of the person" under Fourth Amendment jurisprudence -- there must be either the application of physical force, however slight, or, where that is absent, submission to an officer's "show of authority" to restrain the subject's liberty.

It must be recognized that whenever a police officer accosts an individual and restrains his freedom to walk away, he has 'seized' that person. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).

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