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Caniglia v. Strom
Brief Amicus Curiae of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Criminal Procedure Professors in Support of Petitioner.
Argument: In Sutterfield v. City of Milwaukee, 751 F.3d 542, 553 (7th Cir. 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit observed that the distinctions among the exigent circumstances doctrine, the emergency aid doctrine, and the community caretaking doctrine “are not always clear.” In turn, these fuzzy distinctions have led to a “lack of clarity in judicial articulation and application of the three doctrines.” This lack of clarity means that courts deciding whether the community caretaking doctrine should apply to warrantless home entries often think that doctrine is needed to justify entries that are already covered by the exigent circumstances doctrine and/or the emergency aid doctrine. As set forth in this amici brief, this Court’s opinions defining and applying the exigent circumstances and emergency aid doctrines establish that police officers would need to rely on the community caretaking doctrine as an independent justification for warrantless home entries in only two potential situations: to address (1) non-bodily harms such as nuisances; and (2) non-imminent threats of bodily harm. Framed in that fashion, it is clear that a separate and independent rationale such as “community caretaking” – which was generated by the special circumstances attendant to automobile searches – does not justify invasion of the sanctity of the home. Indeed, the way that this Court distinguished its opinion in Coolidge in creating the community caretaking doctrine makes clear that the doctrine does not and should not apply to warrantless home entries. In addition, the capacity for a “community caretaking” exception that permits warrantless searches of the home would invite its use as an end run around the protections of the warrant requirement.
Lange v. California
Brief of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioner (On Merits).
Argument: A rule categorically permitting warrantless entry into a private residence in pursuit of a fleeing misdemeanant would be dangerously overbroad and conflict with long-standing Fourth Amendment jurisprudence requiring case-by-case analysis of whether exigent circumstances justify the entry. An extensive survey of cases involving such entries reveals that many spiral out of control, often resulting in property damage and personal injury to officers, suspects, and innocent third parties. Further, law enforcement interests typically justifying warrantless entries—preventing evidence destruction or protecting the safety of officers and the public—are not implicated in many misdemeanant pursuits. A case-by-case approach would permit warrantless entry when a particular misdemeanant poses a serious threat to people or evidence while encouraging officers to briefly pause and seek a warrant in the many cases where neither the suspected crime nor the circumstances of the pursuit justify putting lives or property at risk.
Missouri v. McNeely
Amicus curiae brief of the National College for DUI Defense and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of Respondent.
Argument: Per se warrantless blood draws are unnecessary as (i) states already successfully prosecute thousands of drunk driving cases after police obtain warrants to draw blood, (ii) technological advances allow police to obtain warrants in minutes, (iii) states have e-warrant procedures, and (iv) telephonic warrants also may be granted in minutes. Per se warrantless blood draws are unreasonable and unconstitutional. The warrant requirement checks police power in DUI cases. And search warrants protect officers and drivers.