Fourth Amendment Case Decisions of the United States Supreme Court



The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.



Legal Definitions

Affidavit

A sworn statement, signed and affirmed to by a declarant before a notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths. It is not subject to cross examination.

Appellate Court

A court of appeals which hears appeals from lower court decisions. The term is often used in legal briefs to describe a court of appeals.

en banc

Refers to a case heard by all the judges of a court. Cases in United States Courts of Appeals are normally heard by a three-judge panel.

Habeas Corpus

Habeas corpus is a protection against illegal confinement. A writ of habeas corpus directs law enforcement officials holding a prisoner to appear in court with the prisoner to determine the legality of the prisoner's confinement.

Search Warrant

A written order by a judge which permits a law enforcement officer to search a specific place and identifies the persons (if known) and any articles intended to be seized.

Writ of Certiorari

The mechanism by which the Supreme Court agrees to hear a case. Specifically, a certiorari is an order by a higher court to a lower court to send documents pertaining to a given decision by the lower court so that they may be reviewed by the higher court.

Majority Opinion

An opinion of a judge of a court of appeals, including the U.S. Supreme Court, which provides the legal basis or reasoning for the determination of a case.

Concurring Opinion

An opinion of a judge of a court of appeals, including the U.S. Supreme Court, that provides a different means or reason of arriving at the same determination as the majority opinion in a given case.

Dissenting Opinion

An opinion of a judge of a court of appeals, including the U.S. Supreme Court, which disagrees with a majority opinion in the determination of a case.



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© Paul Kelly