Amos v. United States

Decision Date28 February 1921
Docket NumberNo. 114,114
Citation255 U.S. 313,65 L.Ed. 654,41 S.Ct. 266
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

Messrs. H. H. Obear and Charles A. Douglas, both of Washington, D. C., for plaintiff in error.

The Attorney General and Mr. W. C. Herron, of Washington, D. C., for the United States.

Mr. Justice CLARKE delivered the opinion of the Court.

The plaintiff in error, whom we shall designate defendant as he was in the court below, was tried on an indictment containing six counts. He was found not guilty on the first four counts, but guilty on the fifth, which charged him with having removed whisky on which the revenue tax had not been paid to a place other than a government warehouse, and also on the sixth, which charged him with having sold whisky on which the tax required by law had not been paid.

After the jury was sworn, but before any evidence was offered, the defendant presented to the court a petition, duly sworn to by him, praying that there be returned to him described private property of his which it was averred the District Attorney intended to use in evidence at the trial and which had been seized by P. J. Coleman and C. A. Rector, officers of the government, in a search of defendant's house and store 'within his curtilage,' made unlawfully and without warrant of any kind, in violation of his rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

Upon reading of this petition and hearing of the application it was denied, and exception being noted, the trial proceeded.

Coleman and Rector were called as witnesses by the government and testified: That as deputy collectors of internal revenue, they went to defendant's home, and, not finding him there, but finding a woman who said she was his wife, told her that they were revenue officers and had come to search the premises 'for violations of the revenue law'; that thereupon the woman opened the store and the witnesses entered, and in a barrel of peas found a bottle containing not quite a half pint of illicitly distilled whisky, which they called 'blockade whisky'; and that they then went into the home of defendant, and on searching found two bottles under the quilt on the bed, one of which contained a full quart and the other a little over a quart of illicitly distilled whisky. The government introduced in evidence a pint bottle containing whisky, which the witness Coleman stated 'was not one of the bottles found by him, but that the whisky contained in the same was poured out of one of the two bottles that had been found in defendant's house on the bed under the quilt, as stated.' On cross-examination both witnesses testified that they did not have any warrant for the arrest of the defendant, nor any search warrant to search his house, and that the search was made during the daytime, in the absence of the defendant, who did not appear on the scene until after the search had been made.

After these two government witnesses had described how...

To continue reading

Request your trial
664 cases
  • Wheeler v. Goodman, Civ. A. No. 2431
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of North Carolina
    • 11 May 1971
    ... ... A. ROWLAND et al., Defendants ... Civ. A. Nos. 2431, 2612, 2601, 2606, 2569, 2637 ... United States District Court, W. D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division ... May 11, 1971. 330 F. Supp ... See, Zap v. United States, 328 U.S. 624, 66 S.Ct. 1277, 90 L.Ed. 1477 (1946); Amos v. United States, 255 U.S. 313, 317, 41 S.Ct. 266, 65 L.Ed. 654 (1921); Johnson v. United States, ... ...
  • People v. Linke
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • 28 August 1968
    ...principle, as enunciated in Johnson v. Zerbst (1938) 304 U.S. 458, 464, 58 S.Ct. 1019, 82 L.Ed. 1461, and Amos v. United States (1921) 255 U.S. 313, 317, 41 S.Ct. 266, 65 L.Ed. 654, was considered in the original opinion. (261 A.C.A. at pp. 655--656, 68 Cal.Rptr. 71; see also People v. Burk......
  • People v. Catania
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • 10 February 1987
    ...conclusion. Without question, the home is accorded the full range of Fourth Amendment protections. See Amos v. United States, 255 US 313 [41 S.Ct. 266, 65 L.Ed. 654] (1921); Harris v United States, 331 US 145, 151, n 15 [67 S.Ct. 1098, 1101, n. 15, 91 L.Ed. 1399] (1947). But when, as here, ......
  • People v. Linke
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • 26 April 1968
    ... ... 854. See also Johnson v. Zerbst (1938) 304 U.S. 458, 464, 58 S.Ct. 1019, 82 L.Ed. 1461; Amos v. United States (1921) 255 U.S. 313, 317, 31 S.Ct. 266, 65 L.Ed. 654; Cipres v. United States (9th ... ...
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 books & journal articles
  • The Supreme Court giveth and the Supreme Court taketh away: the century of Fourth Amendment "search and seizure" doctrine.
    • United States
    • Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Vol. 100 No. 3, June 2010
    • 22 June 2010
    ...(1917). Notably, [section] 16 required return of papers that were seized without valid warrant authority. (130) Amos v. United States, 255 U.S. 313 (131) Discussion of the early cases in this Article is necessarily limited to those that now seem most important. Readers interested in a fulle......
  • The Fourth Amendment and General Law.
    • United States
    • Yale Law Journal Vol. 132 No. 4, February 2023
    • 1 February 2023 the indirect use of illegally seized evidence). (33.) See, e.g., Gouled v. United States, 255 U.S. 298 (1921); Amos v. United States, 255 U.S. 313 (1921); Agnello v. United States, 269 U.S. 20 (34.) 277 U.S. 438 (1928). (35.) Id. at 464. (36.) Id. at 476 (Brandeis, J., dissenting). (37.)......
    • United States
    • 1 May 2021
    ...United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967); Bell v. Hood, 327 U.S. 678 (1946); Byars v. United States, 273 U.S. 28 (1927); Amos v. United States, 255 U.S. 313 (1921); Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383 (34) Id. at 415 (Burger, C.J., dissenting). (35) See Irvine v. California, 347 U.S. 128, 130-32......
  • The Fourth Amendment and immigration enforcement in the home: can ICE target the utmost sphere of privacy?
    • United States
    • Fordham Urban Law Journal Vol. 35 No. 5, October 2008
    • 1 October 2008
    ...FOR IMMIGRATION OFFICERS ch. 3, introductory cmt. (2008); see also Michigan v. Tyler, 436 U.S. 499, 504-06 (1978); Amos v. United States, 255 U.S. 313, 314-17 (126.) See, e.g., Aguilar Amended Complaint, supra note 2, at [paragraph] [paragraph] 187, 206; Arias Complaint, supra note 32, at [......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT