The United States Constitution guarantees “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”  A seizure of the person occurs when a law enforcement officer takes control of a person by physical force or show of authority, effectively restraining that person’s ability to move.  In United States v. Smith, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit considered whether an encounter between two police officers and a man waiting for a bus constituted an unlawful seizure.  In determining that an unlawful seizure did not occur, the court of appeals reviewed the district court’s factual findings using the “clearly erroneous” standard, while assessing its ultimate conclusions of law de novo. . . .

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