Category Archives: Border search

CA7: Manual border search of cell phone revealing CP was reasonable

Manual border search of defendant’s cell phone was reasonable and revealed child pornography, and that justification for a more intensive search. United States v. Mendez, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 14058 (7th Cir. June 10, 2024). Defendant rented his hotel room, … Continue reading

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E.D.N.Y.: There was RS for def’s border cell phone search for drug importation

While the law isn’t completely clear on the justification for a cell phone search at the border, the justification for either standard is satisfied. There was clearly reasonable suspicion of drug importing at JFK for search of his cell phone. … Continue reading

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DC: Lights, coming out of car with hand on gun, and “Let me see your hands” was a seizure

This was a show of authority: “With the emergency lights activated, each officer exited the vehicle and yelled, ‘Let me see your hands’ and quickly approached Mr. Mitchell. Officer Phillip had a hand on her firearm while doing so. Officers … Continue reading

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DC: Search of probationer’s GPS monitor didn’t require a SW

Defendant was on GPS electronic monitoring while on probation. The search of his EM device to prove he was involved in a robbery was not unreasonable. Moreover, even if the probation department’s regulations were somehow violated, the exclusionary rule should … Continue reading

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S.D.Fla.: Scrolling through electronic devices at the border is reasonable in CA11

Merely scrolling through an electronic device at the border is a reasonable border search. United States v. Vrdoljak, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208332 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 20, 2023). The officer was incidentally following defendant, and he observed her driving within … Continue reading

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The Intercept: LexisNexis Sold Powerful Spy Tools to U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The Intercept: LexisNexis Sold Powerful Spy Tools to U.S. Customs and Border Protection by Sam Biddle (“The data brokerage giant sold face recognition, phone tracking, and other surveillance technology to the border guards, say government documents.”)

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Lexology: Outlier or Trend? A Possible Narrowing of the Border Search Exception for Electronic Devices

Lexology: Outlier or Trend? A Possible Narrowing of the Border Search Exception for Electronic Devices (“As we wrote in a note back in December 2020, the border search exception to the Fourth Amendment is a powerful investigative tool relied on … Continue reading

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CA11: Gov’t adequately protected against A-C materials being searched in border search of Venezuelan attorney’s cell phone; “no privileged material was ever found”

Defendant was a Venezuelan attorney whose cell phone was searched at the border. He said there likely was privileged attorney-client information on his phone, but it was searched under a DHS protocols to safeguard privileged information and legal advice was … Continue reading

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DE: When defense to rape is consent, 4A claim against DNA test doesn’t matter

Where the defense was consent, the alleged ineffective assistance of counsel in failing to move to suppress DNA results can’t be ineffectiveness. State v. Elder, 2023 Del. Super. LEXIS 770 (Sep. 13, 2023).* CBP officers used an “escort hold” on … Continue reading

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CA5: Riley does not apply to border searches of cell phones

The search of defendant’s cell phone at the border was reasonable. The court will not apply Riley to border searches. Malik v. United States Dep’t of Homeland Sec., 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 21307 (5th Cir. Aug. 15, 2023). “The undersigned … Continue reading

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CA5: No preliminary injunction for copying attorney cell phone at border

An immigration attorney who claimed the government copied his cell phone four times after he returned from other countries wasn’t entitled to a preliminary injunction. “Government retention of unlawfully seized property is not sufficient, standing alone, to establish irreparable injury.” … Continue reading

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CA5: Only RS needed for a routine manual border search of a cell phone

The Fifth Circuit follows other circuits to require only reasonable suspicion for a routine manual border cell phone search. Having found child pornography, the government could keep looking. “He argues that the government violated the Fourth Amendment by conducting the … Continue reading

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Techstory: Cellphone Border Searches: Feds, You’ll Need a Warrant

Techstory: Cellphone Border Searches: Feds, You’ll Need a Warrant by Sneha Singh (“In a groundbreaking ruling, a federal district judge declared that authorities must obtain a warrant before searching an American citizen’s cell phone at the US border, except in … Continue reading

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S.D.N.Y.: Copying cell phone at border was unreasonable, but GFE and a later SW saved it

Defendant’s cell phone was copied when he came back to Newark airport after a flight to Jamaica. “As such, the Court concludes that the Government may not copy and search an American citizen’s cell phone at the border without a … Continue reading

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CA8: Exit border search of electronic devices was based on reasonable suspicion

There was reasonable suspicion for defendant’s intensive exit border search of his electronic devices. “The officers and agents had background information, much of it corroborated, that provided a basis for assessing Xiang’s actions in May and June 2017. Their experience … Continue reading

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OH9: Growing house fire next door was exigency to clear def’s house

Defendant’s next door neighbor’s house caught on fire, and police at the scene acted reasonably in entering his house to clear it when the fire grew and they reasonably feared it would spread to the houses next door. State v. … Continue reading

Posted in Arrest or entry on arrest, Border search, Emergency / exigency, Excessive force, Immigration arrests, Rule 41(g) / Return of property, Standing | Comments Off on OH9: Growing house fire next door was exigency to clear def’s house

S.D.W.Va.: This border search of cell phone was routine, despite taking 4 hours

The border search of defendant’s cell phone was routine and reasonable and didn’t need reasonable suspicion. He provided the passcode, and the phone was on airplane mode so it did not go outside the phone. United States v. Tick Chin, … Continue reading

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D.N.J.: No 6A right to have counsel present at execution of a DNA warrant in the jail

There is no Sixth Amendment right for counsel to be present when a DNA sample is taken from defendant at the jail by warrant. United States v. Hubbard, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3661 (D.N.J. Jan. 9, 2023). CBP had reasonable … Continue reading

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PA: State’s statement of issues for review didn’t include the precise issue argued so it’s waived

The state in its statement of issues below addressed probable cause but did not mention inevitable discovery. That amounted to a waiver. “The inevitable discovery doctrine is not a subsidiary issue to a claim of adequate probable cause to support … Continue reading

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WaPo: Customs officials have copied Americans’ phone data at massive scale

WaPo: Customs officials have copied Americans’ phone data at massive scale by Drew Harwell (“Contacts, call logs, messages and photos from up to 10,000 travelers’ phones are saved to a government database every year.”)https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/09/15/government-surveillance-database-dhs/ And weren’t we told when this … Continue reading

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