Category Archives: Private search

E.D.N.Y.: Public employee labor union contract can consent to drug testing of members

“Despite Fourth Amendment implications, ‘a public employee union acting as the exclusive bargaining agent may consent to drug testing on behalf of the employees it represents.’” (quoting Bolden v. SEPTA, 953 F.2d 807, 828 (3d Cir. 1991). Dolginko v. Long … Continue reading

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CA7: CI identity irrelevant because of controlled buys

This case is about fentanyl on defendant’s person, so the identity of the CI that led police to him is irrelevant under Roviaro. Controlled buys justified his arrest. United States v. Johnson, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 4450 (7th Cir. Feb. … Continue reading

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KY: Misstatements of law not subject to Franks challenge

A misstatement of law is not subject to a Franks challenge. Search warrant affidavits are usually drafted in a hurry by nonlawyers, and it’s up to the issuing magistrate to decide whether there is a substantial basis for believing a … Continue reading

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D.P.R.: Cut-and-paste error that misidentified iPhone model overlooked by correct phone number

The search warrant was for a specific phone number on an iPhone 6S, but the phone with that number was an iPhone 13. Still, the phone number controlled, and the search was valid. Alternatively, on the totality, defendant consented to … Continue reading

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CA2: Where PC and GFE found by District Court, both have to be argued on appeal or waiver occurs

The district court found probable cause and the good faith exception applied. On appeal, he argued only probable cause. The alternative ground of good faith was thus waived and the court can affirm. United States v. McGregor, 2024 U.S. App. … Continue reading

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N.D.Cal.: Passwords are protected by the Stored Communications Act

In civil case for evidence production brought in San Francisco to aid litigation in Ontario, Canada. the court holds that account passwords are protected by the Stored Communications Act and there was no consent to disclosure. In re Path Network, … Continue reading

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CA7: Hospital medical staff getting def to spit out machine gun part wasn’t search and they weren’t govt actors

Defendant had a Glock fully auto switch in his mouth while in the hospital. While treating him, the medical staff finally got him to spit it out. That was not a search. The medical staff were not government actors for … Continue reading

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TN: No IAC to distance def from property of another and claim no standing

Defense counsel wasn’t ineffective for not filing a motion to suppress property that wasn’t his but where he spent time. The trial strategy was to distance defendant from the property, and asserting a reasonable expectation of privacy in the property … Continue reading

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D.Haw.: 11-month delay in getting DNA warrant was reasonable

An eleven month delay in the government obtaining a DNA warrant was reasonable. “Under the totality of the circumstances, the Court concludes that, while the search warrant perhaps could have been sought earlier, the eleven-month period between arrest and the … Continue reading

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OH9: No justification needed for police to run an LPN number

No justification needed for police to run a LPN number. State v. Carter, 2023-Ohio-3452, 2023 Ohio App. LEXIS 3360 (9th Dist. Sept. 27, 2023). The court takes the government at its word that the search warrant defendant seeks doesn’t exist, … Continue reading

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CA3 adopts two part functional rule of private search, and this one was

Defendant’s wife was not acting as an agent of the state when she procured defendant’s cell phone which produced evidence of sexual exploitation of a child. “Four of our sister Courts of Appeals assess whether a private party was an … Continue reading

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N.D.Ga.: UPS a private searcher, even with its “good-Samaritan motivation”

UPS is not a state actor when it searches suspicious packages, even with its “good-Samaritan motivation” that “overlaps with law enforcement’s mission.” United States v. Baxter, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93141 (N.D. Ga. May 11, 2023):

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D.Nev.: Affidavits for SWs don’t have to prove the underlying crimes

There was probable cause for the four search warrants here. “Much of Martinez’s arguments are based on the premise that the warrants are unsupported by probable cause because the affidavits did not prove the elements of the target crimes.” They … Continue reading

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E.D.Pa.: Hospital nurse who found drugs on def wasn’t state actor

A nurse in a hospital who found drugs in defendant’s pants was required by policy to search the rest of his belongings. The nurse was not a state actor. United States v. Kunsman, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84362 (E.D. Pa. … Continue reading

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TN: Bounty hunter is not a state actor for 4A

A bailbond bounty hunter is not a state actor for the Fourth Amendment. State v. Wojnarek, 2023 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 160 (May 10, 2023). A Delaware JP issued this search warrant, and it was with probable cause. United States … Continue reading

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D.Minn.: Govt’s failure to raise issue before USMJ was waiver

The government’s failure to raise arguments before the USMJ was waiver when appealed to the USDJ. United States v. Crutchfield, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80461 (D. Minn. May 9, 2023). There was probable cause for the search warrant here. It … Continue reading

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CA5: 4A doesn’t apply to a letter carrier

“In co-defendant Johnlouis’s case, our court upheld the denial of the motion to suppress because we determined that the letter carrier was ‘not a government actor to whom the Fourth Amendment applies.’ United States v. Johnlouis, 44 F.4th 331, 337 … Continue reading

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CA10: Def’s response ‘I don’t have a backpack’ was abandonment of the backpack

“Mr. Porter nonetheless attempts to distinguish this case from our other abandonment cases, claiming that in those cases, the defendant’s denial of ownership was clear and unequivocal. But it is hard to imagine a statement plainer than ‘I don’t have … Continue reading

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CO: LEOs didn’t expand on private search

A private party found video of a sexual assault on defendant’s computer and provided it to law enforcement. A search warrant wasn’t needed for law enforcement to view that file. People v. Morse, 2023 COA 27, 2023 Colo. App. LEXIS … Continue reading

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D.N.M.: Search warrants are directed at places, not persons; offender need not be mentioned

Search warrants are directed at places, not persons. “Because, at the time of the oral affidavit, there was a fair probability the crime of kidnapping occurred and a fair probability evidence of that crime would be found in Defendant’s home … Continue reading

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