Category Archives: Private search

PA: Private university public safety conducted dorm searches for drugs after drug induced fight; it was a private search

Defendant was a student at Villanova University. There was a violent confrontation in a dorm between students who had admitted ingesting likely too much LSD. The University’s Public Safety Department and University officials conducted dorm searches. They had no arrest … Continue reading

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E.D.Mich.: Being in hotel room past checkout time justified hotelier locking him out

The court can’t determine from the record whether defendant’s actions in his hotel room justified the hotel locking him out and seizing the room, so the court goes to an alternative argument: The rental period expired at 11 am with … Continue reading

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NV erroneously puts burden on def to show that a warrantless entry to a locked bedroom was unreasonable and not a private search

Police were called to a house and the owner wanted the police to enter and search a locked room occupied by another adult with permission from the owner to stay there. The officer declined because defendant had reasonable expectation of … Continue reading

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VT: NCMEC email search not private search (following CA10)

Defendant’s ISP was not acting as a government agent under the Fourth Amendment when it searched the transmissions defendant sent over its network. It monitored them based on its own business interest, not because it was encouraged to or directed … Continue reading

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CA5: Microsoft’s checking photos uploaded to cloud for CP is a private search

Defendant uploaded child pornography to Microsoft’s Skydrive. Microsoft runs all pictures’ hash values against known child pornography. Finding some, it reported it to law enforcement. This was purely a private search. United States v. Reddick, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 23012 … Continue reading

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M.D.Fla.: Disney World’s own fraud investigators conducted private search of hotel room

Walt Disney World’s fraud investigators received a call from American Express that a card was being used fraudulently there. Ultimately, WDW own investigators entered defendant’s room without telling the police what they were doing and found access devices in plain … Continue reading

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NH: CP search warrant for defendant’s phone and laptop completely lacked PC

Defendant was found asleep in his car in a Walmart parking lot with his pants down after having apparently masturbated to adult porn images on his computer or phone. The discussion with the officers gave no reason to believe defendant … Continue reading

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CA7: In the private search doctrine and QI, it’s not clearly established that the actors knowing each other isn’t enough

“But for purposes of official immunity, the question is whether existing law clearly establishes that a private search is treated as a governmental search when the public and private actors are friends and potential future coworkers.” It does not. There … Continue reading

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Gizmodo: FBI’s Use of Paid Best Buy Informants Goes Deeper Than We Knew

Gizmodo: FBI’s Use of Paid Best Buy Informants Goes Deeper Than We Knew by Dell Cameron:

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NC: Remanded for findings on whether officer exceeded private search in searching flash drive

Defendant’s longtime girlfriend looked in his briefcase for information about a prior housekeeper, and she looked at a flash drive and scrolled through folders. She stumbled upon a photograph of her daughter sleeping shirtless. She turned the drive over to … Continue reading

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D.Nev.: UPS employee conducted private search and allowing police to photograph contents did exceed private search

A UPS employee suspected contraband in a package shipped from Las Vegas to Florida, and a supervisor then opened. While it was open, police came and photographed it, and this did not exceed the private search. United States v. Washington, … Continue reading

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D.Nev.: Def was handcuffed and in police car, so search incident didn’t apply; it was inevitable, however, inventory would happen

Defendant’s arrest led to a search incident of luggage, but he was handcuffed and in a police car. So, the search incident doctrine can’t apply, but an inventory would have inevitably occurred, so that provides an independent basis for the … Continue reading

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