Category Archives: Cell phones

S.D.N.Y.: Inventory of duffel bag in hand on arrest was reasonable under FBI regs

The FBI inventory of defendant’s duffel bag on his arrest was reasonable under FBI regulations. Search warrants were used for cell phones found inside. United States v. Ellis, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215725 (S.D. N.Y. Nov. 17, 2020):

Posted in Cell phones, Inventory | Comments Off on S.D.N.Y.: Inventory of duffel bag in hand on arrest was reasonable under FBI regs

WV: SW not needed to seize cell phone from a person, even when it’s expected to be found

The warrantless seizure of defendant’s cell phone was reasonable. The officers didn’t need to get a search warrant before taking it off his person. State v. Deem, 2020 W. Va. LEXIS 706 (Oct. 20, 2020). The officer’s prior knowledge of … Continue reading

Posted in Cell phones, Plain view, feel, smell, Probation / Parole search | Comments Off on WV: SW not needed to seize cell phone from a person, even when it’s expected to be found

PA: CSLI warrant was particular with phone number and time, without name of owner

CSLI warrant was particular when it described the phone number and time period and didn’t have to name the phone owner. Commonwealth v. Davis, 2020 Pa. Super. LEXIS 885 (Oct. 23, 2020). The officer spent a week corroborating the CI, … Continue reading

Posted in Cell phones, Cell site location information, Franks doctrine, Informant hearsay | Comments Off on PA: CSLI warrant was particular with phone number and time, without name of owner

WaPo: Senators seek IG probe of border agency’s warrantless use of phone location data

WaPo: Senators seek IG probe of border agency’s warrantless use of phone location data by Drew Harswell (“In August, Customs and Border Protection subscribed to a service that reports the location of cellphones to businesses.”)

Posted in Border search, Cell phones | Comments Off on WaPo: Senators seek IG probe of border agency’s warrantless use of phone location data

TX: Is abandonment of a car also abandonment of the information in a cell phone left in it?

Dissent on denial of a petition for discretionary review: The court should decide whether fleeing a car and leaving one’s cell phone behind is abandonment. The court of appeals below held it was. Wiltz v. State, 595 S.W.3d 930, 936 … Continue reading

Posted in Abandonment, Cell phones | Comments Off on TX: Is abandonment of a car also abandonment of the information in a cell phone left in it?

PA: Mere presence of cell phones near drugs in a home isn’t PC for their search

The search warrant for defendant’s cell phones, issued months after the seizure of heroin and firearms from his home, completely lacked probable cause. The mere fact cell phones were on defendant in proximity to drugs isn’t enough, and “officer’s experience” … Continue reading

Posted in Cell phones, Probable cause | Comments Off on PA: Mere presence of cell phones near drugs in a home isn’t PC for their search

NYTimes: The Police Can Probably Break Into Your Phone

NYTimes: The Police Can Probably Break Into Your Phone (“At least 2,000 law enforcement agencies have tools to get into encrypted smartphones, according to new research, and they are using them far more than previously known.”)

Posted in Cell phones, Digital privacy | Comments Off on NYTimes: The Police Can Probably Break Into Your Phone

S.D.N.Y. follows majority and holds that a cell phone search starts with “seizure of the media”

The government had possession of defendant’s cell phone and technically started the search within the time limits of Rule 41(e)(2)(B) by “seizure of the media.” The extraction report followed up months later. United States v. Estime, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading

Posted in Cell phones, Warrant execution | Comments Off on S.D.N.Y. follows majority and holds that a cell phone search starts with “seizure of the media”

FL4: SW of def’s cell phone authenticated text messages

After a search warrant produced defendant’s text messages, the state was able to authenticate them by the phone. State v. Torres, 2020 Fla. App. LEXIS 14356 (Fla. 4th DCA Oct. 7, 2020). “In addition, ‘[d]uring a valid traffic stop, officers … Continue reading

Posted in Admissibility of evidence, Cell phones, Plain view, feel, smell | Comments Off on FL4: SW of def’s cell phone authenticated text messages

CA9: No standing to sue to enjoin future border searches of cell phones

Plaintiff cannot obtain prospective injunctive relief against future border cell phone searches because he lacks standing for future searches. As to past searches, he cannot obtain injunctive relief after suing under the FTCA. “Under FTCA’s judgment bar, ‘once a plaintiff … Continue reading

Posted in Cell phones, Standing | Comments Off on CA9: No standing to sue to enjoin future border searches of cell phones

KY: Affidavit for the SW limited the breadth of cell phone warrant

While the search warrant for defendant’s cell phone was arguably overbroad and not well drafted, it was limited by the affidavit in support as to the specific things to be sought. Tucker v. Commonwealth, 2020 Ky. App. LEXIS 112 (Oct. … Continue reading

Posted in Cell phones, Overbreadth | Comments Off on KY: Affidavit for the SW limited the breadth of cell phone warrant

CA6: QI for workplace search of cell phone

Plaintiff is a police officer who sued over the workplace search of his cell phone (see City of Ontario v. Quon) after his wife grabbed it and turned it in claiming he was having sex with another officer. Qualified immunity … Continue reading

Posted in Cell phones, Qualified immunity | Comments Off on CA6: QI for workplace search of cell phone

MI: Def’s employer’s ownership of cell phone is only a factor in REP and standing; remanded

The trial court erred in finding defendant had no standing in the cell phone he had that belonged to his employer. Ownership of the phone is only one factor in standing. People v. Paul, 2020 Mich. App. LEXIS 6637 (Oct. … Continue reading

Posted in Cell phones, Standing | Comments Off on MI: Def’s employer’s ownership of cell phone is only a factor in REP and standing; remanded

CO: cert. gr.: Whether cell phone details beyond number obtained by illegal arrest should be suppressed; or, is cell phone number particular enough?

“Whether the court of appeals erred in determining that the warrant to search Petitioner’s cell phone and supporting affidavit satisfied the Fourth Amendment’s particularity requirement, where all descriptive information about the phone except the telephone number was obtained as a … Continue reading

Posted in Body cameras, Cell phones, Particularity, Waiver | Comments Off on CO: cert. gr.: Whether cell phone details beyond number obtained by illegal arrest should be suppressed; or, is cell phone number particular enough?

D.Me.: Admittedly valid state SW for drug evidence on phone led to finding CP and a valid federal SW

Officers got a state search warrant for defendant’s cell phone for drugs and stumbled upon child pornography otherwise linked to him by his tattoos and voice. He admits the warrant was valid for drugs. A later federal search warrant was … Continue reading

Posted in Cell phones, Cell site location information, Warrant execution | Comments Off on D.Me.: Admittedly valid state SW for drug evidence on phone led to finding CP and a valid federal SW

TX14: No justification for warrantless seizure of cell phone for fear of deleting its contents

Officers lacked any justification to believe that defendant was deleting or was going to delete evidence from his cell phone to justify a warrantless seizure of the phone in a robbery case. Igboji v. State, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 7647 … Continue reading

Posted in Cell phones, Emergency / exigency | Comments Off on TX14: No justification for warrantless seizure of cell phone for fear of deleting its contents