Category Archives: Military searches

CAAF: When PC for warrant was a close call, GFE applies

The question of probable cause for defendant’s UA was a close call. Therefore, the good faith exception applies. The officers essentially did everything right and that should be rewarded, and there’s no reason to reverse the finding of probable cause … Continue reading

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D.Alaska: Military authorized seizure of electronic devices valid despite entry into room

The military search of defendant’s electronic devices was reasonable and done under a valid search authorization. The fact they were in his room did not prohibit entry to retrieve them. United States v. Basey, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70988 (D. … Continue reading

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D.N.M.: M.R.E. 315 and 4A permit oral applications and search authorizations

M.R.E. 315 provides for search authorizations, and this one wasn’t an anticipatory warrant with conditions. Oral applications and authorizations are constitutionally proper per United States v. Brown, 784 F.2d 1033, 1036 (10th Cir. 1986). An Air Force regulation on the … Continue reading

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CAAF: Not all details of alleged offense need to be included in request for search authorization

The military trial judge erred in concluding that the search authorization required AFOSI complete information to determine probable cause for defendant’s DNA in a sex assault case. It’s not. Just because there were differing versions of how dressed the victim … Continue reading

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N.-M.: Broad cellphone search authorization was narrowed to emails and text messages and was particular

The command authorization for a search of defendant’s iPhone was reasonable and limited to files of emails, text messages, and search history as to his extramarital affairs before and after his wife’s death. A video found in an email was … Continue reading

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CAAF: GFE doesn’t apply to SW wholly without PC

The service member was charged with child pornography offenses. “Appellant moved for an order in limine suppressing all evidence that the Government had found in Appellant’s home pursuant to a command authorization for search and seizure (CASS). The military judge … Continue reading

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N.-M.: Exceeding scope of consent required suppression

Defendant gave consent to Army CID at Ft. Lejeune to look in Facebook Messanger to investigate a theft where defendant was the alleged victim. The CID investigator went into the phone and searched 43,000 thumbnail images hoping to find child … Continue reading

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S.D.Ga.: Oral military search authorizations do not violate 4A or Rule 41

Oral search warrant requests and authorizations under M.R.E. 315 do not violate the Fourth Amendment or Rule 41. Many cases so hold. The violation of the SOP manual for military magistrates wasn’t serious enough to justify suppression nor prevent the … Continue reading

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N-M Ct.Crim.App.: Lack of CO’s actual authority to issue search authorization fatal to search; no GFE

The Court Martial judge erred in concluding that a particular major had authority to authorize searches of appellant’s body, office, and personal property because she was not a “commander” for the purposes of Mil. R. Evid. 315 even though her … Continue reading

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CAAF: Military GFE satisfied here; three military lawyers also asked about PC

In applying the military good faith exception under M.R.E. 311(c)(3), the court finds the NMCCA properly applied the exception which, under rule, blends into probable cause. There clearly was a substantial basis for finding probable cause, and good faith was … Continue reading

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Army: Def’s housing was under control of the Ft. Benning Cmdr and the search authorization was valid

The search authorization by the base commander was issued with probable cause. Defendant’s housing in a separate property with Ft. Benning was part of the base and was a sub-property of the Ranger school. The commander’s authority extended to it, … Continue reading

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CA4: More than one person can have authority to issue command authorized search under Mil.R.Evid. 315(d)

Defendant was subjected to a command authorized search under Mil.R.Evid. 315(d). He argues that the definition of who is in control to authorize the search isn’t clear. Well, it isn’t, but that doesn’t mean that multiple people might not fit … Continue reading

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A.F.Ct.Crim.App.: Forced catherization violated MRE 312(f) and exclusionary rule applied

Appellant was a JAG officer under medical treatment taking drugs, but those drugs interacted with alcohol and led to a DUI and a charge of being drunk on duty. A blood sample was obtained by medical personnel. Her urine, however, … Continue reading

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GA: Remanded for findings on whether def consented to forensics search of his cell phone

Defendant was on the state sex offender registry, and he was subject to compliance checks. Six officers from two agencies came to his house for his compliance review and they talked to him. They were lawfully on the premises under … Continue reading

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A.F.Ct.Crim.App.: Retest of inconclusive UA was reasonable

The military judge erred in suppressing the results of a second “reinspection” UA administered as a base protocol after a first UA after an AWOL come up positive, diluted, or inconclusive. It was a reasonable command imposed requirement. United States … Continue reading

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E.D.Va.: While def’s Navy commander in CA couldn’t authorize military search on a base in VA, GFE applies

Defendant was in the Navy, and, due to a potential rape allegation against him, a pretext text message was sent to him by NCIS on behalf of the alleged victim. Defendant was stationed in San Diego, but he was in … Continue reading

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N.-M. Ct.Crim.App.: Trial judge’s findings on deterrence for exclusion lacking, so remanded

Defendant was charged in Washington state court with child pornography after he was arrested in a prostitution sting and police obtained access to his cell phone by getting his password. The state court suppressed the search of the cell phone, … Continue reading

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Army Ct.Crim.App.: SW for evidence of sex abuse on computer didn’t include child porn

A military search warrant for evidence of “attempted sexual abuse of a child, abusive sexual contact with a child and other offenses related” did not include child pornography. When child pornography was found, another warrant was required, and CID didn’t … Continue reading

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CA4: Feres doctrine barred Army NG officer’s § 1983 email search claim when he was deployed

Plaintiff was a Colonel in the North Carolina Army National Guard stationed in Kuwait, and he claimed that his email was unlawfully searched by another officer and forwarded around in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. The Feres doctrine, requiring … Continue reading

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CAAF: AFB gate security officer wasn’t AFOSI, so his involvement was private search on day off

Defendant’s wife enlisted aid from a family friend at an Air Force base who was in the gate security forces, and he wasn’t a criminal investigator. At the time all this arose, she was there for social purposes. The court … Continue reading

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