W.D.N.Y.: Despite bad SW drafting, text messages are “records” in a cell phone

“[N]otwithstanding the warrant’s poor grammar and ‘unwieldy’ language,” the court finds that text messages are included within the definition of “records” in the defendant’s cell phone. United States v. Swinton, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62172 (W.D. N.Y. April 24, 2017):

… Although text messages are not expressly referenced in that language, they plainly fall within the scope of “records” that are “contained in a cellular telephone.” Indeed, it would be unlikely that an examiner could ascertain whether a contact contained on a cellular telephone was associated with a person from whom cocaine is purchased and sold—which plainly fell within the scope of the warrant—without reviewing the substance of the communications involving the person, as reflected by a text message. Moreover, the identifying information contained within a text message (such as telephone numbers and/or contact information) would fall within the scope of the warrant even if not specifically listed in the phone’s contact section, to the same extent as a telephone bill (specifically referenced in the warrant) reflecting itemized information concerning calls made and received. …

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