D.R.I.: Warrantless ping of def’s cell phone was based on exigency of threatened suicide

Defendant sent texts suggesting he’d commit suicide rather than go to prison for child pornography, something he’d been involved with before. The officers had exigent circumstances to have his cell phone pinged to find him. There was a factual dispute on whether they merely seized but also searched the phone. The court credits that there was no search of the phone. United States v. Boudreau, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119072 (D. R.I. July 27, 2017):

It is, of course, anyone’s guess whether Mr. Boudreau actually intended to commit suicide, but that is not the point and thankfully not the inquiry. Instead, the Court asks whether “there is [a] reasonable belief that ‘swift action is required to safeguard life or prevent serious harm.”‘ United States v. Infante, 701 F.3d 386, 392 (1st Cir. 2012) (quoting United States v. Martins, 413 F.3d 139, 147 (1st Cir. 2005)). Here, the facts are replete with evidence approximating probable cause.

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