TX14: Def had no standing in cell phone he gave to his girlfriend

Defendant had no standing in a cell phone that he gave to his girlfriend and referred to as her cell phone. It was stolen from her and searched to locate the possible owner, and the phone had video of defendant committing sexual assault on a child. Grant v. State, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 9135 (Tex. App. – Houston (14th Dist.) Sept. 28, 2017).

Defendant was a civilian dispatcher for a local police department and another one picked up defendant’s cell phone to play a practical joke on him and discovered child pornography stored in the phone. He was acting as a private person then and not as a law enforcement functionary. Actually, the issue doesn’t even have to be decided because the practical joke didn’t make it a law enforcement search. It was all in good faith and not unreasonable. State v. Spray, 2017 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 874 (Sept. 26, 2017).*

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