CA2: SW for computers doesn’t require they be specifically identified

The Fourth Amendment does not require that a search warrant for computers specifically identify them [because that’s not possible]. A search warrant to seize computers permits their search under Rule 41. United States v. Beal, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 9056 (2d Cir. Apr. 11, 2018):

As to Beal’s first argument, we are not persuaded. Beal cites no authority for the proposition that, to comport with the Fourth Amendment’s particularity requirement, a warrant must identify computers and electronic media as “places to be searched,” as opposed to only items to be seized. In any event, we agree with the district court that the “searches in this case [fell] within the particularized, authorized scope of the warrant, and thus did not violate the Fourth Amendment.” Sp. App. 11. In its authorization as to “the property to be seized,” the warrant stated “See Attachment B,” App. 34; Attachment B stated that “[t]he authorization includes the search of electronic data” App. 35; see, e.g., Groh v. Ramirez, 540 U.S. 551, 557-58, 124 S. Ct. 1284, 157 L. Ed. 2d 1068 (2004) (explaining that courts may construe warrants with reference to supporting documents that are attached to the warrant and incorporated by reference). Additionally, by expressly authorizing the search of Dacobe and the seizure of electronic devices evidencing violations of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A, the warrant authorized the search of those items for evidence. See, e.g., Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(e)(2)(B) (“Unless otherwise specified, the warrant authorizes a later review of the media or information consistent with the warrant.”).

This entry was posted in Computer searches, Particularity. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.