N.D.Iowa: Use of fictitious name on package doesn’t deny standing

A person using a fictitious name to send or receive a package still has standing in the package, collecting cases on both sides. In this case, there was reasonable suspicion to divert the package in transit. United States v. Yodprasit, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39316 (N.D. Iowa Mar. 6, 2020):

While this issue is unsettled, I agree with Judge Mahoney, and the Seventh Circuit in Pitts, that an individual can have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a package sent to the individual using an alias or fictitious name. The Seventh Circuit in Pitts aptly explained that “there are a number of legitimate reasons that a person might wish to send or receive a package using a nom de plume.” Pitts, 322 F.3d at 457-58. The Seventh Circuit reasoned that individuals who use an alias for legitimate reasons should not lose their expectation of privacy simply because others use an alias for illicit reasons. Id. at 458. The court further rejected the argument that those who employ an alias for illicit purposes, but not those who use one for legitimate reasons, lose their expectation of privacy in mailings because the “illegal contents of the package serve as an after-the-fact justification for a search” and this “turn[s] the Fourth Amendment on its head.” Id.

This entry was posted in Mail and packages, Standing. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.