D.Nev.: No REP in prescription drug database from police inspection

Defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the Nevada prescription drug database because he willingly provided the information to the doctor and the pharmacist, and the police need cause to get access. United States v. Motley, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39974 (D. Nev. Mar. 6, 2020):

But even assuming that Motley did have a subjective expectation of privacy in his database information, that expectation was not reasonable. First, the PMP database and the information contained within are maintained by a governmental entity (the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy) entirely outside of Motley’s control. The Supreme Court’s decision in Whalen established that States have a compelling interest in ensuring that prescription medication is not mishandled or abused within their borders, and a digital monitoring database is one permissible way of achieving that objective. Whalen v. Roe, 429 U.S. 589, 597, 97 S. Ct. 869, 51 L. Ed. 2d 64 (1977). The Nevada State Board of Pharmacy grants law enforcement access to a suspect’s information when they suspect illegal activity involving prescription drugs. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 453.165 (2020). By the time the disclosure occurred in July 2018, Motley had already voluntarily released his information to multiple third parties—the prescribing physician (Math), the pharmacy technicians who filled his order, and the governmental entity that operates the PMP database. The Supreme Court has held that the “Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the obtaining of information revealed to a third party and conveyed by [the third party] to government authorities, even if the information is revealed on the assumption that it will be used only for a limited purpose and the confidence placed in the third party will not be betrayed.” U.S. v. Miller, 425 U.S. 435, 443 (1976), 96 S. Ct. 1619, 48 L. Ed. 2d 71. This concept is referred to as the third-party doctrine.

This entry was posted in Reasonable expectation of privacy, Third Party Doctrine. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.