MN: Defense SDT for victim’s cell phone was not a 4A issue but was governed by law of subpoenas

The defendant in a sex case sought a subpoena duces tecum for the alleged victim’s cell phone. The state responded that the Fourth Amendment requires probable cause and an order. The court declines to find that the Fourth Amendment applies in this context. The question is determined by the law of subpoenas on relevance, materiality, admissibility, and invasion of privacy. In re B.H., 2020 Minn. LEXIS 357 (July 29, 2020):

We conclude that a factual analysis of the totality of the circumstances is appropriate here. District courts faced with a victim’s motion to quash or to modify a subpoena that was sought under subdivision 2(c) must make a determination whether compliance is unreasonable given the totality of the circumstances.9 The circumstances to be considered will depend on the case at hand and may include, but are not limited to: the relevance and materiality of the records sought; the specific need of the defendant for the records and whether they are otherwise procurable; the admissibility or usefulness of the records, including whether they can be used for impeachment of a material witness; whether the request is made in good faith and is not a fishing expedition; and the burden on the party producing the information, including the privacy interests of the victim.10

9 If a district court determines that, based on the totality of the circumstances, compliance with the subpoena is not generally unreasonable, then the court may well need to review the requested information in camera to determine whether any of it should be produced to the defendant. See Hummel, 483 N.W.2d at 72; Paradee, 403 N.W.2d at 642.

10 Although we do not adopt the multi-factor test from federal case law that B.H. endorses, federal courts have analyzed similar factors when determining whether compliance with a subpoena is reasonable. See, e.g., United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 699-700 (1974); United States v. Rand, 835 F.3d 451, 462 (4th Cir. 2016); United States v. Hardy, 224 F.3d 752, 755 (8th Cir. 2000).

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