CA11: Def’s failure to claim cell phone once it was released was abandonment

Police released defendant’s cell phone two days after its seizure, but defendant never sought to recover it. This was considered an abandonment. Standing to challenge CSLI could be an issue because the phones weren’t claimed, but, without deciding that, the order for the date in 2013 complied with existing law so good faith applies. The same applies to real time tracking information. United States v. Green, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 25388 (11th Cir. Aug. 11, 2020). [Note: There’s a serious problem with this abandonment rationale: How does the person from whom the cell phone was seized know that the phone was released? In my experience, the police almost never tell the owner that they are done with the phone, just like any other property they seize. They can’t call the owner because they have the phone, unless the owner got another phone with the same number, but how would the police know that? Did they ship it back to him? Never. Abandonment is an exception to the warrant requirement, so the government would have to prove it and that defendant was on actual notice that the phone was released and then did nothing to recover it.]

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