D.N.M.: No return of seized phone of election denier lawyer

Plaintiff is a self-described “constitutional lawyer,” and his claim the search warrant for phone wasn’t particular enough or that he had a right to see the warrant to point out defects to the officer before execution is denied. It was; he doesn’t (and effectively admitted it). Eastman v. United States, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125896 (D.N.M. July 15, 2022):

Finally, Eastman contends that the warrant is facially invalid because it does not mention any particular crime for which the evidence was sought. (Doc. 6 at 14.) He does not cite any authority on point. (See id.) The Court agrees that a warrant authorizing a search of electronic devices must specify the type of files or the crime for which evidence is sought. See, e.g., Riccardi, 405 F.3d at 862. Without such particularity, agents could “search for anything—from child pornography to tax returns to private correspondence.” Id. at 863. But had the warrant here authorized the agents to seize only those electronics that were connected to a particular crime, then the agents would have arguably needed to search the electronics on site to verify that evidence of the crime was present. As such a search would likely be impractical, the agents’ procedure of obtaining one warrant for seizure, and a second, more particular warrant for search, appears to fall within the confines of the Fourth Amendment. Eastman fails to carry his burden to show a likelihood of success on the merits of his Fourth Amendment claim.

As to the claim he could examine the warrant before the search see n.3:

Eastman also argues that the agent’s refusal to provide him with a copy of the warrant at the outset of the encounter violated his Fourth Amendment rights. (Doc. 6 at 15.) He acknowledges, though, that the Supreme Court has noted in a footnote “that neither the Fourth Amendment nor Rule 41 … requires the executing officer to serve the warrant on the owner before commencing the search.” (Id. (quoting Groh, 540 U.S. at 562 n.5)).) The Court finds that Eastman has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of this point.

See Above the Law: John Eastman Can Cry On Fox About Being Treated Worse Than A Drug Dealer, But The FBI’s Not Giving His Phone Back, by Liz Dye recounting his claim he was entitled to point out the “constitutional infirmities.” Except an officer executing a warrant doesn’t care what the target says unless it’s incriminating.

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