Category Archives: Border search

W.D.Wash.: Test-firing a firearm to help identify it is a reasonable search

“The Court concludes the test-firing of the weapon was a search. It was test-fired for one sole purpose and that was to gain identifying data on the retained shell casing for subsequent submission to a database of shell casings obtained … Continue reading

Posted in Administrative search, Border search, Reasonable suspicion, Search | Comments Off on W.D.Wash.: Test-firing a firearm to help identify it is a reasonable search

CA1 upholds border search of electronic devices

Alasaad v. Mayorkas, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 3586 (1st Cir. Feb. 9, 2021):

Posted in Border search, Cell phones | Comments Off on CA1 upholds border search of electronic devices

ABAJ: Immigration lawyer sues over seizure of his cellphone at airport

ABAJ: Immigration lawyer sues over seizure of his cellphone at airport by Debra Cassens Weiss (“Texas immigration lawyer Adam A. Malik has sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for seizing and retaining his iPhone when he returned to the … Continue reading

Posted in Border search, Cell phones | Comments Off on ABAJ: Immigration lawyer sues over seizure of his cellphone at airport

D.VI.: CBP questions at border like “Did you pack the bag yourself” not subject to Miranda

Questions at Customs “Is this your bag?”; “Did you pack the bag yourself?”; and “Are you carrying anything for anyone?” are not subject to Miranda. They related to admissibility of the traveler. United States v. Bailey, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading

Posted in Border search | Comments Off on D.VI.: CBP questions at border like “Did you pack the bag yourself” not subject to Miranda

CNS: Judges Grapple With Phone, Laptop Searches at US Customs

CNS: Judges Grapple With Phone, Laptop Searches at US Customs by Thomas Harrison (“The First Circuit struggled Tuesday with a policy that lets border agents look through the phones or laptops of travelers returning from abroad.”)

Posted in Border search, Cell phones, Computer and cloud searches | Comments Off on CNS: Judges Grapple With Phone, Laptop Searches at US Customs

CA9: The fact CBP had RS doesn’t mean it’s required for a border dog sniff

“The fact that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers had reasonable suspicion cannot serve to heighten the standard attached to the border search.” The use of a drug dog at the border doesn’t require reasonable suspicion. United States v. Meraz-Campos, … Continue reading

Posted in Attenuation, Border search, Dog sniff, Reasonable suspicion | Comments Off on CA9: The fact CBP had RS doesn’t mean it’s required for a border dog sniff

S.D.Fla.: Helping Canada comply with a US MLAT request doesn’t make it a joint venture

Merely helping Canadian law enforcement comply with an MLAT request from the United States was not a joint venture. United States v. Kachkar, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 222738 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 30, 2020). Defendant’s cell phone was seized at the … Continue reading

Posted in Border search, Foreign searches, Warrant execution | Comments Off on S.D.Fla.: Helping Canada comply with a US MLAT request doesn’t make it a joint venture

CA9: 911 call about man waving a gun justified stop at gunpoint and handcuffing

Officers’ display of firearms and handcuffing defendant in a detention after a 911 call of a man waving a gun was reasonable under Terry. United States v. Hearns, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 37363 (9th Cir. Nov. 27, 2020). Defendant was … Continue reading

Posted in Border search, Stop and frisk | Comments Off on CA9: 911 call about man waving a gun justified stop at gunpoint and handcuffing

KS: Looking in purse of unconscious driver was reasonable

The emergency aid exception applied: “Officer Brown searched Smith’s purse seeking Smith’s identity and any information that would explain the nature of Smith’s condition and the best means of treating it. When the officer made this decision, the paramedics were … Continue reading

Posted in § 1983 / Bivens, Border search, Community caretaking function, Emergency / exigency | Comments Off on KS: Looking in purse of unconscious driver was reasonable

WaPo: Senators seek IG probe of border agency’s warrantless use of phone location data

WaPo: Senators seek IG probe of border agency’s warrantless use of phone location data by Drew Harswell (“In August, Customs and Border Protection subscribed to a service that reports the location of cellphones to businesses.”)

Posted in Border search, Cell phones | Comments Off on WaPo: Senators seek IG probe of border agency’s warrantless use of phone location data

CA5: RS required for border search of digital devices

Based on some other circuits, digital forensic searches require at least reasonable suspicion and no warrant. Defendant’s digital search complied with the rules of other circuits, so it was at least in good faith. United States v. Aguilar, 2020 U.S. … Continue reading

Posted in Border search, Cell phones, Reasonable suspicion | Comments Off on CA5: RS required for border search of digital devices

NY2: CBP had RS for computer search for CP on def’s return through customs

Defendant was an airline pilot. HSI conducted a child pornography search at a residence in Texas that had an IP address associated with defendant, but none was found. Reasonably believing he had child pornography on his devices, they found he … Continue reading

Posted in Border search, Computer and cloud searches, Reasonable suspicion | Comments Off on NY2: CBP had RS for computer search for CP on def’s return through customs

CA3: Border search exception applies to VI traveler, headed no matter which way

The border search exception applies to travel to and from the Virgin Islands, no matter which way the traveler is going. United States v. Baxter, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 5341 (3d Cir. Feb. 21, 2020). Detention center officer’s two-handed shove … Continue reading

Posted in Border search, Excessive force | Comments Off on CA3: Border search exception applies to VI traveler, headed no matter which way

WaPo: Mexican national arrested in Florida on accusation of spying for Russia

WaPo: Mexican national arrested in Florida on accusation of spying for Russia by Brittany Shammas. The story describes a border exit search:

Posted in Border search, Cell phones | Comments Off on WaPo: Mexican national arrested in Florida on accusation of spying for Russia

The Daily Report/Law.com: Commentary: What If a Border Agent Seeks Your Smartphone That Includes Client Secrets?

The Daily Report/Law.com: Commentary: What If a Border Agent Seeks Your Smartphone That Includes Client Secrets? (“Consider these issues to maintain privilege and confidentiality during international travel.”)

Posted in Border search, Privileges | Comments Off on The Daily Report/Law.com: Commentary: What If a Border Agent Seeks Your Smartphone That Includes Client Secrets?

D.N.M.: Govt fails in burden of showing consent. Was “yes” acknowledgement of statement to def or assent to search?

The government fails in its burden to show consent to a patdown of defendant’s person. There was a language barrier, and previous questions and statements were translated, but this one wasn’t. “Even though that defendant said ‘yes’ in response to … Continue reading

Posted in Border search, Consent, Reasonable suspicion | Comments Off on D.N.M.: Govt fails in burden of showing consent. Was “yes” acknowledgement of statement to def or assent to search?

CA11: Border search of disabled vessel towed to port obviated need to decide warrantless planting of GPS on it

Defendant’s vessel broke down off West Palm Beach, and CBP boarded it when it was towed in for a border search. Nothing was found, but various things about the boat, like it’s prior owner was a drug trafficker and defendant’s … Continue reading

Posted in Border search, GPS / Tracking Data, Inevitable discovery | Comments Off on CA11: Border search of disabled vessel towed to port obviated need to decide warrantless planting of GPS on it

D.V.I.: GFE applies to searches before the court held U.S. to V.I. packages weren’t border searches

Applying its prior Baxter case, the District of the Virgin Islands holds that the border search exception doesn’t apply to mail and packages shipped from the Continental U.S. The searches here, however, predated Baxter, so the good faith exception applies. … Continue reading

Posted in Border search, Good faith exception, Staleness | Comments Off on D.V.I.: GFE applies to searches before the court held U.S. to V.I. packages weren’t border searches

CA9: Three-month-old information about where probationer lived wasn’t stale for probation search

Probation officers could rely on a three-month-old list that showed defendant’s brother lived there and he was on probation. The list was not stale because there was no suggestion the brother’s tenancy was transitory. Defendant’s claim the probation search as … Continue reading

Posted in Border search, Mail and packages, Probation / Parole search, Staleness | Comments Off on CA9: Three-month-old information about where probationer lived wasn’t stale for probation search

D.Mass.: Border searches of electronic devices are non-routine, and they require reasonable suspicion

Border searches of electronic devices are non-routine, and they require reasonable suspicion. Alasaad v. NielsenAlasaad v. Nielsen, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195556 (D. Mass. Nov. 12, 2019):

Posted in Border search, Reasonable suspicion | Comments Off on D.Mass.: Border searches of electronic devices are non-routine, and they require reasonable suspicion