Category Archives: Prison and jail searches

S.D.N.Y.: Ptf prisoner pled enough to survive motion to dismiss because of an unnecessary and potentially abusive strip search

Prison search case: “Plaintiff alleges that his clothes were ripped off during the assault, he was left naked on the floor with his boxers barely on, and the C.E.R.T. Defendants searched him ‘without any [l]egitimate penological purpose for the strip … Continue reading

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CA8: Alleged degrading strip search of transgender inmate stated claim

An allegedly retaliatory prison strip search alleged to be degrading and too intrusive stated a claim and survived qualified immunity on the Fourth Amendment but not the First Amendment retaliation claim. The inmate was transgender transitioning to female. Beard v. … Continue reading

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N.D.N.Y.: Strip search of transgender woman going into jail who might bond out was reasonable

Strip search of a transgender woman going into custody was reasonable, even though she’d likely bail out soon. “Applying Florence to this case, the Court finds that JCCF’s policy is consistent with the Fourth Amendment. Although JCCF’s institutional safety concerns … Continue reading

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W.D.Pa.: Prisoners stated 4A claim for recording of attorney-client calls

Prison inmates stated a claim where their prison calls to their lawyers were recorded by the provider without their knowledge. “ICS’ contention that the recording here was proper because inmates have a lowered expectation of privacy is inapplicable. First, while … Continue reading

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D.S.C.: Speeding stop justified even if dashcam video is inconclusive

The stop was justified: “In this case, although the dash cam footage is inconclusive of Officer Dudley’s visual estimate of speed, no evidence was put forth that cast doubt on Officer Dudley’s ability to estimate speed. Further, additional indicia of … Continue reading

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TX5: No binding authority says there’s a REP in an inmate’s jail medical records

There is no binding authority that a jail inmate has a reasonable expectation of privacy in his jail medical records, so the court finds the exclusionary rule shouldn’t apply. Quaschnick v. State, 2024 Tex. App. LEXIS 1108 (Tex. App. – … Continue reading

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DE: The PC for cell phone was limited to search history; SW otherwise overbroad

Defendant was accused of sexual contact with a four-year-old girl he was caring for. Her mother kicked him out of the house and sought a forensic exam of the child. A couple of days later, she found his cell phone … Continue reading

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OH1: Intercepted jail call led to def’s arrest and search when he showed up at co-def’s house to move drugs

Jailers intercepted a jail call between an inmate and a confederate outside who was told to move the drugs from his house. Police surveilled the house. When defendant showed up with a backpack and came out of the house, there … Continue reading

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N.D.Tex.: Video camera in pretrial detainee’s cell that showed the toilet was reasonable

“Ellis alleges that the placement of cameras in his cell that could record the toilet violated his Fourth Amendment right to privacy and constituted a state tort of invasion of privacy. ECF No. 19 at 19-22. But a pretrial detainee … Continue reading

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CA7: Surveillance cameras covering courthouse lockup toilets are reasonable

The use of surveillance cameras viewing the toilet areas of the Cook County Courthouse lockups are, on balance of the interests involved, reasonable. Alicea v. Cty. of Cook, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 33401 (7th Cir. Dec. 18, 2023):

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D.Utah: Def in jail can’t get unrecorded phone calls to nonlawyers to prepare for trial

Defendant seeks unrestricted phone access without recording, but not just to his lawyer or standby counsel–every call. No First, Fourth, or Sixth Amendment violation (limited to lawyers). United States v. Cromar, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215498 (D. Utah Dec. 4, … Continue reading

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W.D.Mich.: Inmate can’t claim a medical condition and then refuse testing on 4A grounds

Plaintiff inmate claims to have an allergy. The prison wanted to draw blood to confirm. “Plaintiff has failed to state a claim that the Defendants violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures when they … Continue reading

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E.D.Tex.: You can’t remove a state criminal case to federal court to decide your search and seizure question

One can’t remove a state criminal case to federal court via habeas to decide his search warrant motions. Washington v. 5th Dist. Court of Texas, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209404 (E.D. Tex. Oct. 10, 2023), adopted 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS … Continue reading

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S.D.Fla.: Scrolling through electronic devices at the border is reasonable in CA11

Merely scrolling through an electronic device at the border is a reasonable border search. United States v. Vrdoljak, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208332 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 20, 2023). The officer was incidentally following defendant, and he observed her driving within … Continue reading

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N.D.Iowa: Even though stop showed def wasn’t impaired, DL and LPN could still be run

Even though defendant apparently wasn’t driving impaired, once validly stopped, the officer could run DL and LPN checks. The dog sniff didn’t prolong the stop at all. United States v. Drayton, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206461 (N.D. Iowa Oct. 10, … Continue reading

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N.D.Cal.: No REP in a computer possessed in a halfway house

Plaintiff had no reasonable expectation of privacy in a computer given him by Goodwill for whom he worked while he was living in a halfway house. He was still an inmate of the BOP. “There is no reasonable or legitimate … Continue reading

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S.D.Cal.: A pending forfeiture action in another district justifies dismissal of Rule 41(g) motion because there is another remedy

This is a Rule 41(g) action for return of property, a superyacht owned by a Russian oligarch seized allegedly in violation of Russian sanctions. The next day, a forfeiture action was filed in the S.D.N.Y., and that provided an adequate … Continue reading

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IN: Patdown of man in medical distress before paramedics arrived was reasonable

Defendant’s patdown search when he was found lying in a parking lot in medical distress was objectively reasonable as an emergency search, if just for what was on him before paramedics arrived. Meth was found. Lack of a separate state … Continue reading

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M.D.Pa.: Police continually banging on def’s door to come out was seizure; no exigency applies; suppressed

Defendant fled from the police in his car in a highspeed chase. They went to his house and came on to defendant’s curtilage, his porch, and shined flashlights through the windows. This was a search on a constitutionally protected area. … Continue reading

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PA: State obligated to raise all possible issues in defense of warrantless search in trial court

The state is obliged to raise whatever issues it can in defense of a warrantless search at the hearing. Piecemeal litigation by motion to reconsider must be avoided. Commonwealth v. Smith, 2023 PA Super 205, 2023 Pa. Super. LEXIS 482 … Continue reading

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