Category Archives: Cell phones

NY: Second SW for phone a year later after first SW failed to show PC wasn’t timely

The first cell phone search warrant was rejected for lack of probable cause. It only provided a generic description of cell phones as repositories of potential evidence without linking it to this case. The phone was still in the evidence … Continue reading

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GA: Not objecting to mention of “probation” search at trial was not IAC

Not objecting to defendant’s probation status where it came up as a probation search was not unreasonable. Plus, it would have otherwise come in. “Hutcheson’s probation status was thus necessary to complete the State’s story of the crime. Trial counsel’s … Continue reading

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Techdirt: Judge Tosses Evidence After Government Took More Than Three Years To Crack A Suspect’s Phone

Techdirt: Judge Tosses Evidence After Government Took More Than Three Years To Crack A Suspect’s Phone by Tim Cushing (“A robbery/kidnapping case allegedly implicating business owner and immigrant Evgeni Kopankov has resulted in the government losing the evidence it took … Continue reading

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OH3: Invalid admin SW was saved by GFE

An administrative search warrant issued under the state criminal procedure law was invalid because of limits on who could request and serve a warrant (i.e., law enforcement officers and prosecutors). However, the good faith exception applies to administrative warrants, too. … Continue reading

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CA7: Home confinement sentence included a valid search waiver

Defendant was serving a home confinement sentence that included a search waiver. Officers developed reasonable suspicion of another crime and a violation of living conditions. The search was reasonable. United States v. Beechler, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 12312 (7th Cir. … Continue reading

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N.D.Cal.: “A small constitutional violation is no less a constitutional violation” here a cell phone search that is suppressed

The government attempted to access defendant’s cell phone in the jurisdiction but couldn’t. It sent it to Quantico for a “brute force” password attempt that could involve 1,000,000 combinations with waiting periods defined by the software they installed. Some brute … Continue reading

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S.D.N.Y.: Copying cell phone at border was unreasonable, but GFE and a later SW saved it

Defendant’s cell phone was copied when he came back to Newark airport after a flight to Jamaica. “As such, the Court concludes that the Government may not copy and search an American citizen’s cell phone at the border without a … Continue reading

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N.D.Ill.: Passenger in car had standing to challenge search of his own bag during stop

Defendant had standing to challenge the search of his own bag when he was riding in someone else’s car. The protective sweep of the car, however, was based on reasonable suspicion and finding an ammunition box was plain view. United … Continue reading

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MN: Purse in car could be searched under automobile exception

The warrantless search of defendant’s purse was lawful under the automobile exception because there was probable cause to believe that the car contained a controlled substance, and the purse was a container within that car. State v. Barrow, 2023 Minn. … Continue reading

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TN: By killing one’s host, guest standing is lost

By attacking and killing his hosts, his parents, defendant lost guest standing, if he would have had it at all. Police conducted a welfare check and found severed body parts in plastic tubs and on the stove, including a head … Continue reading

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CA9: Mere typo in SW affidavit doesn’t support Franks challenge

Defendant’s Franks challenge was conclusory and based on mere typographical errors. United States v. Howard, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 9069 (9th Cir. Apr. 17, 2023). Habeas petitioner’s admission of procedural default of his Fourth Amendment claim was an admission there … Continue reading

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PA: SW for flashlight app data on cell phone sustained

The affidavits for search warrant for this cell phone were overbroad as to what was sought lacking probable cause except for location data and use of the flashlight function. Defendant was accused of using the flashlight on his cell phone … Continue reading

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NY Richmond Co.: Mere possession of a cell phone while committing an assault isn’t PC for the phone

Defendant’s possession of a cell phone at the time of his allegedly committing an assault was not probable cause to search the phone. Motion to suppress granted as to it. People v. Vergara, 2023 NY Slip Op 23083, 2023 N.Y. … Continue reading

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S.D.W.Va.: This border search of cell phone was routine, despite taking 4 hours

The border search of defendant’s cell phone was routine and reasonable and didn’t need reasonable suspicion. He provided the passcode, and the phone was on airplane mode so it did not go outside the phone. United States v. Tick Chin, … Continue reading

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OR: For particularity in electronic devices, specify what will be found

In Oregon, “For searches of electronic devices, a warrant is specific enough to satisfy the particularity requirement if it ‘describe[s], with as much specificity as reasonably possible under the circumstances, what investigating officers believe will be found’ on the device, … Continue reading

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D.Kan.: Not responding to govt’s 4A alternative arguments de facto waiver

The government’s alterative theories to support the search were sufficient to avoid even deciding a good faith mistake of fact by the officers. Moreover, defendant never addressed the government’s alternative arguments in his briefing. United States v. Bell-Johnson, 2023 U.S. … Continue reading

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D.Idaho: Def can’t get access to his cell phone yet because govt has yet to search it because it’s password protected

Defendant wants return of his cell phone because he asserts, without specifying, that there is exculpatory evidence on it. The government responds that it hasn’t opened the phone yet because it is password protected. The government wants the password to … Continue reading

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OR: Cell phone SW in part for “evidence related to the crimes under investigation” was overbroad

The search warrant for defendant’s cell phone was specific as to particular images but general as to others, and it is suppressed as to the others. “The fact that the media command limited the media search to ‘evidence related to … Continue reading

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TX: Totality of circumstances applies to exigency on warrantless seizure of cell phone

“Rather than announcing a categorical rule that police may never seize personal property simply because a criminal suspect knows he is a suspect, the court of appeals should have analyzed under the totality of the circumstances whether law enforcement’s seizure … Continue reading

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What we think of our reasonable expectation of privacy in cell phones

U.Chi. School of Law: The Myth of Fourth Amendment Circularity by Matthew B. Kugler & Lior Jacob Strahilevitz:

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