Category Archives: Cell phones

IA: Shots fired call where officers heard of a man slumped over a railing and saw cars struck by bullets was exigent circumstances for entry

The community caretaking function justified the warrantless entry here into defendant’s apartment. Officers responded to a shots fired call at an apartment complex, saw bullet damage to cars, and had a report of a person slumped over a balcony railing. … Continue reading

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TX4: Def counsel sought access to complaining witness’s cell phone; denied for lack of parental participation

The defense in a criminal case in its investigation sought access to the complainant’s cell phone as a part of the defense investigation. Ordering production of the phone without input from the child’s parents, however, was an abuse of discretion. … Continue reading

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CA9: PC determination in underlying criminal case precludes review in later § 1983 case

Plaintiff’s probable cause determination in his underlying criminal case was given preclusive effect in his later § 1983 case. Wilcox v. City of L.A., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 24350 (9th Cir. Aug. 29, 2022). Plaintiff overcame qualified immunity. “Under Louisiana … Continue reading

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D.D.C.: DC USMJ can issue SW for iPhone in Texas in domestic terrorism investigation

A USMJ in the District of Columbia has authority to issue a search warrant for an iPhone in Texas in a domestic terrorism investigation tied to the January 6th attack on the Capitol. In the Matter of the Search of … Continue reading

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MD: Full searches of cell phones can be a general search; there must be particularity or time limitation

Blanket full searches of cell phones without a particularity or time limitation can violate the Fourth Amendment and become a general search. It is suggested there be a search protocol if possible to limit the officers’ discretion. Despite all those … Continue reading

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DDC: Delay in return of seized cell phone not necessarily unreasonable; Rule 41(g) provides procedural due process

DC Metro police seized numerous cell phones from BLM protestors, and they sued to recover them. The DC police policy wasn’t followed, but only by negligence, and that doesn’t state a claim against it. Rule 41(g) applies despite lack of … Continue reading

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CAAF: Loaning your cell phone to another doesn’t grant common authority to consent to a search

Defendant loaned his phone to another service member who accidentally discovered child pornography on it. The person the phone was loaned to had no common authority to consent to a search it. United States v. Black, 2022 CAAF LEXIS 614 … Continue reading

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D.D.C.: SW for documents permitted search of any place they could be, not just where def said they were

Officers executing a search warrant for evidence of animal abuse in Washington D.C. used a battering ram on the door without waiting for defendant to come to the door. They had a warrant for veterinary documents on the animals and … Continue reading

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CA5: Multiple cell phones found with a quantity of drugs creates inference phones are for drug trafficking

When multiple cell phones and drugs are found together in a car, it’s a reasonable conclusion the cell phones are related to drug trafficking. The search of the phones reasonably led to child porn. United States v. Morton, 2022 U.S. … Continue reading

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N.D.Ohio: PC showing raises the inference a cell phone was involved in crime for SW

“The affidavit also attempts to establish the link between the use of cell phones and the drug trafficking under investigation. Metzger’s warning to McFaul on social media, which presumably was accomplished through the use of an electronic device like a … Continue reading

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W.D.Mo.: 26 day delay in getting cell phone SW wasn’t unreasonable

A 26 day delay between seizure of a cell phone and issuance of a search warrant for it was not constitutionally unreasonable. Defendant’s motion for return of the phone is deferred until the trial is over. United States v. Brown, … Continue reading

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D.Neb.: Towing a trailer to police station to execute a SW on it was reasonable

Police had probable cause that a sexual assault occurred in defendant’s trailer, so they seized it to get a search warrant. Before executing the warrant, they had it towed to a police station. Defendant was in jail and had no … Continue reading

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OK: 5A’s foregone conclusion rule applies to passcodes

The foregone conclusion rule applies to defendant’s Fifth Amendment claim revealing the password to his electronics would incriminate him. Reynolds v. State, 2022 OK CR 14, 2022 Okla. Crim. App. LEXIS 14 (Aug. 4, 2022):

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FL2: Civil contempt for not providing cell phone passcode affirmed; 4A issue not yet ripe because no charges yet filed

“Finding no merit in any of Marvin Harris’ arguments, we affirm the order below holding him in indirect civil contempt for refusing to provide the passcode to access his iPhone in connection with a search warrant.” He has yet to … Continue reading

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N-M: Cell phone search authorization for one day produced 200,000 images; but still not unreasonable because of how it was done

The search authorization for defendant’s cell phone for location data and images for a particular date was supported by probable cause. The Cellebrite download included 200,000 images, far more than the day in question. While looking for the day in … Continue reading

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D.Md.: Cell phone dump on a SW wasn’t shown to be overbroad

A cell phone dump after a search warrant wasn’t necessarily overbroad, and didn’t show it. “More particularity was impractical, and was not required.” United States v. Nelson, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125994 (D. Md. July 15, 2022). Officers who used … Continue reading

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S.D.Ind.: Inordinate delay in producing cell phone search discovery doesn’t justify dismissal

The government’s untimely discovery response to defendant’s repeated requests for the product of his cell phone search doesn’t warrant dismissal of the indictment. Probable cause was shown for the cell phone search, and the motion to suppress is denied. United … Continue reading

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GA: Trial questions about SW affidavit properly excluded where officer didn’t prepare affidavit

Trial questions to one officer about alleged false statements in a search warrant affidavit attributed to him but where it was not written by him were excluded. This was not an abuse of discretion since he wasn’t the affiant. Harris … Continue reading

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NE: “Probable cause may be based on commonsense conclusions about human behavior.”

There was probable cause for this search warrant for defendant’s cell phone found where a window peeper dropped it in flight from being seen at the window. The warrant was particular, and video of a sleeping woman being sexually abused … Continue reading

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E.D.Mo.: Cell phone passcode was provided by consent; alternatively, inevitable discovery applies

Defendant consented to providing his passcode to his cell phone. Even if not, it was admissible because of inevitable discovery. United States v. Morales, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104053 (E.D.Mo. June 10, 2022).* “Defendant’s contention that his right to due … Continue reading

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