Category Archives: Cell phones

M.D.Pa.: 13 month delay between seizure of 2 cell phones and their search was not unreasonable

13 month delay between seizure of two cell phones and their search was not unreasonable on the totality. United States v. Wright, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73534 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 16, 2021):

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WaPo: The FBI wanted to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. It turned to a little-known Australian firm

WaPo: The FBI wanted to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. It turned to a little-known Australian firm by Ellen Nakashima and Reed Albergotti (“Azimuth unlocked the iPhone at the center of an epic legal battle between the FBI and … Continue reading

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N.D.Iowa: 27 month delay in seeking SW for cell phone was unreasonable, and GFE not applied

A 27 month delay in getting a search warrant for defendant’s cell phone was unreasonable, and the good faith exception is not applied. United States v. Tu Anh Nguyen, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70671 (N.D. Iowa Mar. 16, 2021):

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S.D.N.Y.: Defense counsel giving passcode to def’s cell phone at AUSA’s request wasn’t consent; merely avoiding delay of decryption

An AUSA’s request of defense counsel for defendant’s cell phone’s passcode was not a request for consent. It was merely to avoid the delay of decryption. United States v. Mangini, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66764 (S.D. N.Y. Apr. 6, 2021):

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OR: SW for evidence of murder on cell phone was general search as to its pictures

The search warrant for defendant’s cell phone permitted officers to search for location information, texts, and calls around the time of the murder. It also permitted a search for evidence of attempted murder. Officers found a picture of a gun … Continue reading

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DE: Wiretap info in affidavit for SW showed nexus to cell phone

The affidavit showed probable cause for the search warrant, and nexus to his cell phone and the crime under investigation is shown in a wiretap. Anderson v. State, 2021 Del. LEXIS 121 (Mar. 30, 2021).* Defendant did not show a … Continue reading

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W.D.N.Y.: Calling def to scene of SW execution does not permit search of def’s phone in SW for house

Defendant came to meet the police at their request after talking to them on his cell phone. They had probable cause to believe that the phone had evidence on it. Since he came in without the phone on him, it … Continue reading

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N.-M.: Cell phone can’t be searched when it was directed to be brought to the place of SW execution

Having one’s cell phone on his person and being directed to come to the scene of the search under a military search authorization [equivalent to a search warrant] does not permit search and seizure of the phone under Summers and … Continue reading

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E.D.N.Y.: SW for email on devices as evidence of wire fraud permits seizure and search of the devices

Where the crux of a wire fraud is provable by email, a search warrant for defendant’s electronic devices was reasonable because cell phones and computers would likely have email access on them. That was just common sense, and the affiant … Continue reading

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D.Conn.: When govt raises an exception to warrant requirement, def must rebut in briefing, but cell phone seizure shown unjustified

In response to defendant’s motion to suppress, the government argued search incident, which the defense didn’t rebut in the papers. Motion denied in part. Defendant’s cell phone seizure is suppressed, however, because the government didn’t show justification for its seizure. … Continue reading

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OH5: Def didn’t abandon cell phone but it was still reasonable for officer to turn it on to see if he could ID owner

Defendant did not abandon his cell phone by leaving it charging in a vehicle (actually, it had fallen out but the charging cable was attached) where he was away from it. However, the officer reasonably could turn on the phone … Continue reading

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CA7: Pre-Riley warrantless cell phone search saved by GFE

Defendant’s cell phone was searched without a warrant pre-Riley under law at the time. “If the evidence collected during the search was to be admitted, he contends, it was only through the application of the good-faith exception recognized in Davis … Continue reading

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CT: Police knowledge def’s cell phone was used to communicate with co-conspirators and victim was justification for seizure then SW

There were exigent circumstances for seizure of defendant’s cell phone incident to his arrest and probable cause for a search warrant to search it. The police developed information that the conspirators communicated with the victim by phone before the crime. … Continue reading

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FL5: Compelled production of cell phone passcode was moot point for lack of prejudice

Defendant claims she was forced to give up her cell phone passcode in violation of the Fifth Amendment would state a ground for reversal in this Florida district, but she doesn’t show what came from the phone into the trial. … Continue reading

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UT: Suspect has a 5A right to not give up unlock code to cell phone

Defendant had a Fifth Amendment right to not give up the unlock code to his cell phone. Utah declines to apply the foregone conclusion exception to the Fifth Amendment to attempt to require a suspect to give up his cell … Continue reading

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IN: Cell phone seized under SW could be searched later than the deadline in the warrant

The state had the forfeiture claimant’s cell phone in hand, but didn’t actually search it within the limit of the warrant. This was reasonable, following Wolf v. State, 266 P.3d 1169, 1174 (Idaho Ct. App. 2011). Brown v. Eaton, 2021 … Continue reading

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CA1 upholds border search of electronic devices

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

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CA6: SW for CP was completely lacking and GFE didn’t apply; no basis at all to search cell phone

A state search warrant was issued for alleged child porn on defendant’s computer and cell phone, and the district court suppressed for a clear lack of probable cause. The computer search required too many inferences to make probable cause. The … Continue reading

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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

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A.F.: Particularity and avoiding general warrants in electronic searches

“In charting how to apply the Fourth Amendment to searches of electronic devices, we glean from our reading of the case law a zone in which such searches are expansive enough to allow investigators access to places where incriminating materials … Continue reading

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