Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures and provides that warrants may only be granted upon findings of probable cause. The Fourth... more +
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures and provides that warrants may only be granted upon findings of probable cause. The Fourth Amendment applies to the States via the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Important areas of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence flow from questions surrounding the definitions of "search" and "seizure," the applicability of the Amendment to so-called "stop and frisk" situations, the level of control that must be exerted by law enforcement before an individual is deemed "seized," and the "exclusionary rule," just to name a few.    less -
News & Analysis as of

Esquivel v. City of Yuma

Jones, Skelton & Hochuli attorneys Michele Molinario and Amelia Esber prevailed by summary judgment in a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights action against the City of Yuma and one of its law enforcement officers. This case...more

House Sends Email Privacy Act Amendments to Senate

On April 29, 2016, in a 419-0 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to amend the 30-year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) to eliminate an exception to the government warrant requirement...more

Are Changes in Store for the Stored Communications Act?

Last week saw action on two fronts regarding the Stored Communications Act (SCA) – the US federal statute regulating government searches of online accounts in criminal investigations. In Congress, a proposal to reform the SCA...more

Microsoft Sues Justice Department Claiming Statute That Authorizes “Gag Orders” Is Unconstitutional

Adding to the number of recent, high-profile confrontations between the government and tech companies concerning the limits of government investigations and the protection of privacy interests, last week, Microsoft filed a...more

Government Access to Private Data: Microsoft Opens a New Front in the Battle for Consumer Privacy

Prior to the Information Age, sensitive papers were stored in file cabinets and drawers. When home computers arrived, information was digitized and moved to hard drives or other electronic media, still possessed by the user....more

Expanding Horizons: Drone Regulations from a Prosecutorial Perspective

BB&K attorney Jordan Ferguson writes about the criminal side of drones for the California District Attorneys Association’s Prosecutor’s Brief. Over the next few years, the skies are likely to get much more crowded....more

Caleb Wardrett v. City of Rocky Mount Police Department, Det. Clifton and Det. Denotter - United States District Court for the...

The federal court granted summary judgment for the City of Rocky Mount, its Police Department and detectives in a case brought against them under 42 USC §1983 where claims were asserted for malicious prosecution and false...more

An Important Check On The Abuse Of Government Authority

As citizens of a nation founded on the rule of law, we depend upon law enforcement and prosecutors to protect us from harm and from those who infringe our liberty. In exchange for this protection, we permit these public...more

Ninth Circuit Addresses Probationers’ Cell Phone Searches by Police

The centrality of cell phones to our daily lives, and the wide array of sensitive information those phones may carry, creates a complex and ever-evolving series of issues over the amount of privacy we can expect to be...more

Rival Court Decisions Reflect Shifting Views on Privacy in Public

With the spotlight on one high-profile battle that pits privacy rights against public safety interests, another crucial, similar dispute is making its way through the courts. How to evaluate new technology and its potential...more

Should Apple Always Have a Key to All iPhone Data? To Some iPhone Data?

On February 16, 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued an Order under the All Writs Act directing Apple Inc. to cooperate with efforts by the Federal...more

Police Make iPhone Public Enemy No. 1

FBI Director James Comey took a rare break from the posturing typical of investigators and prosecutors in the current showdown between Apple and the FBI. While prosecutors argue that Apple’s privacy concerns are a smokescreen...more

Federal Court Orders Apple to Unlock San Bernardino Gunman’s Phone

Apple must help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the attackers in the San Bernardino, Calif. assault in December, a federal magistrate judge ruled this week. The ruling handed the government an important victory in an...more

Supreme Court Update: Kansas V. Carr (14-449) And Order List

Wiggin and Dana just opened a shiny new office Washington, D.C., but it seems our arrival has been eclipsed by that of another force of nature in the nation's capital. Perhaps anxious to skip town before it's buried, the...more

Cellphone Searches After Riley v. California: Will This Landmark Decision Transform Hallowed Fourth and Fifth Amendment...

SUMMARY - In a seminal decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie that police need a warrant justified by probable cause to search a cellphone seized incident to lawful...more

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Might Foreshadow Expansion of the Qualified Immunity Defense in Excessive Force Cases

The past several years have seen a slew of high-profile excessive force cases, often highlighted by cell phone or dash-cam video. These cases have placed increasing pressure on local police departments, which continue to...more

Qualified Immunity and Deadly Car Chases: Is the Pendulum Heading the Other Way?

The past several years have seen a slew of high-profile excessive force cases against law enforcement officers, often highlighted by cell phone video. These cases have placed increasing pressure on local police departments,...more

Federal Judge Rules Against NSA Telephone Surveillance Program

On Monday, November 9, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled, in Klayman v. Obama, against part of the National Security Agency’s (“NSA”) surveillance program that collects domestic...more

California Enacts Electronic Communication Privacy Statute, Connected Television Privacy Statute

The California legislature recently enacted the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“CalECPA”) (Senate Bill 178), which provides greater protections against governmental searches for persons’ electronic...more

Supreme Court denies cert in case involving cell location privacy rights

On July 31, 2015, Quartavious Davis petitioned for certiorari in Davis v. United States, No. 15-146 asking (1) whether the acquisition of a cell phone user’s location data from his cellular service provider constitutes a...more

High Court Grants Broader Immunity to Police Using Deadly Force in Chases

Officers are immune from liability in lawsuits alleging use of deadly force against fleeing suspects unless it is “beyond debate” that a shooting was unjustified and clearly unreasonable, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled. The...more

California Gives the Fourth Amendment a 21st Century Makeover

The average American today generates more media than they did at any other point in history, and the ease with which our communications, photos, and videos are sent and stored digitally means most of us have more media stored...more

DOL ALJ Orders Government Contractor To Produce Documents To OFCCP

On October 23, 2015, a Department of Labor (“DOL”) administrative law judge (“ALJ”) ordered a government contractor, Convergys Customer Management Group, Inc. (“Convergys”), to submit its affirmative action program along with...more

The Limits to Ordering Computer Monitoring as a Special Condition of Supervised Release in the Federal Court System

There are limits to when a Federal District Court Judge may order computer monitoring by United States Probation as a special condition of supervised release. While it can be argued that individuals on supervised release...more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update - October 2015

The "Dancing Baby" Case—Ninth Circuit Rules That "Fair Use" Must First Be Considered Before Sending Takedown Notices Under the DMCA - Why it matters: On September 14, 2015, the Ninth Circuit ruled in Lenz v. Universal...more

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