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

Utah v. Strieff

EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM AN UNLAWFUL DETENTION IS ADMISSIBLE IF A VALID ARREST WARRANT IS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCOVERED - Narcotics detective Douglas Fackrell conducted surveillance on a South Salt Lake City residence based on...more

En Banc Fourth Circuit Rules No Fourth Amendment Protection For Cell-Site Location Information

On May 31, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held in United States v. Graham, Nos. 12-4659 and 12-4825, in an en banc rehearing, that the government’s acquisition of historical cell-site location...more

Fourth Circuit Says Law Enforcement Doesn’t Need a Warrant to Figure out Where You Are

Like many people, Aaron Graham and Eric Jordan carried cell phones around in 2011. Unlike most people, Graham and Jordan were convicted of crimes arising from their participation in a series of armed robberies in that period,...more

The Week in UAS News

This week’s news includes the continued rise of drone usage pretty much everywhere; a “drone freeze ray”; privacy issues around the shooting down of a drone; and other recent developments in UAV regulations and usage around...more

California Telecom Providers File Suit to Protect Competitively Sensitive Information

On May 5, AT&T Mobility along with several other telecommunications providers and trade associations filed a complaint in the Northern District of California against the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”)...more

No Knocking Necessary: Court Rules EEOC Can Enter Employer’s Premises Without Warrant Or Consent

Seyfarth Synopsis: Court ordered enforcement of the EEOC’s subpoena and authorized the Commission to conduct an on-site investigation without the employer’s consent. The EEOC has conducted on-site inspections of...more

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

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