Fourth Amendment Supreme Court of the United States

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

Warrantless access to cell phone location data may be heard by the Supreme Court

A number of courts have considered whether the Fourth Amendment requires the government to obtain a warrant to access historical and/or real time cell phone geographic location information, known as CSLI. CSLI is cell site...more

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Privacy Rights for Los Angeles Hotel Operators

In a win for privacy advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a City of Los Angeles municipal ordinance permitting warrantless police searches of hotel registries is unconstitutional. The subject ordinance (Los Angeles...more

Supreme Court Invalidates Los Angeles Law Authorizing Warrantless Searches of Hotel Records

In City of Los Angeles v. Patel, the Supreme Court invalidated a Los Angeles law that allowed law enforcement officials to inspect hotel and motel guest registries at any time, without a warrant or administrative subpoena....more

SCOTUS Extends Same-Sex Marriage Rights Nationwide

As has become its custom, the Supreme Court left one of its most high-profile decisions for the end of its term, holding by a 5-4 vote that the Constitution requires states to recognize same-sex marriages. As a result, state...more

Supreme Court Decides City of Los Angeles v. Patel

On June 22, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided City of Los Angeles v. Patel, No. 13-1175, holding that facial challenges can be brought under the Fourth Amendment and that a municipal ordinance requiring hotel operators to...more

City of Los Angeles vs. Patel Update: U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Warrantless Searches of Guest Registries

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a law enacted by the City of Los Angeles requiring hotel owners to comply with warrantless inspections of their guest registries upon demand by law enforcement officers. The High Court,...more

A Border Search Doctrine Without Borders? A Court Pushes Back Against Searches of Laptops and Cellphones

Last year, the Supreme Court in Riley v. California (134 S. Ct. 2473 (2014)) recognized the unique characteristics of laptops and cellphones and held that police generally may not search the cellphone of an individual who has...more

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals: Warrantless Cell Site Data Constitutional

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, sitting as a full panel, has ruled that law enforcement may acquire historical cell site data information (i.e., past location information) from wireless telecommunications...more

E-Discovery Update: When Personal and Work Data Collide

In the modern world, employees routinely receive work-related data on personal mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and access personal data on work-owned devices. ...more

Supreme Court Update: Rodriguez v. United States (13-9972); United States v. Wong (13-1074 And 13-7075); Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet,...

When is a sniff not up to snuff (as far as the Fourth Amendment is concerned)? Ten years ago, in Illinois v. Caballes (2005), the Court held that a dog sniff conducted during a lawful traffic stop does not violate the Fourth...more

Riley and the Third-party Doctrine

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued one groundbreaking opinion in two cases regarding cellphone searches incident to arrest. In a unanimous opinion, the court held that under the Fourth Amendment, police must...more

Supreme Court Decides Rodriguez v. United States

On April 21, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Rodriguez v. United States, No. 13-9972, holding that, absent reasonable suspicion, the Fourth Amendment prohibits police from prolonging a traffic stop to conduct a dog...more

GPS Monitoring of Sex Offenders Is a Fourth Amendment Search

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Another Reminder that Sex Offender Restrictions are Under Scrutiny - Forcing someone to wear an ankle bracelet to monitor her or his location is a Fourth Amendment search, the U.S. Supreme...more

Supreme Court Update: Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. V. Owens (13-719) And Heien V. North Carolina (13-604)

Greetings, Court fans Long before he became Chief, John Roberts quipped that "[o]nly Supreme Court justices and schoolchildren are expected to and do take the entire summer off." Right now, the Justices are in the midst...more

Supreme Court Update: Warger V. Shauers (13-517), Integrity Staffing Solutions V. Busk (13-433) And Order List

We're back with summaries of the first signed decisions of the term, Warger v. Shauers (13-517) on whether Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) precludes juror testimony during a proceeding in which a party seeks to secure a new...more

Supreme Court Update: Carroll V. Carman (14-212), Johnson V. City Of Shelby (13-1318) And Order List

Greetings, Court fans! We're back with decisions two and three of OT14 (did you already forget about Lopez v. Smith?) as well as last week's news of cert petitions granted and likely to be granted. Police officers...more

U.S. Supreme Court: Warrant Generally Required to Search Information on a Cell Phone, Even Incident to Arrest

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that police officers must generally secure a warrant before searching through the contents of a cell phone of a person they arrest. This decision will have important implications for...more

Supreme Court to Protect Information on Cell Phones

The digital age has created a world in which over-sharing is the norm and electronic devices are capable of storing significant amounts of one’s personal information. However, in an important step to protect the privacy of...more

Five Lessons for Employers from California v. Riley

In the waning days of its current term, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in California v. Riley that police officers generally violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches by conducting a...more

Editorial: High Court Is Swinging Pendulum Back On 4th Amendment

Fourth Amendment law is anything but static. If one surveys the jurisprudential landscape over the last 50 years, there are three amendments that the U.S. Supreme Court cannot leave alone: the First, the Fourth and the Fifth....more

U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision Raises Questions About Cell Phone Searches in Schools

The long-standing test for searching students at school requires that the search must be based on a “reasonable suspicion” that the student violated a school rule or law. A recent criminal decision from the United States...more

Supreme Court Prohibits Warrantless Mobile Phone Searches, Underscores Individual Right to Privacy

The Supreme Court of the United States released a unanimous decision last week barring law enforcement from searching the mobile phones of individuals placed under arrest without first obtaining a search warrant or the...more

Supreme Court Rules That Police May Not Search Cell Phones Without A Warrant

One of the fundamental liberties protected by the Bill of Rights is freedom from unreasonable searches. The Fourth Amendment reflects the concern that “We the People” should not be subjected to intrusive searches of our...more

A Victory for Personal Information Privacy

In a stunning victory for Fourth Amendment rights and personal information privacy generally, the United States Supreme Court in Riley v California has held that police may not search an arrestee’s cell phone without a...more

U.S. Supreme Court: Police Must Obtain Warrant Before Searching Cell Phones

In a decision that changes the way law enforcement officers collect electronic information, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Riley v. California, 573 U.S. ___ (2014), that officers may not search a cell phone incident to a...more

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