Fourth Amendment Search Warrant

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

You’ve Got (Foreign) Mail: Can Law Enforcement Get to it?

Even though Microsoft is a U.S. corporation subject to domestic subpoenas and warrants, prosecutors are not entitled to emails stored on its servers abroad, the Second Circuit ruled last week in Microsoft Corp. v. United...more

Second Circuit: Stored Communications Act Warrants Cannot Reach Overseas Data

On July 14, 2016, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals determined that a warrant issued under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) is subject to the same territorial restrictions as a traditional warrant: the government’s reach...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

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

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

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

United States v. Microsoft: ‘Global Chaos,’ Outdated Legislation And a Judge’s Plea to Congress

The Second Circuit’s challenge in considering the validity of a U.S. Stored Communications Act warrant to Microsoft for e-mails located on servers in Ireland involves interpreting the SCA, which was enacted nearly three...more

SEC Seeks Increased Access to Email

Jacqui Merrill, an Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us with a posting on the SEC’s request for increased access to emails. In a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting held on September 16, 2015, Securities and...more

Telemedicine Prescribers Should Read This Case: U.S. vs. Zadeh

Health care providers who use telemedicine for remote prescribing of controlled substances should pay close attention to an important case currently pending at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case will decide whether...more

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

4th Circuit holds that obtaining cellphone location information without a warrant is unconstitutional

We have been watching the warrantless search cases closely. Yesterday, (August 5, 2015), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that it was unconstitutional when law enforcement used their cell phone location information...more

Does the Government Have Carte Blanche to Retain Seized Data Indefinitely? In Amicus Brief to the Second Circuit, Policy Groups...

On July 29, 2015, BakerHostetler filed an amicus brief with the Second Circuit on behalf of the Center for Democracy and Technology, joined by five prominent nonprofit public interest groups, for the en banc rehearing of...more

Law Enforcement in the 21st Century: How The Courts Are Responding

As published in PublicCEO* The world of law enforcement is changing rapidly. In the last few years, technology has advanced by leaps and bounds altering the way police officers do just about everything. New technology...more

Seizure of memory cards from digital cameras allowed under plain view doctrine

Courts today are faced with applying traditional Fourth Amendment search and seizure doctrines to twenty-first century digital technology. In one such case, the Massachusetts Appellate Court upheld a lower court’s holding in...more

DANGER – “General” Search Warrants in the Digital Age

If you knew that there was a chance—maybe even a good chance—that a law enforcement officer could gain access to every single text, email, photograph and voice mail on your smartphone, going back years, because you were...more

Think your Cellphone Usage is Private? Think Again

In a closely-watched case out of Miami, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals redefined the zone of privacy for cell phone users. As the Tech World was focused on Miami for the second annual eMerge conference, the court...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

Remote Search Warrants and the Continued Threat to Privacy Rights

What were you doing Wednesday, November 5, 2014? If you are a staunch Republican, you might have been toasting the election results from the day before, dreamy-eyed and dancing. If you are a staunch Democrat, you might have...more

Fourth Amendment Precludes Inspection Of Private Property Even In Assessment Review Litigation

Recently there has been increasing debate regarding if and when assessing jurisdictions, or its agents, can invade the privacy of New York residents. Even New York’s governor has been impacted by this issue. Last week, the...more

Second Circuit Finds Fourth Amendment Violation in Law Enforcement Retention of Computer Files Not Within Scope of Search Warrant

On June 17, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a significant Fourth Amendment decision in United States v. Ganias. The decision is premised on the well-established notion that, because of...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

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

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