Search & Seizure

News & Analysis as of

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

Drone on Drones: Justice Department Drone Policy Emphasizes Privacy and Transparency

Federal agencies deploying surveillance drones in domestic airspace will be required to conduct annual privacy reviews, the Department of Justice announced last week. The new policy aims to require DOJ employees to assess the...more

Warrantless Laptop Search Suppressed In Sixth Circuit

On May 20, 2015, the Sixth Circuit ruled that the warrantless search of a laptop exceeded the scope of a preceding private search, and was therefore unconstitutional....more

Federal Agents Lacked Authority to Search Airplane Passenger’s Laptop, Court Says

A federal court this month found that federal agents lacked authority to conduct a warrantless search of a defendant’s laptop seized at an airport, rejecting the government’s argument that it has unfettered authority to...more

Laptops, Border Checks and The Fourth Amendment

Developments in law are sluggish compared to the rapid rate of technological advancement, and courts must constantly apply old legal principles to technologies which were not contemplated at the time the laws were enacted. ...more

Dawn raids under scrutiny again by European Human Rights Court

ECtHR rules that French dawn raids in Vinci/GTM case breached fundamental rights - The European Court of Human Rights (the “ECtHR”) has ruled in the Vinci case that the circumstances surrounding the electronic removal of...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

“We’re From The Government and We’re Here to Help”: When The Act of a Government Constitutes a Valid Defense to a Freight Claim

Will Rogers once quipped that “I don’t make jokes; I just watch the Government and report the facts.” While most Americans can probably identify with that observation to one extent or another, the government unquestionably...more

Hong Kong court - enforcing a maritime arbitration award by arresting a ship

The arrest of a ship to obtain security for a maritime claim in jurisdictions where this is permitted is a powerful weapon in the armory of a claimant in shipping disputes. There has, however, been a concern that a claimant...more

IRS Will Adopt “Common Sense” Approach To Structured Activity In Bank Accounts

Why it matters - In response to recent criticism, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) John A. Koskinen announced that the agency will adopt a “common sense” approach in how it handles funds that have...more

Court of Appeal of Alberta Upholds Employers Anton Piller Order

Among the Court of Appeal of Alberta’s first decisions of the New Year, was its decision in Peters & Co Limited v Ward, 2015 ABCA 6 (CanLII), regarding the matter of an Anton Piller Order obtained by an employer, an...more

Retrench of DOJ’s Equitable Sharing Program Could be Boon to N.C. Schools

“Equitable Sharing” sounds so reasonable. Who could argue with it? Here’s what it is, and what it does: The Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing program allows federal law enforcement agencies to “adopt” seizures of...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Burden of Proof on Government in Request for Return of Property Not Considered Contraband

Ninth Circuit Decides There Must Be “Legitimate Reason” for Retaining Property - Overview: The Ninth Circuit recently held that, once a criminal investigation or prosecution is completed, the government bears the...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

Subscriber Does Not Have Fourth Amendment Privacy Interest in Own IP Data

In 2012, the Supreme Court decided the case of United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945 (2012). Jones involved the government's use of a GPS tracking device on a vehicle and the information gleaned therefrom. The holding was...more

Will California’s “Kill Switch” Law Kill An Employer’s Ability To Protect Sensitive Company Information?

Will California’s “Kill Switch” Law Kill An Employer’s Ability To Protect Sensitive Company Information? In this digital age, smartphone technology has become essential and ubiquitous to business operations. But the...more

“Stay Put” Seizure by Law Enforcement Clarified by the Court

When officers carry out a “consensual encounter” with a member of the public, unless they have reasonable suspicion that someone is breaking the law, they are not permitted to detain the person for any longer than necessary...more

Competition Commission of India Conducts First-Ever Raid

Earlier this week, India’s competition regulator-the Competition Commission of India (“CCI”)-raided two offices of JCB India Limited (“JCB”), a UK-based manufacturer of construction equipment. This raid marks the first time...more

Southern District Opinion Allows Seizure of Emails From Host Provider With Minimal Showing of Probable Cause

A Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge last week approved the government’s ability to conduct searches and seizures of entire email accounts stored by third-party providers like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Apple...more

Legal Updates for Government Entities Covering March and April 2014

The Gallaghers sued TUSD and a TUSD school employee, Michael Corum, alleging that Corum sexually abused and/or exploited their developmentally challenged daughter at a TUSD school. The Gallaghers claimed that TUSD was...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Medicinal Marijuana and Probable Cause

Possession of Any Amount of Medicinal Marijuana Enough to Search Automobile - Overview: A California Court of Appeal has ruled that a law enforcement officer’s observation of any amount of marijuana in a vehicle...more

Maryland v. King: Possibly The Most Important Criminal Procedure Case in Decades

Many Supreme Court observers, including no less than Justice Samuel Alito himself, have described Maryland v. King as perhaps the most important criminal procedure case that the Court has decided in decades. While this may...more

High Court Deals Major Blow To Criminal Defendants

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in Kaley v. United States, 571 U.S. __, Case No. 12-464 (Feb. 25, 2014) essentially finds that the grand jury should have the last word. The Kaley case involved the right to counsel when...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Police Need Search Warrant to Examine Hotel/Motel Registers

Municipal Code Section Allowing Warrantless Inspection of Hotel Guest Records Constitutes Search - Overview: The Ninth Circuit recently held that a police officer’s non-consensual warrantless inspection of hotel guest...more

PODCAST: How to Respond to a Search Warrant - Ten Practical Steps

Presented by Gina L. Simms and James P. Holloway of Ober|Kaler's Government Investigations and White Collar Defense Group, this podcast provides guidance to health care providers and other corporations on how to respond when...more

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