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Supreme Court Decision — Warrantless Searches Okay If One Occupant Of Shared Residence Consents

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. With some exceptions, law enforcement must obtain a warrant based on probable cause before conducting a search of private property or...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

Evolving Expectations of Privacy: Klayman v. Obama

In a 68-page opinion, Federal District Judge Richard J. Leon of the District of Columbia ruled yesterday in Klayman v. Obama that the NSA's systematic collection of telephone metadata of millions of citizens violates the...more

Short Wins - Blog 100 Announcement Edition

1. United States v. Arreguin, Ninth Circuit: Appellant's motion to suppress evidence was denied by the District Court. The Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded, directing the trial court to grant the motion to suppress....more

Appeals Court: Forced Rectal Search of Suspect Violates 4th Amendment

In a recent opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit addressed whether it was constitutionally reasonable for police to use a doctor – in this case, a doctor “who is known to conduct unconsented intrusive...more

Are Courts Diluting Protection From Unlawful Searches?

Evidence comes in many forms. What you say and the objects in your possession can be used against you by law enforcement officers if your statements and property are legally obtained. But what about the information on your...more

Supreme Court Weighs In On Drug-Sniffing Dogs

The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld Fourth Amendment constitutional protections against the unreasonable search and seizure tactics in Florida v. Jardines....more

Of Poisonous Trees And Their Fruit: Illegal Searches

Wat if I got 2 take him 2 da hospital wat do I say and dos marks on his neck omg. A text on a cell phone. Most text messages are not this dramatic and most text messages do not set off a firestorm of debate about...more

A Genetic Panopticon: Undermining The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives citizens freedom from unreasonable search and seizure and requires any warrant for arrest or seizure to be supported by probable cause. That warrant must be...more

Can The Police Search My Cell Phone Without Permission?

Many of us store our most intimate information on our mobile phones....more

Did My iPhone Steal My Privacy?

The United State Supreme Court has not quite decided what constitutes an expectation of privacy in this new Facebook, Twitter and Global-Positioning-System (GPS) world....more

Short Wins - Immigration Fraud And Bad Prosecutor Edition

I'm writing this from the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference. Here's my brief recap....more

Supreme Court Watch: Employment Cases in 2013

The 2013 U.S. Supreme Court term features several employment law cases important to employers and human resource professionals, including the following significant pending cases...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: DNA Collection - U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Cheek Swab Search

Overview: The United States Supreme Court has upheld a Maryland law authorizing police to collect a DNA sample from suspects charged with violent crimes. Using the cheek swab of an assault suspect in 2009, police were able to...more

California Moves One Step Closer to Passing Privacy Bill Requiring a Search Warrant for Providers' Customers' Emails

In a 33-1 vote, on May 13, the state Senate approved Senator Mark Leno's bill that would require state law enforcement officials to obtain a search warrant before asking service providers to disclose the contents of their...more

Context, Content And Privacy In Warrantless Searches Of Cell Phone And Cameras

Context and content matters to the assessment of reasonable expectations of privacy in criminal law matters. Recently, in R. v. B. (C.), 2013 CarswellOnt 3851 (SCJ), P. Smith J. considered the constitutionality of a...more

Sixth Circuit Rules School’s Search Of Student Cellphone Violated Fourth Amendment

In a recent decision, the first federal appellate court to address the rights of school officials to search student cell phones held that a student’s violation of a school rule regarding technology did not justify a general...more

Court to Rule on Exceptions to Warrant Requirement for GPS Tracking

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit is set to become the first federal appellate court to answer the question left open by the Supreme Court in United States v. Jones. Last year, the Court held in Jones that a...more

BB&K Police Chief Bulletin: Custodial Arrest - Only Three Ways to Support Custodial Arrest for Suspected Infraction

Overview: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that police could not take into custody a person cited for an infraction (in this case, trespassing) unless the arrestee has no satisfactory identification, refuses...more

Is The IRS Reading Emails With A Search Warrant?

Last week, the ACLU created a stir when it suggested that the IRS may be reading taxpayers’ emails without obtaining a search warrant. At least at some point in time in the past, according to the IRS’ 2009 “Search Warrant...more

Prosecutor Claims Milwaukee Police Officers Engaged In A Pattern Of Illegal Conduct

On Thursday, March 21, 2013, a motion hearing occurred regarding the four Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) officers who face charges of conducting illegal strip searches and illegal body cavity searches. During the hearing,...more

Be Careful When Searching Student Cell Phones, Sixth Circuit Warns

With text messages, Tweets, Facebook posts and other digital communications so prevalent in student’s lives, schools have been struggling to deal with the influx of mobile devices on campus. Last week, the Sixth U.S. Circuit...more

BB&K Police Chief Bulletin: K-9 Searches - Supreme Court Just Says No to K-9 Drug Sniffing on Porch

Overview: In a 5-4 decision,the U.S. Supreme Court this week ruled that a Florida police dog’s sniffing for drugs in front of a man’s home constituted an illegal search. Based on an unverified tip, police physically entered...more

Bill Introduced On Warrantless GPS Tracking

On March 21, a bipartisan group of legislators in the House of Representatives introduced a new bill, the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act, which would force law enforcement to obtain a warrant to track suspects with...more

BB&K Police Chief Bulletin: Search of Vehicle “Black Box" - Admissible Evidence Captured by Vehicle’s Sensing Diagnostic Module

Overview: A California appellate court recently upheld the admission of evidence obtained from the sensing diagnostic module (SDM) of a vehicle impounded after a fatal crash. The SDM decides whether to deploy air bags based...more

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