Warrantless Searches

News & Analysis as of

Court Finds Airport Cannot Fly Under the Radar on Employee’s Email Privacy Claims

A federal district court in Virginia recently grounded an airport’s attempt to escape liability for accessing an employee’s email account. (Hoofnagle v. Smyth-Wythe Airport Commission.) The decision, which delivered a mixed...more

Tech & Car Companies Resist California's Proposed Autonomous Vehicle Rules

A who’s who of the automotive and tech sector reacted with concern at the state of California’s proposed rules for autonomous vehicles. Among other things, the companies were not happy that what the United States made...more

Privacy and The Cell Phone: Arizona Says Yes

Arizona recently recognized a “legitimate expectation of privacy” in cell phones. The case was State v. Peoples, and the opinion was issued on September 12, 2016. The Peoples case was about the police’s search of a cell...more

Marijuana Defense Attorney | Does the Odor of Marijuana Justify Probable Cause for a Search?

Can a cop search my home or vehicle without consent just because he smells marijuana? This question is one I field on a regular basis as new clients seek out an experienced marijuana defense attorney. “After all,” the...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

Federal Court Allows the EEOC to Conduct Investigation on Employer’s Premises Without Employer Consent or a Warrant

Many employers are familiar with the fact that the EEOC regularly conducts on-site workplace investigations after receiving charges of discrimination or harassment. A recent federal court decision, however, may lead to an...more

Defence & Indemnity - April 2016: IV. PRACTICE ISSUES B.

B. Do police need a warrant to access the data on a vehicle’s airbag control module without the owner or driver’s permission? R. v. Fedan, 2016 BCCA 26, per Smith, J.A. [4176]...more

Defence & Indemnity - April 2016: IV. PRACTICE ISSUES

A. Do police need a warrant to access the data on a vehicle’s airbag control module without the owner or driver’s permission? R. v. Glenfield, [2015] O.J. No. 1212, per Hambly, J. [4175]...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

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

Seventh Circuit Eliminates “Consent Once Removed” Doctrine

If a business invites an employee, customer, or business associate onto its premises, has it consented to a search by government agents? Under the “consent once removed” doctrine, the answer may be yes if the invited...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

Digital Information – Now Protected More Than Ever

In the event that you missed it, on October 8th, 2015, California Governor, Jerry Brown, signed into law the California “Electronic Communications Privacy Act” (CalECPA) which requires any California state law enforcement...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 Electronic Communications Privacy Act signed by Governor

Last Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA) into law, which requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant before accessing or searching individuals’ digital...more

Constitution Day — Celebrating a Living Document

On Friday, September 18, 2015, the Palm Beach Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) hosted a James Otis Lecture at the Palm Beach County School Board headquarters building in West Palm Beach. ABOTA is a...more

You Can Check Out Any Time You Like… But Your Information Might Never Leave

When you check into a hotel, do you assume that the clerk asks for your license plate number to avoid accidentally towing your car? Or that guest services wants to know how many people are in your group to make sure that...more

Government Dismisses Its Case After Warrantless Airport Laptop Search

The government has voluntarily dismissed its case against Jae Shik Kim, the South Korean businessman for whom Ifrah Law obtained a motion to suppress in federal court. In 2012, Mr. Kim was stopped by federal agents as he...more

Second Circuit Limits Government's Ability To Seize Assets Without A Warrant

In the recent decision United States v. Cosme, 14-1625-cr, a panel of the Second Circuit held that the government cannot seize and then hold a defendant's property pending the resolution of criminal charges without a judicial...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

Northern District of California Requires A Warrant to Access Cellphone Geographic Information

We previously reported that government access to cellphone geographic information or CSLI without a warrant has become a vigorous debate between the government, defense attorneys, and the federal bench. In a lengthy opinion,...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

California Bill Requiring Mobile, Cloud Search Warrants Advances

On July 14, 2015, the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“Cal-ECPA”) unanimously passed the California State Assembly’s public safety committee. The bill would forbid warrantless cellular “stingrays” as well...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

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