Warrantless Searches

News & Analysis as of

Court protects privacy in ruling on warrantless searches of cellphones

Every now and then The Nine agree on something. Among the unanimous rulings the U.S. Supreme Court issued in the final stretch this year was Riley v. California, which held that law enforcement officials may not make a...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

Courts Defer to Individual Privacy Interests by Requiring Warrant To Obtain Cell Phone Data and Cell Site Records in Riley and...

Two recent opinions have significantly restricted the practice of warrantless collection of data stored on cell phones or by cell phone service providers. In Riley v. California the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that a warrant...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

ESOPs’ Fables: On Winning Wars but Losing Battles

As the end of the Supreme Court term approached, decisions came down fast and furious. Last week’s big decisions, at least around our nerdish water cooler, were Halliburton and Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer. (Yes, we...more

Supreme Court Decides Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Riley v. California, No. 13-132, and United States v. Wurie, No. 13-212, holding that police must generally obtain a warrant before searching a cell phone...more

Supreme Court Relies on Reed Smith Brief in Cell Phone Search Cases

The Supreme Court decided Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie yesterday, June 25, and unanimously held that the search incident to arrest doctrine does not allow law enforcement officers to search data on cell...more

Court: Police Need Warrant to Search Phone. But Guess What? They Get to Keep Your Phone While They Get One.

Will cops still get access to cell phone data post arrest? You bet. Today’s Supreme Court decision just means they need to get permission from a judge before they start searching who you have been texting. And odds are very...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Officers Must Obtain Warrant to Access Data on Arrestee's Mobile Phone Device

Overview: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that police officers may not search digital information on a mobile phone device seized from a person who has been arrested without a warrant. In Riley v. California and U.S. v....more

U.S. v. Ganias: Second Circuit Limits Government’s Ability to Use Electronic Material Seized Beyond Scope of Warrant for Different...

In a recent decision that provides important guidance in the developing law related to government seizure of electronic records in criminal investigations, on June 17, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second...more

Supreme Court Fires Shot Across The Bow Of NSA Metadata Collection

Recent revelations concerning the activities of the National Security Agency (“NSA”) include reports that the NSA and other government agencies have – in secret – routinely collected in bulk the “metadata” associated with...more

Search Me: The Constitutionality of “Stop and Frisk” Policies

The constitutionality of the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) “stop and frisk” policy (which resulted in thousands of pedestrians detained and patted down without reasonable suspicion) was the subject of intense...more

Social Media Roundup: The Top 5 Buzzing Issues

Here is a look at some of the hottest topics lawyers and others in the legal industry have been abuzz about: 1. BP’s change of heart over its settlement for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster - In...more

Can A GPS Result In TMI?

The answer is “yes” – tracking employees by using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) can give an employer too much information (TMI). Surreptitious Surveillance In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court held (in the case of U.S....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

Microsoft Mail and the 4th Amendment: Do Any of Us Seriously Think We Have a Right Not to Have Email Seized as Possible Evidence?

A perspective on the recent Fourth Amendment and privacy considerations raised by Judge James C. Francis' recent Memorandum and Order: 'In The Matter Of A Warrant To Search A Certain E-Mail Account Controlled And Maintained...more

Your Expectation of Privacy in Your Cell Phone is Currently Governed by the Law of the State in Which You are Arrested

Last year the Washington State Supreme Court considered two cases addressing the expectation of privacy one has when sending a text message. On February 27, 2014, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in two parallel 5-4...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

BB&K Police Bulletin: Warrantless Home Search

Supreme Court Upholds Warrantless Home Search Where One Occupant Consents Following Suspect’s Arrest - Overview: The Supreme Court has ruled that police officers can conduct warrantless home searches based upon one...more

Ordinance Authorizing Warrantless Inspections of Hotel Records is Unconstitutional

Motel owners challenged a Los Angeles Municipal Code provision requiring hotel guest records to be made available to any Los Angeles Police Department officer for inspection. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth...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

BB&K Police Bulletin: Warrantless Searches and Consent Granted by Houseguests: Houseguest Could Not Consent to Search of Specific...

Overview: The Ninth Circuit recently reversed a trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress the fruits of a home search. The court found the government had the burden of establishing a houseguest had the “apparent authority”...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Qualified Immunity: Warrantless Entry in Hot Pursuit of Misdemeanant Not "Plainly Incompetent"

Overview: The U.S. Supreme Court recently reversed a Ninth Circuit decision denying qualified immunity to a California police officer in hot pursuit of a suspected misdemeanant. The suspect had entered an enclosed front yard...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Private Search: Search of Computer Images Previously Viewed by Repair Technician Lawful

Overview: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld evidence of child pornography obtained from two searches of a defendant’s computer and home office. In the first search, a CompUSA service technician called police...more

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