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4. Cell phones

Orin Kerr at Volokh Conspiracy has posted an essay on a recent federal district court decision regarding the legality of so-called “geofence” warrants, which involve law enforcement getting access to Google’s cell phone location data and using the data to advance a criminal investigation. Google apparently imposes its own sort of “warrant” requirement, and the basic… Read more

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State v. Lamondo D. Turrubiates, 2020AP233, 11/23/21, District 3 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Police arrested Turrubiates and the state charged him with several counts having to do with an alleged assault on his girlfriend. During the arrest police took his phone. The state came to believe the phone might contain… Read more

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State v. George Steven Burch, 2021 WI 68, on certification from the court of appeals, affirming the judgment of conviction; case activity (including briefs) We said in our post on the court of appeals’ certification that this case presented novel and important issues about searches of cell phones and their data. So we anticipated a decision addressing… Read more

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State v. George Steven Burch, 2019AP404-CR, certification granted 11/18/20; case activity (including briefs) Issues presented (from the certification): Did police violate Burch’s Fourth Amendment rights by: exceeding the scope of Burch’s consent to search his cell phone by downloading the phone’s entire contents, rather than only the text messages; unlawfully retaining the entire cell phone… Read more

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State v. George Steven Burch, 2019AP404-CR, District 3 (10/20/20), review granted 11/18/20, circuit court judgment affirmed, 2021 WI 68; case activity (including briefs) Burch … contends the [Green Bay Police Department] and the [Brown County Sheriff’s Office] violated his Fourth Amendment rights in three ways: (1) the GBPD exceeded the scope of his consent to… Read more

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The 4th Amendment in the digital age

Last June in Carpenter v. United States, SCOTUS held that phone users have a 4th Amendment right to historical cell site location records. Prof. Orin Kerr has a new paper out about how to implement Carpenter. Click here.  But why stop reading there? You can also read Prof.  Alan Rozenshtein’s new paper on 4th Amendment… Read more

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Kerr’s latest post considers 2 recent federal district court decisions on this subject. One raises the question of whether, under the 5th Amendment, the government may compel a suspect to enter a passcode to unlock his device.  The other considers whether the government may use a passcode obtained from a suspect in violation of Miranda… Read more

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Question presented: Whether the warrantless seizure and search of historical cell phone records revealing the location and movements of a cell phone user over the course of 127 days is permitted by the Fourth Amendment. Lower court opinion: United States v. Carpenter, 819 F.3d 880 (6th Cir. 2016); USSC Docket; Scotusblog page This is a… Read more

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