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Court Rules Warrant Required for Cell Phone Searches

Article Comments  32  

Dec 16, 2009, 12:28 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that law enforcement officials need to first get a search warrant before they can examine the contents of a cell phone. The only exception would be if the officer deems his or her life is in imminent danger. The decision was reached after a criminal trial in which a defendant claimed unreasonable search and seizure of his phone after being arrested, a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Lawyers argued whether or not cell phones can be considered "closed containers", which is what the Fourth Amendment actually protects. In this case, cell phones were ruled closed containers, and now require separate warrants to be searched in the state of Ohio. Other states have taken the opposing position. The U.S. Supreme Court has not made any rulings on this issue, and the lawyer who lost this particular ruling in Ohio is still considering an appeal at that level.

more info at Wireless Week / Associated Press »



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Dec 16, 2009, 3:32 PM

Will this extend to teachers?

What about the kids who are currently in prison now for child porn, due to teachers searching their phones. I have said this all along, teacher have NO! business searching students phones. I am against child porn but I do now call on 14 year old cheerleader using her cell phone to take a nude picture of herself and sending it via MMS to her boyfriend who is 15 child porn, I am sorry people it is NOT, yet when teacher and coaches take a students phone away from them at school and for some unknown reason they decide to search through it and find these pics, the police and courts get involved and the kids end up in JAIL for child porn. I hope this new ruling by the courts can be used to free the kids that should not have been jailed in the firs...
Laughing suckers!!!

In my day we had to take pictures of our Junk and put it in an envelope and mail it to our girlfriends.

we were lucky if the guy at the local drugstore didn't "lose" the pictures while printing them.
Sorry but when you're in school the school reserves the right to search your locker, your backpack, and your phone if they confinscate it from you. And yes naked pictures of a 14 yr old are still child porn. The offender being near the same age does...

Dec 16, 2009, 5:58 PM

Correct me if I am wrong, but...

in any place of business anywhere in the US, if an employer issues cell phones to employees for business use, the employees have no business using them for personal calls or texting and employer can search the contents of these phones at any time at will. An employee's personal cell phone, on the other hand, will require a warrant to be searched. At schools, students do not have any type of expectation of privacy and their backpacks/bags, lockers, phones, and cars can be searched by school officials at any time.
If the employer owns the cell phone, then they own whatever's on it and can demand it from an employee. However, that's not pertinent to this ruling since the police would still need a warrant unless the employer grants permission.

Likewise, scho...

Dec 16, 2009, 12:45 PM

I keep in my cell phone

My cocaine. hahah stupid ohio
i have the extended battery cover on my phone to keep my dime bags
It's meant more for the information stored on the phone. Like emails, text messages, and etc... that could lead to evidence against you!

Dec 16, 2009, 6:56 PM

remote wipe

this is why i love remote wipe. if its seized, ill just remote wipe when i get home or have someone log onto my palm account at home. thank you webos! Laughing
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