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Name: In re Q.R.
Case #: H043075
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/27/2017

Probation condition allowing search of electronic devices is not overbroad where minor possessed child pornography and committed extortion using electronics. Q.R. used his cell phone to record him and Doe having sex and then threatened to show other high school students the recordings unless she gave him money. Following his admission to felony possession of child pornography and extortion, the juvenile court adjudged him a ward and placed him on probation. One of the conditions required that he submit to warrantless searches of all electronic devices in his control and provide the necessary passwords. He appealed, arguing that the condition was unconstitutionally overbroad. Held: Affirmed. “A probation condition that imposes limitations on a person’s constitutional rights must closely tailor those limitations to the purpose of the condition to avoid being invalidated as unconstitutionally overbroad.” (In re Sheena K. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 875, 889.) Q.R.’s reliance on In re Malik J. (2015) 240 Cal.App.4th 896, 901, which held the electronic search condition in that case was overbroad, was misplaced because the minor’s offense in that case did not involve the use of electronic devices. And while Q.R.’s offense only involved a cell phone, the condition properly permits searches of all his electronics. Q.R. lacked standing to assert the privacy rights of third parties that might be impacted by the search condition and he “can safeguard the rights of third parties by advising them that information they make accessible to him is not private.” Finally, Riley v. California (2014) 134 S.Ct. 2473, is distinguishable. While Riley recognized that individuals have a privacy interest in the content of their electronic devices, Q.R.’s expectation of privacy is lower because he is on probation for offenses involving electronics. The electronics search condition is not overbroad.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: