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Name: People v. Balint
Case #: G034435
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/30/2006

Appellant was convicted of receiving stolen property following denial of her suppression motion. On appeal, she argued that police officers exceeded the scope of the search warrant for her residence when they confiscated an open laptop computer under a clause authorizing seizure of “any items tending to show dominion and control” of the premises searched. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed. The computer logically could serve as a container for information which could show occupancy or control of the residence. An open laptop computer in plain view is an electronic container which can store data similar to that stored in a filing cabinet.