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Name: U.S. v. Arnold
Case #: 06-50581
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/21/2008
Summary

Warrantless searches made at the border are reasonable and not violative of the Fourth Amendment because they occur at the border and the country has inherent sovereign authority to protect its territorial integrity. Upon arriving at Los Angeles International Airport from the Philippines, Arnold was selected for secondary questioning by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent and directed to turn on his computer. When he did so, two folders entitled Kodak Pictures and Kodak Memories appeared on the screen. Agents opened them and discovered child pornography. The district court granted Arnold’s motion to suppress but the appellate court reversed on the grounds that per the border search doctrine, searches at the border can be conducted without particularized suspicion. Here, the search of the computer did not fall within either of the two possible exceptions restricting searches; namely, destruction of property, or search conducted in a particularly offensive manner.