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Name: United States v. Caymen
Case #: 03-30365
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/21/2005

A defendant who obtains a computer with the fraudulent use of a credit card has no reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the hard drive of that computer. The defendant here was investigated for using stolen credit card information to purchase a laptop computer from a local computer store. Police obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s house and found the laptop, as well as evidence that the defendant had changed his name and that he had outstanding warrants and prior convictions for possession of child pornography and for unlawful acts with minors. The owner of the store where defendant had purchased the laptop consented to a search of the hard drive; the search revealed child pornography. The court held that the Fourth Amendment does not protect a defendant from a warrantless search of stolen property; even if a defendant harbors an expectation of privacy in stolen goods, that expectation is not one that society is prepared to regard as legitimate.