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Name: United States v. Meek
Case #: 03-10042
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/19/2004

Where one party to an internet chat consented to police monitoring of the chat exchanges, information obtained from those monitored chat sessions could properly be used in support of a warrant to obtain records from the other party’s internet service provider. This California case involved a minor who was involved in sexually explicit chat sessions with the defendant on America Online. The minor and his father agreed to allow police to log into the boy’s computer and pose as him during chat sessions with the defendant, and transcripts of those sessions were properly considered by the magistrate in support of a search warrant seeking the defendant’s service records from America Online. Further, that search warrant was supported by probable cause because expert opinion, the boy’s own statements, and the chat transcripts all supported a reasonable inference that the defendant knew that his correspondent was a minor. The court also upheld the search of the defendant’s home pursuant to a second warrant, which was based on the same evidence supporting the initial warrant as well as further information from America Online.