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Name: U.S. v. Fowlkes
Case #: 11-50273
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/25/2014

Denial of motion to suppress evidence reversed where police, who had no warrant and no medical training, forcibly removed drugs from suspect's rectum. Fowlkes was the subject of surveillance by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents and the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD). After witnessing Fowlkes engage in what appeared to be a drug transaction, LBPD officers stopped his vehicle, ostensibly for an expired registration. Police saw drugs in the car and Fowlkes was arrested. During intake at the jail, Fowlkes was strip searched. Suspecting that Fowlkes was attempting to push contraband into his rectum, Officer Gibbs tased him. When…

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Name: Riley v. California
Case #: 13-132
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 06/25/2014
Subsequent History: 134 S.Ct. 2473, 189 L.Ed.2d 430

Police must generally obtain a warrant before searching digital information on arrestee's cell phone. In two cases (one state, one federal), the Court considered whether police may conduct a warrantless search of digital information on a cell phone seized from a person under arrest. In the California case, Riley was stopped for expired registration tags and found to be driving on a suspended license. Pursuant to department policy, police impounded his car. During an inventory search, police found illegal firearms and Riley was arrested. Incident to arrest, Riley was searched. Data in his smart phone was searched and information was…

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Name: People v. Lowe
Case #: D059007
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 12/04/2013
Subsequent History: Review granted 3/19/2014: S215727

Mandatory taking of DNA samples without a warrant from persons arrested for felonies does not violate the Fourth Amendment. After Lowe's arrest for a felony offense, police took a buccal swab DNA sample from inside his cheek without a warrant. The collection and analysis of the sample was authorized by a 2004 amendment to Penal Code section 296 (Prop. 69), which mandates the taking of DNA samples upon arrest for a felony. The DNA sample connected Lowe to a number of unsolved offenses and a jury convicted him of multiple burglaries, sex crimes and robberies. He was sentenced to 107…

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Name: People v. Cuevas
Case #: A138062
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 07/31/2013

Blood tests performed on drunk drivers did not violate constitutional protections under Fourth Amendment. In seven separate cases, each defendant was charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence (Veh. Code, § 23152, subds. (a), (b)) and filed a motion to suppress evidence pursuant to section 1538.5, contending that the blood drawn from his person subsequent to arrest and pursuant to the implied consent law should be suppressed under Schmerber v. California because the blood draw was not performed in a constitutionally reasonable manner. In each case, the arresting officer transported the defendant to the jail (or in one case…

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Name: Haskell v. Harris
Case #: 10-15152
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 02/23/2012
Subsequent History: vacated and rehg. en banc granted

There is no Fourth Amendment violation by a statute authorizing the collection of DNA from arrestees, including those who are not ultimately convicted. Proposition 69, which passed in 2004, expanded DNA testing in California to include those adults arrested for a felony offense. The collection by buccal swabs is used to provide a DNA profile which is added to a nationwide Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). A group of plaintiffs who were arrested, but never convicted of felonies, brought a class-action against state officials. The action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 alleged violations of their Fourth Amendment rights to be…

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Name: People v. Evans
Case #: B227697
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/04/2011

Search of a vehicle following arrest violates the Fourth Amendment when it is not reasonable to believe evidence relevant to the crime might be found in the vehicle. Police officers stopped appellant for relatively minor traffic violations and directed him out of his vehicle. When he refused, they broke the window, tasered and pepper sprayed him, and forcibly removed him from the vehicle. He was then arrested for interfering with a police officer (Pen. Code, sec. 148). His vehicle was searched and 11 clear, empty plastic baggies and some $65 in cash were located in the center console. Shortly…

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Name: People v. Nottoli
Case #: H035902
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/26/2011

A search incident to arrest for being under the influence of a controlled substance, supports a search incident to arrest, including a search of a cellphone found in the passenger compartment. The driver was pulled over for speeding and then arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance. He was handcuffed and secured in a patrol car. The subsequent search of the passenger compartment pursuant to Arizona v. Gant (2009) __ U.S.__, [129 S.Ct. 1710], produced "tooters," straws used to ingest drugs, a cell phone, and a gun. The cellphone "wallpaper" photo and 10 minute search through text…

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Name: Davis v. United States
Case #: 09-11328
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 06/16/2011
Subsequent History: 131 S.Ct. 2419; 180 L.Ed.2d 285

Searches conducted in objectively reasonable reliance on binding appellate precedent are not subject to the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule. The majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito addresses the scope of the exclusionary rule. Chimel v. California (1969) 395 U.S. 752, 763 allowed an arresting officer to conduct a warrantless search of the arrestee and the area only within his "immediate control." New York v. Belton (1981) 453 U.S. 454, 459-460 upheld the search of an automobile as reasonably incident to the arrest of the occupants of the car who were handcuffed and detained along the side of the thruway. Belton

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Name: People v. Sifuentes
Case #: G041225
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/27/2011
Subsequent History: Mod. opn. 6/27/11

The possession of a gun by a fellow gang member occupying the same motel room does not equate to possession by a felon based on constructive possession. Officers went to a motel room rented by Sifuentes who had a "no-bail" parole arrest warrant. Another occupant of the room, a fellow gang member Lopez, was located next to a mattress which concealed a loaded handgun. The gun was not tested for DNA or fingerprints. At trial, a gang expert testified about the prominent role that guns play in the gang subculture: a "gang gun" is passed among members for their criminal…

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Name: People v. Diaz
Case #: S166600
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/03/2011

Police do not need a warrant to search a cell phone carried by someone who has lawfully been arrested. About 90 minutes after appellant's arrest for participating in a controlled drug sale, police searched the text message folder on his cell phone. When confronted with a text message that implicated him in the sale, appellant admitted participation. The trial court denied appellant's motion to suppress the warrantless search of the phone, finding it was lawful since the property had been seized and searched incident to a lawful arrest. The Supreme Court granted review to decide if…

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