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Court Rules that FBI Violated the Fourth Amendment When it Viewed the Defendant’s Lock Screen: eDiscovery Case Law

In U.S. v. Sam, Washington District Judge John C. Coughenour granted the defendant’s motion in part to suppress cell phone contents ruling that the FBI “‘searched’ the phone within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment…And because the FBI conducted the search without a warrant, the search was unconstitutional.” As for a second search, conducted by the Tulalip Police Department, Judge Coughenour ruling that “the record is devoid of concrete evidence regarding the inventory search purportedly conducted by the Tulalip Police Department”, ordered the parties to “file supplemental briefing addressing the circumstances surrounding Office Shin’s and the Tulalip Police Department’s alleged examinations of Mr. Sam’s phone.”