The Case Of Ninth Circuit Court

1492 Words Oct 7th, 2015 6 Pages
Ninth Circuit Court holds that an employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy in their private office, because it is locked and not shared with others. This reasonable expectation of privacy extends to the contents of their office, including the employee’s company computer, located therein. As a result, the court held that the fourth amendment protects both the office and computer from warrantless searches by the government unless it obtains valid consent from either the defendant or one with common authority over the items searched, or proceeds on the authorization of one with apparent authority to give such valid consent. In this case, the Ninth Circuit holds that the government obtained valid consent from one with common authority over the items searched, when it received such consent from the employee’s employer. The employer had common authority over the employee’s office computer because it had a policy of, and regularly did, monitor employees’ computer usage of company machines, a policy of which its employees were made aware. The court accordingly denied defendant’s motion to suppress evidence found by the government during its warrantless search of defendant’s office computer. As a result, pursuant to a plea agreement, defendant was convicted of the receipt of obscene material based, in part, on evidence obtained during this search. The evidence obtained during this search, and by the company earlier, showed that defendant had viewed and had possession of…
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