The Court Of A Public Telephone Booth

1943 Words Nov 17th, 2014 8 Pages
On the date of February 4th, 1965, believing that the Petitioner had been using public pay phones to transmit illegal gambling wagers from Los Angeles to Miami and Boston, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began their surveillance into the life of the Petitioner, Charles Katz. Fifteen days later on February 19th, 1965 FBI agents working the case against the Petitioner had gained access to a phone booth within a set of phone booths that the petitioner frequented on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, and summarily recorded the petitioner’s side of conversations he was having on the phone within a booth nearby. This surveillance lasted until the 25th (excluding February 22, as no evidence was obtained due to technical difficulties) the date of the petitioner’s arrest, which took place immediately after he exited the same set of phone booths (Brief for Respondent 3). In this case there are two major constitutional questions which need to be addressed: (1) whether evidence obtained by attaching an electronic listening and recording device to the top of a public telephone booth used and occupied by the Petitioner is gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and (2) whether the search warrant used by the FBI officers in this case violated the Fourth Amendment to the constitution in that the warrant was (a) not founded on probable cause; (b) an evidentiary search warrant and (c) a general search warrant. While the Petitioner would like the answer to be yes in both cases,…

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