S.D. of N.Y. invokes good faith exception because Stored Communications Act was not “clearly unconstitutional.”

The relevant part of this case (which discusses many other issues outside the scope of this blog) involves motions to suppress cell-site data for more than one defendant. The main argument is that probable cause was lacking in addition to the less stringent standard of “specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the contents of a wire or electronic communication, or the records or other information sought are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.”

The Warrant application was based on intercepts that a law enforcement officer interpreted to be about narcotics sales. The defendant argued that the call was about a oar, not narcotics. The District Court’s response to that was that the good faith exception applies, citing United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 922, 104 S. Ct. 3405, 82 L. Ed. 2d 677 (1984).

The defendant’s rejected response was that good-faith does not apply because the warrants are so facially deficient that law enforcement officers’ reliance upon them was unreasonable. The Court rejected this argument, citing Second Circuit precedent that the agents’ interpretations were neither unreasonable nor implausible. (Citing, United States v. Cancelmo, 64 F.3d 804, 808 (2d Cir. 1995)).

A second defendant’s motions were also denied where the District Court invoked again the good faith exception. The Court held that the Government was allowed to rely on the Stored Communications Act unless the statute is “clearly unconstitutional.'” Citing United States v. Chambers, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 27073, 2018 WL 4523607, at *2) (quoting Illinois v. Krull, 480 U.S. 340, 349, 107 S. Ct. 1160, 94 L. Ed. 2d 364 (1987)).

Chambers was covered by this blog back on September 26. My criticisms of this decision can be found here: http://wolfcriminallaw.com/second-circuit-finds-good-faith-exception-applies-in-case-u-s-supreme-court-ordered-remanded-in-light-of-carpenter/

The case is United States v. Guillen, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189789,
2018 WL 5831318 (S.D. N.Y.) October 26, 2018.

Related Posts
  • Fighting Google Keyword Warrants Read More
  • Three new cases coming up that will affect Carpenter litigation, all in Massachusetts. Read More
  • Middle District of Tennessee holds Iphones in plain view can be seized during a lawful arrest or encounter. Read More