E.D. Louisiana holds that civil motion to quash cell phone records subpoena based on Carpenter to be frivolous.

This brief order denying relief is a cautionary tale regarding the use of Fourth Amendment principles in civil litigation. Here, an attorney filed a motion to quash a subpoena for cell phone records of a non-party. The District Court, in language towards the attorney who filed the motion, considered this motion to be frivolous and warned counsel about filing such a document again.

Counsel argued that the subpoena violated the client’s Fourth Amendment rights, citing Carpenter. “The facts of the case, the statutes involved in the Supreme Court’s analysis, and the rationale behind the Court’s decision have nothing whatsoever to do with the issues before this Court and citation to the case by counsel is frivolous. The Fourth Amendment proscribes only governmental action. United States v. Paige, 136 F.3d 1012, 1017 (5th Cir. 1998).”

The case is Henderson-Burkhalter v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8874 (E.D. Louisiana) January 18, 2019.

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