Archive | good faith

Friday, May 27th, 2016

More Thoughts on Ganias

Today there was a big decision (both metaphorically and literally – the decision runs 104-pages) from the Second Circuit in United States v. Ganias about search warrants in an age of digital data. In Ganias, the government seized and made identical copies of three hard drives that belonged to an accountant, Stavros Ganias, pursuant to a warrant (the “2003 warrant”) in a fraud investigation. The government continued to hold the files, even after reviewing them for all relevant information contained in the 2003 warrant. In 2006, the government obtained a second warrant (the “2006 warrant”) as part of an IRS tax evasion investigation and they searched the files anew pursuant to that second warrant.

There were two questions presented:

  1. Whether the fourth amendment was violated when, pursuant to a warrant, the government seized and cloned three computer hard drives containing both responsive and non-responsive files, retained the cloned hard

Posted By
Categories: Fourth Amendment, good faith, search warrant

Continue Reading

In En Banc Opinion, Second Circuit Upholds “Good Faith” Reliance on Search Warrant

Today the Second Circuit issued a 104-page en banc opinion in United States v. Ganias, 12-240-cr.

In Ganias, the Court affirmed the judgment of the district court, holding that the government had relied on a search warrant in good faith and declining to reach the Fourth Amendment question raised by the defendant.

The case involved the government’s retention of a mirrored hard drive containing data that went beyond the scope of a search warrant issued in 2003.  In 2006, the government searched this data pursuant to a search warrant obtained in 2006.  Mr. Ganias contended that the 2006 search would not have been possible if the government had not retained a copy of the data that was not responsive to the 2003 search warrant. The Court held that the government’s good faith reliance on the 2006 warrant was objectively reasonable, and so did not reach the question …

Posted by
Categories: good faith

Posted By
Categories: good faith

Continue Reading
Friday, March 11th, 2011

A Good-Faith-Based Decision

United States v. Clark, No. 09-3462-cr (2d Cir. March 8, 2011) (Sack, Raggi, Lynch, CJJ)

In the district court, defendant Clark moved to suppress physical evidence and statements obtained after execution of a search warrant, and the district court granted the motion. On this, the government’s appeal, the circuit agreed that the warrant was defective – it did not establish probable cause – but that, contrary to the district court’s conclusion, the good faith exception applied. The court accordingly reversed and remanded.

Background

Local police officers in Niagara Falls, New York, obtained a warrant from a city court judge to search Clark and “1015 Fairfield Ave, being a multi family dwelling” for drugs and drug dealing paraphernalia. The supporting affidavit disclosed that an informant of “unknown reliability” told them that Clark was selling cocaine there, and that Clark had “full control” over the location. The affidavit also described two controlled …


Posted By
Categories: good faith, probable cause, Uncategorized

Continue Reading
Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Good Faith Efforts

United States v. Falso, No. 06-2721-cr (2d Cir. September 24, 2008) (Jacobs, Sotomayor, Livingston, CJJ)

This opinion, a three-way split, adds another confusing piece to the circuit’s oeuvre in reviewing search warrants in child pornography cases. Judges Sotomayor and Jacobs held that the warrant lacked probable cause; Judge Livingston held that it did not. Judges Sotomayor and Livingston held that the agents relied on the warrant in good faith; Judge Jacobs held that the good faith exception should not apply. In the end, Falso’s conviction and thirty-year sentence were affirmed.

Background

All of the evidence against Falso was recovered from a search of his home and a consensual interview that took place there. This led to a 242-count indictment that covered travel with the intent to engage in sexual contact with minors, production of child pornography, receiving child pornography via the internet, and transporting and possessing child pornography – 242 …


Posted By
Categories: good faith, probable cause, Uncategorized

Continue Reading