Riley, David L. v. California

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: January 17, 2014
  • Case #: 13-132
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Court Below: 2013 WL 475242 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 2013)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether the Fourth Amendment prohibits the warrantless search of cell phones.

During a traffic stop, an officer discovered that Petitioner had a suspended driver’s license and impounded the vehicle. The officer searched the vehicle and discovered handguns. The officer arrested Petitioner and seized a cell phone. At the police station, the officer searched the cell phone for more evidence.

The lower court held that search of the cell phone was lawful, concluding the reasoning in People v. Diaz. 51 Cal.4th 84. The Court of Appeals affirmed and held that the Diaz case controls because the Petitioner’s cell phone, like in the Diaz case, was on his person at the time of arrest and therefore the search was lawful.

Petitioner argues that the warrantless search of his cell phone was a violation of the Petitioner’s Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful searches. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether the Fourth Amendment prohibits the warrantless search of cell phones.

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