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Cases by Topic Areas


Each case listed here is listed by the digital evidence topic area it deals with. Each has its short synopsis in the line. To review a longer description of the case, please click on the case name.


Cell

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
People v. Garlinger California 2016-06-01 A cell phone expert for the prosecution testified that the cell signal from defendant’s phone must have come from a particular side of the cell phone tower and in the general vicinity of the tower. The DCA held that this type of testimony does not describe a new scientific technique and therefore is not subject to the Kelly standard.

Cell Phone Tower

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
People v. Garlinger California 2016-06-01 A cell phone expert for the prosecution testified that the cell signal from defendant’s phone must have come from a particular side of the cell phone tower and in the general vicinity of the tower. The DCA held that this type of testimony does not describe a new scientific technique and therefore is not subject to the Kelly standard.

Child Pornography

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
Commonwealth v. Ruddock Massachusetts 2009-11-02 Trial court ordered government to provide a “mirror image” copy of child pornography defendant’s hard drive to defense expert. Opinion cites to rulings from various other states on the issue and discusses the federal discovery rule. The case is a good research tool.
Kelley v. Commonwealth Virginia 2015-04-16 Evidence was sufficient to support conviction for distribution of child pornography; defendant chose to download file-sharing software onto his laptop computer by which he voluntarily participated in peer-to-peer file-sharing of child pornography, and whether defendant's shared folder containing the child pornography was created as a default option by the software or by defendant himself, the child pornography files were, in fact, downloaded by defendant into his shared folder, and thereby made available to other users of filed-sharing program.
Lauren v. Justin American Somoa 2018-05-01 Synopsis
Lefferdink v. State Wyoming 2011-05-04 Deputy's misstatement in affidavit as to the date and time he viewed the sharing of pornographic material through defendant's computer internet protocol (IP) address was at most as a result of negligence or a simple mistake, and thus, constituted insufficient grounds to set aside deputy's affidavit in support of search warrant.
People v. Garelick California 2008-04-08 Jury was not required to find that defendant possessed images indicative of child pornography with the specific intent to possess child pornography, in order to consider the images as evidence of uncharged acts to prove intent in trial for attempted lewd or lascivious act on a child under 14.
People v. Shinohara Illinois Evidence of child pornography for which defendant was not charged was admissible for purposes of showing defendant's defendant's intent in child pornography prosecution; evidence demonstrated that defendant's admission regarding young people on his computer referred to people younger than 17 year old victim.
Rideout v. Commonwealth Virginia 2014-02-04 Detective downloaded child pornography from suspect’s computer using ShareazaLE. Suspect claimed he tried to disable file sharing and thus had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The court rejected defendant’s argument.
State of Tennessee v. Rodriguez Tennessee Presenting evidence suggesting that the defendant in a child sexual assault case possessed and viewed child pornography for no other purpose than establishing a predilection toward sexually abusing children places a defendant in a highly prejudiced posture before the jury and has the effect of converting the trial from an assessment of the charges against the defendant to a general inquiry as to his character.
State v. Aston Louisiana 2013-09-04 Defendant charged with possession of pornography involving juveniles did not have Fourth Amendment right to privacy in contents of his computer, after making such contents available to the world by way of peer-to-peer file-sharing network. Defendant does not have Fourth Amendment privacy rights in computer files that he or she has shared on file-sharing networks.
State v. Combest Oregon 2015-05-13 Police officers' use of computer software to seek out and download files from defendant on a peer-to-peer network, and to obtain the IP address, GUID, and hash value associated with those files, was not sufficiently intrusive to be classified as a “search,” within meaning of state constitutional provision protecting right against unreasonable search or seizure.
State v. Daigle Louisiana 2018-05-02 In applying for a search warrant for a defendant's home computer, a state police detective did not violate any reasonable expectation of privacy by using software (Wyoming Tool Kit) available only to law enforcement.
State v. Frazier Florida 2015-10-02 Officers use of Child Protection System software from TLO does not violate defendant's Fourth Amendment rights.
State v. Mercer Wisconsin 2010-03-01 “Other acts” evidence, including defendant's uncharged Internet searches for child pornography and his uncharged possession of 19 child pornography images on his hard drive, was admissible in prosecution for possession of child pornography arising from his viewing of Internet images on a particular day, as the evidence went directly to the defense that defendant was not searching for child pornography on that day, and it was extremely similar to the charged conduct.
State v. Roberts Utah 2015-01-29 Defendant did not have reasonable expectation of privacy in files shared openly over peer-to-peer network and, thus, law enforcement's use of computer database of digital file values corresponding to files containing child pornography and software that searched files on peer-to-peer file sharing network for identified values was not “search” subject to Fourth Amendment protections.
State v. Ross Florida Notwithstanding state's broad duty to disclose, state was not obligated to turn over to defendant contraband of computerized images of child pornography.
State v. Schuller Nebraska 2014-02-21 Detective’s failure to explain in search warrant affidavit that the IP address was dynamic and subject to change was not material because the affidavit explained how the same GUID was used during the entire time. And because Schuller repeatedly searched for, downloaded, viewed, and deleted child pornography, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support a finding that he knowingly possessed it.
State v. Thornton Ohio 2009-08-08 Appellant knowingly exposed to the public the files found on Perry's computer and the IP address associated with that computer through the use of the LimeWire program on the computer. Therefore, he had no reasonable expectation of privacy in that evidence.
Timothy v. Justin Colorado 2018-05-02 Short Synopsis
U.S. v. Cox New York 2002-03-11 Defendant contends that he is entitled to return of the contraband material at issue in this case during the pendency of these criminal proceedings.

Child Protection System

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
Rideout v. Commonwealth Virginia 2014-02-04 Detective downloaded child pornography from suspect’s computer using ShareazaLE. Suspect claimed he tried to disable file sharing and thus had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The court rejected defendant’s argument.
State v. Frazier Florida 2015-10-02 Officers use of Child Protection System software from TLO does not violate defendant's Fourth Amendment rights.

Expectation of Privacy

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
Commonwealth v. Ruddock Massachusetts 2009-11-02 Trial court ordered government to provide a “mirror image” copy of child pornography defendant’s hard drive to defense expert. Opinion cites to rulings from various other states on the issue and discusses the federal discovery rule. The case is a good research tool.
Kelley v. Commonwealth Virginia 2015-04-16 Evidence was sufficient to support conviction for distribution of child pornography; defendant chose to download file-sharing software onto his laptop computer by which he voluntarily participated in peer-to-peer file-sharing of child pornography, and whether defendant's shared folder containing the child pornography was created as a default option by the software or by defendant himself, the child pornography files were, in fact, downloaded by defendant into his shared folder, and thereby made available to other users of filed-sharing program.
Lauren v. Justin American Somoa 2018-05-01 Synopsis
Lefferdink v. State Wyoming 2011-05-04 Deputy's misstatement in affidavit as to the date and time he viewed the sharing of pornographic material through defendant's computer internet protocol (IP) address was at most as a result of negligence or a simple mistake, and thus, constituted insufficient grounds to set aside deputy's affidavit in support of search warrant.
People v. Garelick California 2008-04-08 Jury was not required to find that defendant possessed images indicative of child pornography with the specific intent to possess child pornography, in order to consider the images as evidence of uncharged acts to prove intent in trial for attempted lewd or lascivious act on a child under 14.
People v. Shinohara Illinois Evidence of child pornography for which defendant was not charged was admissible for purposes of showing defendant's defendant's intent in child pornography prosecution; evidence demonstrated that defendant's admission regarding young people on his computer referred to people younger than 17 year old victim.
Rideout v. Commonwealth Virginia 2014-02-04 Detective downloaded child pornography from suspect’s computer using ShareazaLE. Suspect claimed he tried to disable file sharing and thus had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The court rejected defendant’s argument.
State of Tennessee v. Rodriguez Tennessee Presenting evidence suggesting that the defendant in a child sexual assault case possessed and viewed child pornography for no other purpose than establishing a predilection toward sexually abusing children places a defendant in a highly prejudiced posture before the jury and has the effect of converting the trial from an assessment of the charges against the defendant to a general inquiry as to his character.
State v. Aston Louisiana 2013-09-04 Defendant charged with possession of pornography involving juveniles did not have Fourth Amendment right to privacy in contents of his computer, after making such contents available to the world by way of peer-to-peer file-sharing network. Defendant does not have Fourth Amendment privacy rights in computer files that he or she has shared on file-sharing networks.
State v. Combest Oregon 2015-05-13 Police officers' use of computer software to seek out and download files from defendant on a peer-to-peer network, and to obtain the IP address, GUID, and hash value associated with those files, was not sufficiently intrusive to be classified as a “search,” within meaning of state constitutional provision protecting right against unreasonable search or seizure.
State v. Daigle Louisiana 2018-05-02 In applying for a search warrant for a defendant's home computer, a state police detective did not violate any reasonable expectation of privacy by using software (Wyoming Tool Kit) available only to law enforcement.
State v. Frazier Florida 2015-10-02 Officers use of Child Protection System software from TLO does not violate defendant's Fourth Amendment rights.
State v. Mercer Wisconsin 2010-03-01 “Other acts” evidence, including defendant's uncharged Internet searches for child pornography and his uncharged possession of 19 child pornography images on his hard drive, was admissible in prosecution for possession of child pornography arising from his viewing of Internet images on a particular day, as the evidence went directly to the defense that defendant was not searching for child pornography on that day, and it was extremely similar to the charged conduct.
State v. Roberts Utah 2015-01-29 Defendant did not have reasonable expectation of privacy in files shared openly over peer-to-peer network and, thus, law enforcement's use of computer database of digital file values corresponding to files containing child pornography and software that searched files on peer-to-peer file sharing network for identified values was not “search” subject to Fourth Amendment protections.
State v. Ross Florida Notwithstanding state's broad duty to disclose, state was not obligated to turn over to defendant contraband of computerized images of child pornography.
State v. Schuller Nebraska 2014-02-21 Detective’s failure to explain in search warrant affidavit that the IP address was dynamic and subject to change was not material because the affidavit explained how the same GUID was used during the entire time. And because Schuller repeatedly searched for, downloaded, viewed, and deleted child pornography, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support a finding that he knowingly possessed it.
State v. Thornton Ohio 2009-08-08 Appellant knowingly exposed to the public the files found on Perry's computer and the IP address associated with that computer through the use of the LimeWire program on the computer. Therefore, he had no reasonable expectation of privacy in that evidence.
Timothy v. Justin Colorado 2018-05-02 Short Synopsis
U.S. v. Cox New York 2002-03-11 Defendant contends that he is entitled to return of the contraband material at issue in this case during the pendency of these criminal proceedings.

Forensics

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
Commonwealth v. Ruddock Massachusetts 2009-11-02 Trial court ordered government to provide a “mirror image” copy of child pornography defendant’s hard drive to defense expert. Opinion cites to rulings from various other states on the issue and discusses the federal discovery rule. The case is a good research tool.

Fourth Amendment

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
Rideout v. Commonwealth Virginia 2014-02-04 Detective downloaded child pornography from suspect’s computer using ShareazaLE. Suspect claimed he tried to disable file sharing and thus had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The court rejected defendant’s argument.
State v. Aston Louisiana 2013-09-04 Defendant charged with possession of pornography involving juveniles did not have Fourth Amendment right to privacy in contents of his computer, after making such contents available to the world by way of peer-to-peer file-sharing network. Defendant does not have Fourth Amendment privacy rights in computer files that he or she has shared on file-sharing networks.
State v. Frazier Florida 2015-10-02 Officers use of Child Protection System software from TLO does not violate defendant's Fourth Amendment rights.
State v. Roberts Utah 2015-01-29 Defendant did not have reasonable expectation of privacy in files shared openly over peer-to-peer network and, thus, law enforcement's use of computer database of digital file values corresponding to files containing child pornography and software that searched files on peer-to-peer file sharing network for identified values was not “search” subject to Fourth Amendment protections.

Franks Case

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
People v. Bernal California 2014-09-11 The trial court ruled that possibility of someone using suspect’s unsecured wireless router did not defeat probable cause for search warrant. This is not a Franks case, but deals with an issue frequently addressed in Franks cases. The case is unpublished and not to be cited, but it contains a review of other cases that came to the same conclusion.

Probable Cause

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
People v. Bernal California 2014-09-11 The trial court ruled that possibility of someone using suspect’s unsecured wireless router did not defeat probable cause for search warrant. This is not a Franks case, but deals with an issue frequently addressed in Franks cases. The case is unpublished and not to be cited, but it contains a review of other cases that came to the same conclusion.

Mobile

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
People v. Garlinger California 2016-06-01 A cell phone expert for the prosecution testified that the cell signal from defendant’s phone must have come from a particular side of the cell phone tower and in the general vicinity of the tower. The DCA held that this type of testimony does not describe a new scientific technique and therefore is not subject to the Kelly standard.

Peer-to-Peer

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
Kelley v. Commonwealth Virginia 2015-04-16 Evidence was sufficient to support conviction for distribution of child pornography; defendant chose to download file-sharing software onto his laptop computer by which he voluntarily participated in peer-to-peer file-sharing of child pornography, and whether defendant's shared folder containing the child pornography was created as a default option by the software or by defendant himself, the child pornography files were, in fact, downloaded by defendant into his shared folder, and thereby made available to other users of filed-sharing program.
People v. Gonzalez Illinois 2014-09-02 By downloading the files from the peer-to-peer network and saving them to his hard drive, defendant created digital copies of those files. He then made those copies—which were not previously available on the peer-to-peer network—available for other users to download by saving them in his shared file.
State v. Aguilar Tennessee 2014-01-09 Defendant did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in shared folder. Standard P2P affidavit and warrant established probable cause to search defendant’s home.
State v. Aston Louisiana 2013-09-04 Defendant charged with possession of pornography involving juveniles did not have Fourth Amendment right to privacy in contents of his computer, after making such contents available to the world by way of peer-to-peer file-sharing network. Defendant does not have Fourth Amendment privacy rights in computer files that he or she has shared on file-sharing networks.
State v. Combest Oregon 2015-05-13 Police officers' use of computer software to seek out and download files from defendant on a peer-to-peer network, and to obtain the IP address, GUID, and hash value associated with those files, was not sufficiently intrusive to be classified as a “search,” within meaning of state constitutional provision protecting right against unreasonable search or seizure.
State v. Dunham Louisiana 2012-12-12 Police officer's use of peer-to-peer file sharing technology, which was unavailable to the public, to search defendant's computer did not constitute an illegal, warrantless search; a defendant had no privacy rights in computer files they have on a file sharing network.
State v. Peppin Washington 2015-04-09 Detective's use of enhanced peer to peer file sharing software to remotely access the shared files on defendant's computer was not a violation of search and seizure provision of State Constitution.
State v. Roberts Utah 2015-01-29 Defendant did not have reasonable expectation of privacy in files shared openly over peer-to-peer network and, thus, law enforcement's use of computer database of digital file values corresponding to files containing child pornography and software that searched files on peer-to-peer file sharing network for identified values was not “search” subject to Fourth Amendment protections.

Prejudice

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
State v. Ross Florida Notwithstanding state's broad duty to disclose, state was not obligated to turn over to defendant contraband of computerized images of child pornography.

Privilege

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
State v. Ross Florida Notwithstanding state's broad duty to disclose, state was not obligated to turn over to defendant contraband of computerized images of child pornography.

Search and Seizure

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
People v. Shinohara Illinois Evidence of child pornography for which defendant was not charged was admissible for purposes of showing defendant's defendant's intent in child pornography prosecution; evidence demonstrated that defendant's admission regarding young people on his computer referred to people younger than 17 year old victim.
State v. Combest Oregon 2015-05-13 Police officers' use of computer software to seek out and download files from defendant on a peer-to-peer network, and to obtain the IP address, GUID, and hash value associated with those files, was not sufficiently intrusive to be classified as a “search,” within meaning of state constitutional provision protecting right against unreasonable search or seizure.
State v. Dunham Louisiana 2012-12-12 Police officer's use of peer-to-peer file sharing technology, which was unavailable to the public, to search defendant's computer did not constitute an illegal, warrantless search; a defendant had no privacy rights in computer files they have on a file sharing network.
State v. Peppin Washington 2015-04-09 Detective's use of enhanced peer to peer file sharing software to remotely access the shared files on defendant's computer was not a violation of search and seizure provision of State Constitution.
U.S. v. Cox New York 2002-03-11 Defendant contends that he is entitled to return of the contraband material at issue in this case during the pendency of these criminal proceedings.

Search Warrants

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
People v. Shinohara Illinois Evidence of child pornography for which defendant was not charged was admissible for purposes of showing defendant's defendant's intent in child pornography prosecution; evidence demonstrated that defendant's admission regarding young people on his computer referred to people younger than 17 year old victim.
State v. Aguilar Tennessee 2014-01-09 Defendant did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in shared folder. Standard P2P affidavit and warrant established probable cause to search defendant’s home.
State v. Daigle Louisiana 2018-05-02 In applying for a search warrant for a defendant's home computer, a state police detective did not violate any reasonable expectation of privacy by using software (Wyoming Tool Kit) available only to law enforcement.
State v. Dunham Louisiana 2012-12-12 Police officer's use of peer-to-peer file sharing technology, which was unavailable to the public, to search defendant's computer did not constitute an illegal, warrantless search; a defendant had no privacy rights in computer files they have on a file sharing network.
State v. Schuller Nebraska 2014-02-21 Detective’s failure to explain in search warrant affidavit that the IP address was dynamic and subject to change was not material because the affidavit explained how the same GUID was used during the entire time. And because Schuller repeatedly searched for, downloaded, viewed, and deleted child pornography, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support a finding that he knowingly possessed it.

TLO

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
State v. Frazier Florida 2015-10-02 Officers use of Child Protection System software from TLO does not violate defendant's Fourth Amendment rights.

Wireless

Case Name Jurisdiction Date Short Synopsis
People v. Bernal California 2014-09-11 The trial court ruled that possibility of someone using suspect’s unsecured wireless router did not defeat probable cause for search warrant. This is not a Franks case, but deals with an issue frequently addressed in Franks cases. The case is unpublished and not to be cited, but it contains a review of other cases that came to the same conclusion.