News Column

BRIEF: Lodi police, local lawyer offer opinions on U.S. Supreme Court smartphone ruling

June 26, 2014

By James Striplin, Lodi News-Sentinel, Calif.

June 26--On Wednesday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously voted to require police to present warrants in order to search cellphones during an arrest.

The ruling, which may also apply to tablets and laptop computers, sprouted from a case in California where a man's phone was searched during an arrest and data on the device was used to convict him in a gang shooting.

"This one came out of California, and (the Supreme Court) reversed it," San Joaquin County public defender Peter Fox said Wednesday.

He said that he believed this was a good decision, and that it's common sense that the Fourth Amendment adapt to the digital age.

"It seemed to us to be the correct decision," Fox said.

Lt. Sierra Brucia said the Lodi Police Department will adjust practices to make sure they comply with the ruling.

"We will do two things," Brucia said. "One, we will review the ruling. Two, we will be in contact with the D.A.'s office to make sure we're in compliance with it."

Fox said it's not certain how the new law will affect San Joaquin County, but he is expecting there to be a flood of phone search warrants circulating through Central Valley courts.

Contact reporter James Striplin at


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Source: Lodi News-Sentinel (CA)

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