The Campaign For DA

2.26.2014

Legal Stuff: Texas Highest Criminal Court Just Ruled That Your Cell Phone Isn't "Like A Pair Of Pants"

This case raises the issue of whether a person retains a legitimate expectation of privacy in the contents of his cell phone when that phone is being temporarily stored in a jail property room.  The trial judge granted Anthony Granville's motion to suppress, concluding that the high-school student did not lose his legitimate expectation of privacy in his cell phone simply because it was being stored in the jail property room after he had been arrested for a Class C misdemeanor. The court of appeals affirmed that ruling. We granted the [government's] petition for discretionary review, but we reject its argument that a modern-day cell phone is like a pair of pants or a bag of groceries, for which a person loses all privacy protection once it is checked into a jail property room. We therefore affirm the judgment of the court of appeals.  More.