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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Commonwealth v. Pacheco

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court revisited cell site location information (CSLI) and the United States Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Carpenter in holding that orders issued by a trial court that authorized the disclosure of the defendant’s CSLI were the functional equivalent of search warrants and must comport with…

Commonwealth v. Pacheco
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court revisited cell site location information (CSLI) and the United States Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Carpenter in holding that orders issued by a trial court that authorized the disclosure of the defendant’s CSLI were the functional equivalent of search warrants and must comport with the Fourth Amendment. Since the… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Pacheco

Commonwealth v. Galloway
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that a passenger’s nervous behavior during a routine traffic stop is sufficient to sustain an officer’s reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. A trooper stopped a vehicle for traveling 64 mph in a 55 mph zone. The trooper gave the driver a warning, and the passenger — the defendant — provided… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Galloway

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court attempted to clarify the burden of proof law enforcement must present to recover contraband during an otherwise lawful Terry frisk. Here, after a car stop, a police officer saw the defendant — a passenger in the car — shield his body from the officer’s view and reach into his pockets. The… Continue reading In re T.W.

State v. McQueen
New Jersey Supreme Court

Applying the “heightened protection to telephone calls” afforded to New Jerseyans under Article I, Paragraph 7 of the New Jersey Constitution, a unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement was not permitted to listen to a recorded call made by an arrestee from the stationhouse. A person was arrested for certain offenses and… Continue reading State v. McQueen

Commonwealth v. Malloy
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Commonwealth v. Malloy, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the order of the Court of Common Pleas which denied suppression of a firearm and statements made by the defendant. A police officer stopped a car, in which the defendant was a passenger, for failing to display its license plate properly. While running license and registration… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Malloy

State v. Desir
New Jersey Supreme Court

In State v. Desir, the New Jersey Supreme Court reviewed an order from the Law Division denying a criminal defendant’s motion to compel discovery. The defendant sought the discovery to further his argument in support of a Franks hearing. The lower court had issued a search warrant for his home based on uncharged conduct involving a confidential… Continue reading State v. Desir

Commonwealth v. Price
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Commonwealth v. Price, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed a trial court’s order that suppressed evidence recovered during a search of the defendant’s cell phone. The Commonwealth sought and was granted a warrant. But the affidavit of probable cause supporting the warrant contained scant facts establishing probable cause. However, the Court ruled that the inevitable… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Price

State v. Williams
New Jersey Supreme Court

In State v. Williams, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Division’s opinion that reversed a trial court’s order denying suppression of certain physical evidence. Police officers knocked on the front door of a boarding house, and the officers’ knocks caused the door to open, as it apparently was not always closed (this seems… Continue reading State v. Williams

Commonwealth v. Johnson
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

In Commonwealth v. Johnson, a plurality of justices signed onto an opinion announcing the judgment of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, holding that law enforcement failed to establish probable cause to search the contents of two cell phones. Those phones were recovered from the defendant’s pocket. He was in an apartment where drugs and guns were… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Johnson

In State v. Radel, the Appellate Division confronted the question, “Did they really think they were allowed to do that?” Police received a forfeiture order directing them to seize a handgun from the defendant’s parents’ house. The defendant lived next door to his parents and was the purported owner of the gun. The defendant had… Continue reading State v. Radel