The gold standard of excellence for more than 80 years, Bloomberg BNA’s The United States Law Week® is the most authoritative way to keep up with important cases and other legal developments...
Oct. 14 — There was no search when a police officer swiped a suspect’s gift card at the scene of an arrest, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held Oct. 13 ( United States v. Turner , 2016 BL 341775, 5th Cir., No. 15-50788, 10/13/16 ).
The holding applies only to “the gift cards of today,” however, because today’s technology won’t be “the technology of tomorrow,” Judge Gregg J. Costa wrote for the court.
Courtland Lenard Turner was in his friend’s car when it was pulled over for a minor traffic violation.
After a police officer realized Turner was wanted on an outstanding warrant, he ordered him out of the car, noticing a plastic bag stuffed halfway under Turner’s seat.
Turner’s friend handed the bag, filled with 143 gift cards, to the cop, who swiped them with his in-car computer, determining many were altered.
During trial for aiding and abetting the possession of unauthorized access devices, Turner moved to suppress evidence of the cards.
The gift cards were lawfully seized because the facts—the sheer quantity, that they were partially concealed and are associated with fraud and theft—support probable cause to believe they were evidence of a crime, the court said.
Furthermore, the officer lawfully swiped the cards, it said.
There’s no reasonable expectation of privacy in the relatively small amount of information encoded in the gift card stripes because they are intended to be read by third-parties such as store clerks, the court said.
New technology providing cards with greater storage capacity might result in a different privacy finding, it said.
The Eighth and Sixth circuits have also held that card swiping isn’t a search (84 U.S.L.W. 1865, 6/16/16).
Judges Jacques L. Wiener Jr. and Edith Brown Clement joined the opinion.
The U.S. attorney’s office represented the government. John Scott Peterson of Waco, Texas, represented Turner.
To contact the reporter on this story: Melissa Heelan Stanzione in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at email@example.com
Full text at http://src.bna.com/joW.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)