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Fourth Amendment protections apply to text messages

Cell phone owners have reasonable expectation of privacy subject to Fourth Amendment protections that phone company’s ability to access does not negate. “Callers have long enjoyed Fourth Amendment protection of the information they communicate over the phone. We see no reason why the same information communicated textually from that same device should receive any less protection under the Fourth Amendment.” The Fourth Amendment does not require warrant for investigative subpoena but does require investigative subpoena to have reasonable limitations in scope and relevance in purpose. “[T]he State issued each consecutive subpoena because [respondent] made no admission within the time specified in the previous subpoena. If no evidence with which to charge [respondent] had come about, presumably the State would still be issuing subpoenas periodically in the hope of securing something it could use against him.” Exclusionary rule has exceptions based on police conduct but “a conscious and considered decision made by a” prosecutor is not among them.
State of Missouri vs. James Arthur Clampitt
(Overview Summary)
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District - WD73943