Fourth Amendment Center

NACDL's Fourth Amendment Center offers direct assistance to defense lawyers handling cases involving new surveillance tools, technologies and tactics that infringe on the constitutional rights of people in America. The Center is available to help members of the defense bar in bringing new Fourth Amendment challenges.

           

 To request assistance or additional information, contact 4AC@nacdl.org.

 

Launched in April 2018, the Fourth Amendment Center seeks to build a robust legal infrastructure to challenge outdated legal doctrines that undermine privacy rights in the digital age. To this end, the Center is available to provide litigation assistance in cases raising new Fourth Amendment concerns, including:

        

        

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The NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice preserves and promotes the core values of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American criminal justice system.

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Defense lawyers with cases involving any of these issues are encouraged to contact the Center. The Center is available to provide consultations and litigation resources as well as direct assistance in support of a defendant’s Fourth Amendment claims. Specifically, the Center may assist in motion practice, preparation for suppression hearings, appellate strategy, brief writing, and oral argument. The Center also provides group trainings for defense lawyers around the country and upon request.

 

Learn more about the Center's history, staff, and tech advisory board here.

 


 

 

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Featured

 

Fourth Amendment Center Files Motion to Suppress Evidence Obtained in “Geofence” Warrants Case

In United States v. Chatrie, No. 3:19-cr-130 (E.D. Va.), Okello Chatrie was charged with armed robbery based on Google Sensorvault location data obtained by law enforcement via a geofence warrant. Chatrie is represented by Michael Price, Senior Litigation Counsel for the Fourth Amendment Center, and Laura Koenig, a public defender in the Eastern District of Virginia. According to The Washington Post, prosecutors have called the case the first of its kind.

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Challenging Digital Evidence Obtained through RoundUp and Torrential Downpour in Criminal Cases

Prosecutors are employing novel and unproven surveillance software to investigate peer-to-peer file-sharing networks for criminal activity, seeking to link suspicious activity with internet IP addresses and subscriber information. The software suite, known as “RoundUp,” includes applications designed to monitor popular file-sharing platforms such as BitTorrent (e.g., “Torrential Downpour”) to conduct highly-intrusive digital surveillance. How can defense lawyers recognize the use of RoundUp or similar programs in a criminal case?

This webinar from August 11, 2020 featured Mohammad Hamoudi, Assistant Federal Defender for the Western District of Washington, Jeff Fischbach, founder and President of SecondWave Information Systems, and Robert Herz, the owner of the Law Offices of Robert Herz, P.C.

Find the rest of our webinar library here.

 

NACDL Files Amicus Brief in State v. Jackson (2019)

NACDL filed an amicus brief with American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey and the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey, arguing that prosecutors wishing to listen in on calls a defendant makes from jail must first get a warrant. This is in support of the State v. Jackson case (Superior Court of New Jersey; Case No. 083286), which argued that defendant Mark Jackson had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the calls he made to his mother from jail. Jackson did not forfeit all privacy rights in his telephone conversations by exposing them to jail staff for security monitoring purposes. Requiring prosecutors to secure warrants in order to access jail calls is the only adequate way to protect the constitutional and policy interests the calls implicate.

 Read the rest of our amicus work here.

 


Reports

 

 

Find the rest of our reports and primers here.

 


CLE Training and Webinar Library

 

Using Police Technologies to Uncover Law Enforcement Misconduct in Criminal Cases

Since 2017, the Baltimore Public Defender’s Office has called over 2,000 convictions into question related to police misconduct. In one instance, a Baltimore Police Department body-worn camera appeared to show an officer planting drugs at the scene of an arrest. As law enforcement agencies are increasingly using surveillance tools and forensic technologies to identify and arrest suspects in criminal investigations, defense attorneys are faced with the challenge of both defending their clients and holding police accountable for misconduct and abuse. How can criminal defense attorneys turn police technologies on police departments in criminal proceedings? 

This webinar from August 11, 2020 featured Debbie Levi, Director of Special Litigation with the Baltimore City Public Defender, and Ivan Bates, Managing Partner of Bates & Garcia, P.C.

Find the rest of the Center's webinars here.

 

Combatting the Surveillance State in Criminal Proceedings

This two-day CLE conference discussed the government's use of technologically advanced investigative techniques in criminal cases, and the issues raised by those techniques under the Fourth Amendment and other federal law.  

This CLE was co-sponsored by NACDL and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (BCLT), and held at International House, the University of California - Berkeley from November 29 to 30, 2018. 

All of the videos from the conference can be viewed here.

 


Amicus Briefs

 

NACDL provides amicus assistance on the federal and state level in those cases that present issues of importance to criminal defendants, criminal defense lawyers, and the criminal justice system as a whole. A selection of NACDL's amicus briefs that address the Fourth Amendment in the digital age are offered below. 

 

           State v. Jackson                             Jewel v. National Security Agency
       
        United States v. Henderson                  United States v. Ackerman        
          Dahda v. United States                           Byrd v. United States

 Read the rest of our amicus work here.

 


Litigation Support

 

Need help with a case?

 

The Center is available to provide consultations and litigation resources as well as direct assistance in support of a defendant’s Fourth Amendment claims. Specifically, the Center may assist in motion practice, preparation for suppression hearings, appellate strategy, brief writing, and oral argument. The Center also provides group trainings for defense lawyers around the country and upon request.

To request assistance or additional information, contact 4AC@nacdl.org.