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Launched in April 2018, the Fourth Amendment Center seeks to build a robust legal infrastructure to challenge outdated legal doctrines that undermine privacy rights in the digital age.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.

You can learn more about the case here.

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REGISTER NOW: “Policing the Police: Using Police Technologies to Uncover Law Enforcement Misconduct in Criminal Cases” Webinar
August 11 at 11:00am ET

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? From police drones to body cameras, this webinar will guide the criminal defense bar through the functionality, technological limitations, and legal challenges of litigating police technology in criminal cases.

This webinar will feature Debbie Levi, Director of Special Litigation with the Baltimore City Public Defender, and Ivan Bates, Managing Partner of Bates & Garcia, P.C.

Register for the webinar here.

 

REGISTER NOW: “Surveilled Without a Trace: Challenging Digital Evidence Obtained through RoundUp and Torrential Downpour in Criminal Cases” Webinar
August 11 at 1:30pm ET

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 will discuss the technological background of peer-to-peer detection tools, while guiding the criminal defense bar through effective procedural and constitutional arguments that could warrant suppression of evidence.

This webinar will feature 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.

Register for the webinar here.

 

Watch Now: "The Challenges of Identifying and Litigating Facial Recognition Technology" Webinar

Police departments, federal agencies, and technology companies across the country are seeing revived scrutiny of facial recognition technology, which is capable of identifying people, sometimes without their knowledge or consent. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that some facial recognition systems perform differently depending on race and gender, and the use of such technology is not always disclosed to the defense when used to identify a suspect in a criminal case. How can defense lawyers identify a facial recognition case, and why is facial recognition technology so difficult to challenge in court?

The program from July 23, 2020 featured Clare Garvie, Senior Associate with the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, Phil Mayor, Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU of Michigan, and Dr. Arun Ross, the John and Eva Cillag Endowed Chair in the College of Engineering and a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University.

Find the rest of our video trainings here.

 

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

NACDL has 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.

 


Resources

 

 

Find the rest of our resources here.

 


Video Training

 

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 are free and can be viewed in this playlist.

 

Face-Off: Recognizing and Challenging the Use of Facial Recognition Technology

With an increasing number of police departments across the country turning to unregulated, untested, and flawed facial recognition technology to identify suspects, it is vital defenders understand the technology, its limitations, and how to challenge its use in their cases. This webinar explored these issues with the Georgetown Law Center of Privacy and Technology's Clare Garvie, Bronx Defender's Kaitlin Jackson, and computer scientist Joshua Kroll

This webinar was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K014 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

 

Find the rest of our webinars and video trainings 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.