In US v. King, No. 09-1861, the Third Circuit faced a defendant's challenge to his conviction for interstate transportation to engage in sex with a minor claiming, inter alia, that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress that when an owner of a computer consents to its seizure, that consent does not include the computer's hard drive installed by another who claims ownership of it and objects to its seizure.
In affirming the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress, the court held that the seizure of the child-victim's mother's computer did not violate defendant's Fourth Amendment as he placed his hard drive inside the computer, which they both shared without any password protections, and as such, he assumed the risk that the mother would consent to its seizure. The court affirmed remainder of district court's findings, including its finding that defendant was not in custody for purposes of Miranda when he made certain statements to the police.
- Full text of US v. King