Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Williams

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

August 2, 2018

United States of America, Inc., Plaintiff,
v.
James Deshawn Williams, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS

          Victoria A. Roberts, United States District Judge

         I. Introduction

         Williams contends the Government was required to obtain a search warrant supported by probable cause to acquire his cell-site location information (CSLI), and could not rely on the Stored Communications Act (SCA). 18 U.S.C. § 2703(d). The SCA allowed the Government to obtain CSLI if it could demonstrate “specific and articulable facts” to show reasonable grounds for Government seizure.

         Williams relies wholly on Carpenter v. United States. 138 S.Ct. 2206 (2018). In Carpenter, the Supreme Court recently announced that accessing more than six days of CSLI constitutes a search and is protected by the Fourth Amendment.

         Carpenter creates new law that, going forward, will require investigators to have probable cause to obtain CSLI. However, because the Government had objective good faith belief that its conduct under the SCA was lawful, the CSLI is not subject to the Carpenter pronouncement.

         Defendant's Motion is denied.

         II. Factual and Procedural Background

         Williams faces two counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm (18 U.S.C § 922(g)(1)) and one count of Discharge of a Firearm in furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Offense (18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)). The Government plans to use the evidence at trial to demonstrate that Williams was in the vicinity of two shootings.

         The first occurred on October 12, 2014 at the Whitehouse Nightclub. The Government alleges that Williams entered the nightclub with a gun and fired at Lamont Calhoun, a patron, hitting him in the head. Calhoun survived. The Government alleges that again, on July 12, 2015, Williams pursued Calhoun on the Lodge Freeway brandishing a firearm and, when close enough to Calhoun's motorcycle, discharged the weapon and hit Calhoun in the back. In its efforts to tie Williams to the shootings, the Government obtained 127 days of Williams' CSLI to verify his proximate location.

         To acquire the CSLI, investigators relied on the procedure allowed under the SCA. There is no dispute that the Government legally acquired Williams' CSLI under the SCA standard.

         In June 2018, the United States Supreme Court announced Carpenter. The Court noted CSLI grants the government a remarkably easy method to track a person's movement and through this their “'familial, political, professional, religious, and sexual associations.'” Id. (quoting United States v. Jones, 565 U.S. 400, 415 (2012). The Court found such scrutiny violated an individual's right to “have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the whole of their physical movements.” Carpenter, 2217. Accordingly, the Court announced a new rule that the Government obtaining CSLI constituted a search and can only be legally obtained with a search warrant. 138 S.Ct. at 2217. Going forward, law enforcement can no longer rely on the SCA standard to obtain CSLI; it will need to demonstrate probable cause.

         The Government plans to submit the CSLI as evidence at trial. Williams responds with his Motion to Suppress.

         III. Discussion

         Williams contends that the rule announced in Carpenter entitles his CSLI to retroactive protection in accordance with Griffith v. Kentucky, 479 U.S. 314 (1987). In Griffith, the Supreme Court found that new rules announced by the Supreme Court apply retroactively to all cases on direct review or not yet final. 479 U.S. at 328. Williams argues that if the Court applies Carpenter as it should - in accordance with Griffith - it must find the Government committed a Fourth Amendment violation by obtaining the CSLI ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.