Thursday, May 04, 2006

Electronic search warrants

Transmitting a search via e-mail to a police cruiser or officer’s handheld may be a thing not all that far off. An article on this morning overviews new Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(d)(3)(A), which reads simply “a magistrate judge may issue a warrant based on information communicated by telephone or other reliable electronic means” – the catch phrase being “other reliable electronic means,” which the Advisory Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure decided not to enumerate, but “leave to evolving standards as judges hear enough about a particular system,” Sara Sun Beale, reporter to that committee, said. (article)

The rule also provides the judge’s “placing under oath the applicant and any person on whose testimony the application is based,” and that “a verbatim record of the conversation with a suitable recording device, court reporter, or in writing” be made.

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