California: Appeals Court Approves Cell Phone Search During Traffic Stop

Submission by Gail Noble:  Do you feel like your 4th Amendment is being violated if police searched your Blackberry/cell phone during a traffic stop without a warrant?  Check out California v. Nottoli, and you decide.

Reported by mulltiple sites, including (a privacy politics site)

Reid NottoliThe California Court of Appeal on September 26approved a police officer’s rifling through the cell phone belonging to someone who had just been pulled over for a traffic violation.

Reid Nottoli was pulled over on December 6, 2009 just before 2am as he was taking a female friend home. Santa Cruz County Deputy Sheriff Steven Ryan said Nottoli’s silver Acura TL had been speeding on Highway 1. After speaking with Nottoli on the side of the road, Ryan suspected the 25-year-old was under the influence of a stimulant drug. His license was also expired, so Ryan said he would impound the vehicle. Nottoli asked if his car could stay parked on the side of the road, which was not heavily traveled and out of the way. Ryan refused so that he could conduct an “inventory” search prior to the towing.

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