TLPC Files Amicus Brief in Colorado Supreme Court Case Examining Search Warrants in a Digital Context

Led by student attorneys Sebastian Blitt, Madeline Finlayson, and Sarah Misché, the TLPC filed an amicus brief on November 6 on behalf of a group of CU Law and Engineering professors. The brief was filed in People v. Dhyne, a case pending before the Colorado Supreme Court involving the search and seizure of a computer based on the association between an internet protocol (IP) address and a physical address. 

The TPLC’s brief on behalf of Professors Blake Reid, Eric Wustrow, and Vivek Krishnamurthy, which was filed in support of neither party, urged the Court to consider the “totality of the circumstances” when examining the constitutionality of search warrants based on the association between an IP address and physical address.  

Due to technological changes in the last 20 years, the brief explained that the strong connection that once existed between an IP address and a physical address has attenuated. Given the increasingly strong privacy interests that individuals possess in electronic devices, the TLPC brief suggests that a “totality of the circumstances” approach is best suited to evaluating whether search warrants in such contexts meet the constitutional requirements of probable cause and particularity. 

The TLPC’s amicus brief in Dhyne can be downloaded by clicking here.