Edwards v. State » The Florida E-Discovery Case Law Database » Levin College of Law » University of Florida

Edwards v. State

Edwards v. State

Case Date: 06/26/2019
Citation: 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 10021
Court Type: District Court of Appeal
Court: Fla. 3d DCA
Judge: Judge: Kevin Emas
Rule(s): 4th Amendment

Whether the police officer convicted of falsifying police records had a reasonable expectation of privacy to the data on her flash drive when she had plugged the drive into her work computer located in a public area of the police station.


The court denied her motion to suppress the evidence. She had shared her work computer with a fellow officer and left the password to her account in plain view on her desk for him to use. The computer was connected to department’s network to allow anyone with credentials to use and contained a login banner that all files on the system may be monitored and recorded. “This computer system is the property of the Miami-Dade Police Department. It is for authorized use only. Users have no explicit or implicit expectation of privacy. Any or all uses of this system and all files on this system may be intercepted, monitored, recorded, copied, audited, inspected, and disclosed to authorized personnel. By using this system, the user consents to such interception, monitoring, recording, copying, auditing, inspection and disclosure. Unauthorized or improper use of this system may result in administrative disciplinary action or civil/criminal penalties. By continuing to use this system, you indicate your awareness of and consent to these terms and conditions.” Anything plug into the network was considered within the scope of the protocol.

Because the flash drive was plugged into the computer when seized and not in the plaintiff’s possession, there was no reasonable expectation of privacy to the drive and its materials. A legitimate expectation of privacy consists of both a subjective expectation and an objectively reasonable expectation, as determined by societal standards. The reasonableness of an expectation of privacy in a particular place or item depends on context.

Relevant Documents:

Appellant’s Reply Brief

Appellee’s Answer Brief

Initial Brief on Merits

E-Discovery Issues: Admissibility, Motion to Suppress
E-discovery Tags: Forensic Analysis/Examination, Privacy
E-discovery subjects: Computer, Electronically stored information, Removable Drive

Published: August 8th, 2019

Category: Uncategorized

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