Silverthorne Lumber Company v. United States

United States Supreme Court
251 U.S. 385 (1920)


Facts

The two owners of Silverthorne Lumber Company (Silverthorne) (defendant) were arrested. While detained, federal officers went to Silverthorne’s office and, without a warrant or any authority, collected books, papers and documents. The district court held that all the materials had been seized in violation of Silverthorne’s constitutional rights. While recognizing the illegality of its actions, the government seeks to copy the materials so it may avail itself of all the information.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Holmes, J.)

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