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United States v. Etkin

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
2008 WL 482281 (2008)


Facts

Phillip Etkin (defendant) was arrested for extortion. A folder containing a printed email exchange between Etkin and his wife were part of the evidence collected against him. Etkin conducted his part of the email exchange from a work computer. To use his work computer, Etkin had to agree to a notice that appeared each time he powered on his computer stating that he had no legitimate expectation of privacy with respect to his activities on the computer and that his use of the computer would be monitored or recorded by his employer. The policy was not communicated verbally, and there was no evidence that Etkin’s employer actually did read his email. Before his trial, Etkin challenged the government’s use of the email exchange with his wife, arguing that because it was a marital communication, it was privileged and therefore inadmissible. Etkin claimed that he had never actually read the notice, although he had clicked “okay” to use the computer many times.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Karas, J)

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