United States v. John C. Saville

2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89281 (2013)

From our private database of 46,100+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

United States v. John C. Saville

United States District Court for the District of Montana
2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89281 (2013)

  • Written by Sharon Feldman, JD

Facts

A detective reviewing information in the police department’s child-protection system observed a certain Internet protocol (IP) address giving query hit results for known child-pornography files. The detective learned that the IP address was associated with a Comfort Inn and concluded that someone was using the Comfort Inn’s wireless network and Shareaza, software for the peer-to-peer network Gnutella, to download child pornography. Gnutella was commonly associated with child-pornography transmission. To determine the wireless device’s location, the detective obtained a court order authorizing the use of pen-register and trap-and-trace (pen-trap) devices to obtain information regarding wireless communications in the Comfort Inn’s vicinity. The detective configured a device to search for “Gnutella” and “Shareaza” but not for terms like “preteen hardcore.” The device hit on Gnutella and sent emails containing routing and signaling information. Another device found the addresses of the wireless network adapters involved in the communications, leading the detective to a van parked near the Comfort Inn. The detective saw a laptop computer running on the seat and obtained a warrant to search the van. Two computers and four external storage drives were seized and found to contain child-pornography files. John Saville (defendant), the van’s occupant, was charged with receiving child pornography. Saville moved to suppress the evidence found in the van, arguing that the use of the pen-trap device captured content and was therefore an unlawful, warrantless search under the Fourth Amendment. Saville’s expert testified that the emails the detective received contained a “header” with routing and signaling information and a “payload” containing the content of the communications. The expert maintained that Gnutella had to be characterized as “content” because it appeared in the payload. The detective testified that the information captured related to the initial communication between two computers and was only dialing, routing, and signaling information.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lynch, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 745,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 745,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,100 briefs, keyed to 987 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 745,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,100 briefs - keyed to 987 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership