United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Search and Seizure — reasonable expectation of privacy — halfway houses
A prisoner serving his sentence in a halfway house has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his cell phone.
“Although this court has not considered the appropriate level of privacy to be recognized for inmates of a halfway house, we have little difficulty concluding that Huart lacked both an objective and subjective expectation of privacy extending to either his phone or its contents. Upon arriving at the halfway house, Huart signed the ‘Conditions of Residential Community Programs’ form, which explained that Huart was ‘in the custody of the U.S. Attorney General serving [a] sentence.’ By contract, Rock Valley was under the operational control of the BOP. His situation was therefore much more closely analogous to that of an inmate living in a prison, rather than a probationer. The Supreme Court has held that a suspicionless search of a parolee is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment because ‘“parole is an established variation on imprisonment of convicted criminals.”’ Samson v. California, 547 U.S. 843, 850 (2006) (quoting Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 477 (1972)). Likewise, Huart’s stay at the halfway house was simply one particular way an inmate may serve a custodial sentence.”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Conley, J., Tinder, J.