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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States of America v. Cornelius Paxton, et al and Matthew Webster

Case No.: 14-2913; 15-1294

Officials: POSNER, RIPPLE, and ROVNER, Circuit Judges.

The district court suppressed the covertly recorded statements that the defendants made to one another while being transported in a police van immediately after their arrests, finding that the characteristics of the van supported a reasonable expectation of privacy in the defendants’ conversations. The government has appealed that ruling, and defendant Matthew Webster has cross‐appealed the district court’s determination that his subjective expectation of privacy ended when a co‐defendant warned others within the van that they were likely being recorded. Building upon our decision in United States v. Webster, 775 F.3d 897 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 135 S. Ct. 2368 (2015), we conclude that the defendants lacked an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in the van, and we therefore reverse the district court’s decision to suppress their statements. We dismiss Webster’s cross‐appeal as moot.


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