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Unpublished Paper
Computers, Search Warrants, and the Private Papers Exemption
ExpressO (2008)
  • David E Clark

Police increasingly seek search warrants for information stored on personal computers. Georgia law, OCGA 17-5-21(a)(5) prohibits the issuance of a search warrant for "private papers," which include any documents subject to a recognized privilege (attorney-client, doctor-patient). This statute, and other technological factors, raise the risk of a computer search warrant being ruled overbroad unless it is carefully drafted. A constitutionally sound format for a computer search warrant application is given, along with guidelines for drafting and executing a warrant for digital property believed to be evidence of a crime.

  • privacy,
  • search,
  • seizure,
  • papers,
  • computers,
  • warrants,
  • magistrates,
  • privilege
Publication Date
April 16, 2008
Citation Information
David E Clark. "Computers, Search Warrants, and the Private Papers Exemption" ExpressO (2008)
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