Tuesday, November 5, 2013

United States v. Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc. case brief

United States v. Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc. case brief summary
579 F.3d 989 (2009)

The case involved a federal investigation into use of steroids by professional baseball players. Appellant government challenged orders for return of seized property and to quash subpoenas from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. A panel reversed two orders. En banc review was granted.

Appellee players association agreed that players would submit urine samples solely for determining the percentage of positive results; all results were to remain confidential. But, when 10 players tested positive, the government obtained warrants and issued subpoenas to obtain information from private entities who collected the samples and information. The warrants were limited to information on the 10 players, but the government seized information on many others. The government also issued subpoenas for the same information. The lower courts granted the players' motions to quash and to return seized property. The appeal from one order was untimely, but because the order was final, its findings- -that the government failed to follow Tamura and to segregate intermingled material for which probable cause did not exist and that it callously disregarded the rights of third parties--were binding.

  • The court affirmed the findings based on their preclusive effect, but the court went on to address the government's contrary arguments. 
  • The court also agreed with quashing a subpoena that was issued in an attempt to moot any future proceedings for return of property that was unlawfully seized.

The court dismissed the untimely appeal from one order. The court affirmed the other two orders of the district courts.

Recommended Supplements for Criminal Procedure Criminal Procedure: Examples & Explanations, Sixth Edition
Emanuel Law Outline: Criminal Procedure

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