Submitted: May 23, 2017
from United States District Court for the Southern District
of Iowa - Des Moines
COLLOTON and BENTON, Circuit Judges, and GERRARD,  District
COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.
Jackson appeals an order of the district court denying his
motion to suppress evidence obtained during a search of his
cellular telephone. The search occurred while Jackson was
serving a term of supervised release and residing at the Fort
Des Moines Community Correctional Facility. Because we
conclude that Jackson had no legitimate expectation of
privacy in the cell phone, and the government has substantial
interests that justify the intrusion, we affirm.
2013, Jackson pleaded guilty to failure to register as a sex
offender, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a). The
district court sentenced him to 21 months' imprisonment,
followed by five years of supervised release. Jackson's
conditions of supervised release provided that he "shall
submit to a search of his person, residence, adjacent
structures, office or vehicle, conducted by a U.S. Probation
Officer at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner,
based on reasonable suspicion of contraband or evidence of a
violation of a condition of release." The judgment, as
later modified without objection, also required that Jackson
"reside, participate, and follow the rules of the
residential reentry program . . . for up to 120 days."
February 27, 2015, Jackson began his term of supervised
release at the Fort Des Moines Community Correctional
Facility, a residential reentry program. The Facility staff
provides residents with a Resident Manual that defines the
rules governing their conduct. These rules prohibit
possession of cell phones in the Facility. Residents may
store a cell phone in a locker at the entrance, but no cell
phones are permitted beyond that point.
regular practice of the Facility is for staff to read these
rules to residents when they begin the reentry program. When
a new resident on federal supervised release, like Jackson,
first meets with his intake counselor, the counselor again
notifies him of the rules. Multiple signs inside and outside
the Facility notify all persons that any item brought onto
the Facility's premises is subject to search.
March 16, a probation officer confiscated Jackson's cell
phone after he found Jackson with the device in violation of
the Facility's rules. The officer released the cell phone
to Jackson without searching it, but warned him that the cell
phone would be confiscated and searched if Jackson violated
the rule a second time.
than a week later, on March 21, a Facility staff member found
Jackson's cell phone in the possession of another
resident. The staff member confiscated the cell phone. A
residential officer, charged with maintaining the orderly and
secure operation of the Facility, then confirmed that it was
Jackson's cell phone and asked him for the passcode.
Jackson provided the passcode, and the officer informed
Jackson that he was going to search the phone. After entering
the passcode, the residential officer discovered many
pornographic images and "inappropriate sites" on
Jackson's Internet history. A probation officer who
worked at the Facility then searched the device and
discovered pornographic videos and images.
learning of the inappropriate content found on Jackson's
cell phone, Jackson's supervising probation officer
visited the Facility and searched Jackson's phone. While
searching Jackson's Internet history, the probation
officer found pornographic websites, including one that
appeared to depict underage females. Jackson admitted that
another person sent him approximately ten pictures of child
pornography, which Jackson said that he deleted. The
government later secured a warrant to search the cell phone.
After a forensic examination, investigators discovered
thirty-seven images of child pornography.
jury charged Jackson with possession of child pornography, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B), based on the
images found on Jackson's cell phone. Jackson moved to
suppress the evidence obtained from the search of his cell
phone. He argued that the warrantless search violated his
rights under the Fourth Amendment. The government opposed the
motion, arguing that the officers had reasonable suspicion to
search the cell phone. At the suppression hearing before a
magistrate judge, the government reiterated that the officers
had reasonable suspicion to search the cell phone.
Alternatively, the government urged that suspicion was
unnecessary, because Jackson had no reasonable expectation of
privacy in his cell phone while he was at the Facility.
report and recommendation, the magistrate judge concluded
that the search was reasonable because the officers had
reasonable suspicion to believe that the cell phone contained
evidence of criminal activity. The district court adopted the
magistrate judge's report and recommendation. Jackson
subsequently entered a conditional guilty plea, reserving his
right to appeal the denial of the motion to suppress. The
district court later imposed sentence, and this appeal
their opening briefs, the parties debated whether the
officers had reasonable suspicion to search Jackson's
cell phone. After oral argument, however, the court requested
supplemental briefing on the antecedent question of whether
the government was required to establish any suspicion at all
to search the device. Having now considered the matter, we
conclude that Jackson did not have an expectation of privacy
in his cell phone that society would recognize as legitimate,
and that the government had substantial interests that
justified the ...