of Appeals Office of Appellate Courts
Swanson, Attorney General, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Mark
Metz, Carver County Attorney, Peter A.C. Ivy, Chief Deputy
County Attorney, Chaska, Minnesota, for respondent.
Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Steven
P. Russett, Assistant State Public Defender, Office of the
Appellate Public Defender, Saint Paul, Minnesota, for
C. Holten, Jeffrey D. Bores, Gary K. Luloff, Chestnut
Cambronne PA, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for amicus curiae
Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association Legal Defense
appellant to provide a fingerprint to unlock a seized
cellphone did not violate his Fifth Amendment privilege
against self-incrimination because the compelled act was not
a testimonial communication.
case presents an issue of first impression: whether the Fifth
Amendment privilege against self-incrimination protects a
person from being ordered to provide a fingerprint to unlock
a seized cellphone. Neither the Supreme Court of the United
States nor any state supreme court has addressed this issue.
police lawfully seized a cellphone from appellant Matthew
Diamond, a burglary suspect, and attempted to execute a valid
warrant to search the cellphone. The cellphone's
fingerprint-scanner security lock, however, prevented the
search, and Diamond refused to unlock the cellphone with his
fingerprint, asserting his Fifth Amendment privilege against
self-incrimination. The district court found no Fifth
Amendment violation and ordered Diamond to provide his
fingerprint to unlock the cellphone so that the police could
search its contents. After the court of appeals affirmed, we
granted Diamond's petition for review. Because the
compelled act here-providing a fingerprint-elicited only
physical evidence from Diamond's body and did not reveal
the contents of his mind, no violation of the Fifth Amendment
privilege occurred. Accordingly, we affirm.
homeowner in Chaska returned home to find that someone had
kicked open her attached garage's side-entry door,
entered her home, and taken jewelry, electronics, and a safe.
When police officers arrived to investigate the burglary,
they discovered two key pieces of evidence: shoe tread prints
on the side-entry door, and, on the driveway, an envelope
with the name "S.W." written on it. A Chaska
investigator determined that S.W. had sold jewelry to a
pawnshop on the same day as the burglary, and the
investigator obtained the license plate number of a car
registered in S.W.'s name. Officers then located and
stopped S.W.'s car; Diamond was driving the car, and S.W.
was a passenger. Police officers arrested Diamond on
outstanding warrants and took him to jail, where jail
personnel collected and stored his shoes and a Samsung Galaxy
5 cellphone that he was carrying when arrested.
officers obtained and executed warrants to seize
Diamond's shoes and cellphone. In addition, they obtained
a warrant to search the contents of the cellphone. But they
could not search its contents because the cellphone required
a fingerprint to unlock it. The State then moved to compel
Diamond to unlock the seized cellphone with his fingerprint.
Diamond objected, asserting his Fifth Amendment privilege
district court concluded that compelling Diamond's
fingerprint would not violate his Fifth Amendment privilege
because "[c]ompelling the production of [Diamond's]
fingerprint or thumbprint would not call upon the use of
[his] mind. It is more akin to providing a key to a
lockbox." Accordingly, it ordered Diamond to
"provide a fingerprint or thumbprint as ...