Corey Beantee Melton v. State of Alabama

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REL: 10/01/2010 Notice: T h i s o p i n i o n i s s u b j e c t t o formal r e v i s i o n b e f o r e p u b l i c a t i o n i n t h e advance s h e e t s o f Southern R e p o r t e r . R e a d e r s a r e r e q u e s t e d t o n o t i f y t h e R e p o r t e r o f D e c i s i o n s , Alabama A p p e l l a t e C o u r t s , 300 D e x t e r A v e n u e , M o n t g o m e r y , A l a b a m a 3 6 1 0 4 - 3 7 4 1 ((334) 2 2 9 - 0 6 4 9 ) , o f a n y t y p o g r a p h i c a l o r o t h e r e r r o r s , i n o r d e r t h a t c o r r e c t i o n s may b e made b e f o r e t h e o p i n i o n i s p r i n t e d i n Southern R e p o r t e r . ALABAMA COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OCTOBER TERM, 2009-2010 CR-08-1767 Corey Beantee Melton v. S t a t e o f Alabama Appeal WISE, P r e s i d i n g The Ala. Court Judge. appellant, possession from S h e l b y C i r c u i t (CC-06-1139) Corey Beantee of obscene matter, Code 1 9 7 5 . The t r i a l Melton, a violation court was c o n v i c t e d of of § 13A-12-192(b), sentenced him t o serve a term CR-08-1767 of ten years new t r i a l . The Melton i n prison. This appeal State 280; that Woods t h a t Internet, had just was Melton that, Melton agent talked fora o n S e p t e m b e r 8, 2 0 0 5 , a new n e t w o r k having d i f f i c u l t y Form" number, and that Squad; e-mail spyware address; that that Melton connecting to the c o n n e c t i o n , t h a t he and t h a t o f an " I n - S t o r e that, address, when infection and brought t h e Geek Squad took that Tactical inspecting that he telephone t h e computer had a f a i r l y a t t e n t i o n ; that Melton agreed t o the removal offered; senior that 1 i n t e r f a c e card, h i s name, on a connecting to the Internet; included c o m p u t e r , Woods f o u n d and Internet out the top portion Analysis Woods, he h a d been h a v i n g t r o u b l e installed filled to Josh f o r t h e Geek t h a t he h a d a b r o a d b a n d still Squad a motion followed. presented evidence counter-intelligence virus d i d not f i l e took h i s computer t o t h e B e s t Buy e l e c t r o n i c s s t o r e Highway told Melton the "ramped" to Melton's s e r v i c e s t h e Geek possession computer and p u t i ti n i t s r e p a i r c e n t e r ; and t h a t of the the repair Woods t e s t i f i e d t h a t t h e Geek Squad " i s p r i m a r i l y an i n house and in-home computer s u p p o r t t a s k f o r c e " a t B e s t B u y . (R. 1 0 1 . ) 1 2 CR-08-1767 center was i n t h e b a c k o f t h e s t o r e area. (R. 1 1 8 . ) Woods worked testified on M e l t o n ' s that he was on t h e c o m p u t e r , the drive, components; that and spyware scans computer; that started and completed Kyle Phillips, agent who on t h e he s t a r t e d a l l h a r d w a r e i n c l u d i n g the hardware motherboard, he a l s o repair facing he s t a r t e d w o r k i n g 10, 2 0 0 5 ; t h a t diagnostics hard the f i r s t computer; that c o m p u t e r on September i n a non-customer and individual scan hardware and f i n i s h e d s e v e r a l part on virus o f t h e " p o s t o p " on t h e a part-time a g e n t who w a s also p a r t o f t h e r e p a i r s q u a d , w o r k e d on a d d i t i o n a l s c a n s a f t e r h i s initial files scan; that, during the r e p a i r , they ran across that would not remain c l e a n ; that virus, but the v i r u s would r e i n s t a l l was r e b o o t e d ; t h a t that caused t h e i r t h e y w o u l d remove t h e i t s e l f when t h e c o m p u t e r a t t e n t i o n t o be d i r e c t e d toward those f i l e s ; and t h a t , a t t h a t time, file tags or filenames indicated that the f i l e s also testified there; open that that members any k i n d they of a of personal very might contain they found explicit child d i d n o t open f i l e s o f t h e Geek Squad information 3 several several nature that pornography. while they He were are instructed not to on a n y c o m p u t e r s while CR-08-1767 they are there enforcement into are officers i l l e g a l ; and ran and that they department, i f they to immediately notice anything company p o l i c y p r o v i d e d anything nature, supposed that were turn might to over be of and time or contact be they explicit the available law could any illegal immediately a l l evidence that that, an contact police information t o l a w e n f o r c e m e n t a u t h o r i t i e s , and w o r k h a n d - i n - h a n d w i t h law enforcement a u t h o r i t i e s . Woods t e s t i f i e d Sellers; that, Sellers, he he had that after Phillips Phillips decided to contact Salser's contacted told Detective cellular officers came Sellers Salser at the store; that some of the could show removed their the them the hard diagnostic information nature; that female, and activity; that from the the was a very video store; Salser contained underage Salser S e l l e r s were and 4 that female law talked of to i f that plugged adult apparently he because a s k e d him the video an contacted involved; showed him Ronald Salser that computer, explicit had number; information s t a t i o n , and the an drive to he Scott telephone enforcement and him Sergeant he he i t into evidence; that a pornographic male, an adult engaged in sexual saw this; there and CR-08-1767 that, at that point, Salser and S e l l e r s take p o s s e s s i o n o f t h e computer; and t h a t took Sergeant hearing on Salser could subsequently in told a computer Best Buy s t o r e , w h i c h that about; that were Melton's computer; that Melton's Turner f i l e ; was Buy s t o r e t h e y were d o i n g on t h e c o m p u t e r Turner came who t o l d contained contact images was the with t h a t he of child showed h i m a f i l e n a m e from c o m p u t e r on a c o m p u t e r s c r e e n ; t h a t he b e l i e v e d that that, a n d t h a t he v i e w e d i n that f i l e , t o be initially they him that on a n d t h a t into work went t o t h e s h o w e d t h e m some f i l e s believed that Turner that County, b u t P h i l l i p s he by on H i g h w a y 2 8 0 ; some r e p a i r w h a t was g o i n g t o see h i m ; t h a t he contacted he a n d o t h e r o f f i c e r s him about opened t h e f i l e believed he he t a l k e d t o a Mr. T u r n e r , officers that to 2005, was i n S h e l b y had t o l d pornography; Department at the Best Phillips seen motion a n d s a w some i m a g e s concerned had evidence, him that were there; a September an employee Phillips suppress o f the Birmingham P o l i c e Sellers that, Phillips, that a Ronald testified not i f they p o s s e s s i o n o f t h e computer. During on asked a minor he saw a v i d e o child a n d an 5 the contents of the that adult showed what he male engaged i n CR-08-1767 sexual two acts; that subfiles; he that, pornography, they store; and the other i f would the have t h a t , after seeing information computer about i n , and who who officers files had closed the the v i d e o , owned the started opened contained files they and process who of together in the that the Best f o r them; t h a t to their property Buy employees and that and n o t h i n g the they the out of the put the computer back and t u r n e d i t took possession computer a t t h a t p o i n t so t h a t n o t h i n g altered gathering repairing they took the computer room; the turned c o m p u t e r ; t h a t h e b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e h a r d d r i v e was computer; adult left started computer, the at least of c o u l d be c h a n g e d o r from i t . He also t e s t i f i e d that they started t r y i n g to f i n d information on Melton; that warrant f o r the computer; search warrant they c o u l d be a d d e d t o o r d e l e t e d warrant over put together i n Shelby to Salser; that and trial, detective child Sellers i n the he turned Salser had search obtained the the a search forensic computer. testified cases; subsequently that that Vice/Narcotics exploitation application for a they County; e x a m i n a t i o n p e r f o r m e d on t h e At an that, Unit that, 6 on in and 2005, was he also September 8, was a working 2005, CR-08-1767 Phillips, 280, who was a n e m p l o y e e a t t h e B e s t B u y s t o r e o n H i g h w a y telephoned there, that him and t o l d had that seen Phillips and t h a t he assumed t h e images t h e employees before he at the Best got there had c a l l e d him; t h a t he, S a l s e r , i n Shelby County; t h a t P h i l l i p s Turner; had a computer they wanted him t o look Jones went t o t h e B e s t Buy s t o r e ; Mr. they t h e y h a d s e e n some i m a g e s o n t h e c o m p u t e r t h a t was c o n c e r n e d a b o u t , images; him that that the Best that at the Buy and that store was and D e t e c t i v e a n d he met Buy employees p o i n t e d why Terri t h e Best Buy s t o r e was n o t t h e r e , he was with them t o t h e c o m p u t e r on w h i c h t h e y h a d s e e n t h e images a n d w a n t e d them t o look a t t h e computer; i m a g e s on t h e c o m p u t e r ; running; seen the engaged the t h e employees showed that t h e c o m p u t e r was a l r e a d y t h a t t h e employees went t o t h e f i l e t h e images, file that and t h a t was a v i d e o i n sexual person detectives who showing a minor activity; showed obtained was t h e f i l e that information that that that had brought was t h e p e r s o n who 7 up a n d at; that a n d an a d u l t that Woods he a n d t h e male was other o n t h e p e r s o n who b r o u g h t t h e computer t o t h e B e s t Buy s t o r e ; Melton looked he b e l i e v e d him the video; the i n which they had they child them the paperwork indicated t h e computer i n ; CR-08-1767 that Best Buy employees p u t t h e computer back t h a t he a n d t h e o t h e r d e t e c t i v e s possession, Birmingham He a l s o left t o g e t h e r ; and took t h e computer i n t o the Best Buy s t o r e , their took t h e computer t o t h e P o l i c e D e p a r t m e n t p r o p e r t y room, a n d c h e c k e d i t i n . testified that, on September 14, 2005, he o b t a i n e d a s e a r c h w a r r a n t f o r t h e c o m p u t e r a n d t h a t he t u r n e d t h e w a r r a n t over to Salser. Sellers testified the documents he h a d o b t a i n e d f r o m B e s t Buy; t h a t , a r o u n d a.m. to t h a t t h e r e was a n a d d r e s s f o r M e l t o n o n on O c t o b e r Melton's address, based Shelby questions the address, that look believed Melton about he that came to he went on t h e d o o r ; the door; Melton went to the the address and t o l d be told okay to talk that, was i n that he h a d Melton that him that t o him; that, a he told Melton Best about t h e r e were 8 Buy t h e y had seen computer t h a t t h e y were c o n c e r n e d at; that Boackle he some a c o m p u t e r he h a d t a k e n t o B e s t B u y a n d a s k e d c o n t a c t e d him and t o l d his he him; that and knocked h i m s e l f and Boackle i f i t would interview, and i n t e r v i e w e d the apartment, County; identified him home found on 2, 2 0 0 5 , h e a n d D e t e c t i v e H e a t h 9:30 during the employee had some i m a g e s o n and wanted him t o some images on h i s CR-08-1767 computer o f v e r y young c h i l d r e n had obtained using t h e images; that and asked him about Melton a peer-to-peer s h a r i n g group told h i m he where he had been a n d t h a t he h a d g o t t e n t h e i m a g e s on h i s c o m p u t e r f r o m t h e I n t e r n e t ; t h a t he a s k e d M e l t o n if h e was familiar they worked, he and Melton remembered computer; videos video with that Melton had a young the g i r l believed store; said said Melton female any he or he told h i m he " g o i n g down a n d t h e man asked were Melton a n d t h a t he h a d d e l e t e d on a man" lying i f he he before, asked Melton on h i s that one and t h a t he on a b e d ; t h a t he knew a t t h e B e s t Buy that pictures of a n d M e l t o n s a i d t h a t he some o f t h e p i c t u r e s ; i f he h a d e v e r a n d how one o f t h e remembered a s k e d M e l t o n i f he h a d u s e d a n y s e a r c h t e r m s that videos d i d and d e s c r i b e d t h a t was t h e same v i d e o h e h a d s e e n that groups he a s k e d M e l t o n i f images c h i l d r e n on t h e c o m p u t e r were i l l e g a l , did sharing he was; t h a t downloading t o him; that thought peer-to-peer used t h a t he h a d on h i s computer; the term "lolita" a n d M e l t o n s a i d t h a t he h a d ; t h a t he a s k e d M e l t o n f o r consent to search h i s computer; consent t o search h i s computer. 9 and that Melton ( R . 149, 1 5 1 . ) gave him CR-08-1767 Detective Department Narcotics with the child testified Unit, the police doing a t o be B e s t Buy Geek file the a the file notified tower w i t h they the that asked the child pornography; and file the them and 2 0 0 5 , he Geek bed, they the and Squad an what they talked Geek what to that adult were S e l l e r s went of the they male video, the and warrant; into name on of included that f i l e in that computer they took the i t i n to the p r o p e r t y 10 of showed coming w r o t e down t h e to had members file to Squad show them the to contacted while and went young female p e r f o r m i n g o r a l sex the video, turned worked f o r them; t h a t they stopped the for a search and t h e y went i n and they the ("FBI"), discovered doing on Force had been the Task that, had of Images him they Police member Geek Squad members female a i n September the containing application was that the video, male; t h a t he Innocent members o f Geek Squad opened the the Birmingham Investigation together; t h e y t h o u g h t was v i e w on the computer, agent; that prepubescent 2005, that, that the c h i l d p o r n o g r a p h y ; t h a t he what discovered; a store Squad explained of d e p a r t m e n t and on of in with cases; store; repairs believed that, Bureau pornography B e s t Buy Salser worked Federal the the Scott their room; t h a t he CR-08-1767 and Sellers after to they subsequently obtained Special Service. Agent He obtained a search warrant; the search Bailey John warrant, of he the a l s o t e s t i f i e d t h a t the took United Best t h e y had and then showed them o n l y what t h e y the o t h e r d e t e c t i v e s had the Best Buy John agent s t o r e had the already looked United that, States assigned to perform computer forensics examiner; the from computer request; S a l s e r on pursuant t h a t he found e i t h e r belonged his resume found the and videos vidoes between experience, the files t h a t he in 2005, he Service; that he 29, a and and t h a t he Birmingham P o l i c e child he to was be a Melton's analyzed Department's computer because i t contained of him; that he pornography; that some of short; twenty at special that received 2005; u s e d by M e l t o n files was t h a t i n d i c a t e d t h a t the relatively the video said pornography seen and investigations November contained and Secret employees child numerous u s e r - c r e a t e d p h o t o s were fifteen to t o o r was that computer at. Secret criminal computer that, o n l y l o o k e d a t what the employees Bailey testified with had the States Buy d i s c o v e r e d w h a t t h e y b e l i e v e d t o be and that minutes other that, were in his c o u l d not have been c a u s e d by "pop 11 long; videos CR-08-1767 ups"; and t h a t some of the videos were rather large video files. Melton t e s t i f i e d on eBay between t h a t he b o u g h t t h e c o m p u t e r i n q u e s t i o n late January 2005 t h a t t h e c o m p u t e r w a s a homemade bought t h e computer, files, videos, he and e a r l y 2005; d e s k t o p t o w e r ; t h a t , when he d i d not believe or information February on that i t had any i t , b u t he was not sure; t h a t he b o u g h t t h e c o m p u t e r f o r a b u s i n e s s he a n d h i s f r i e n d s were starting; and h i s g i r l f r i e n d had her own apartment; and also on he l i v e d place; that that network come by himself, he kept h i s two b u s i n e s s hisgirlfriend to-peer not that the partners, computer i n his h i s best friend, used t h e computer and a l s o used t h e peer- sharing software; t o h i s apartment; that that other he t r a v e l e d people a l o t a n d was a l w a y s a t home; a n d t h a t h e p u t h i s g i r l f r i e n d ' s t h e paperwork a t t h e Best Buy s t o r e t o w n when t h e y t r i e d to call had the videos not evidence; ever that seen he had 12 the State seen address i n c a s e he was n o t i n h i m . He a l s o t e s t i f i e d not ever would those that introduced videos he into on h i s CR-08-1767 desktop; that he unintentionally occasion, he that he file within a on download saw deleted sexual five act; did child not child ever pornography; pornography the f i l e intentionally a n d c l i c k e d on immediately; that t o t e n seconds of seeing that that, he on a one file; deleted a child h e d i d n o t k n o w how t h e v i d e o or the performing had gotten h i s c o m p u t e r ; a n d t h a t he d i d n o t e v e r s e e h i s g i r l f r i e n d , business partners, Melton another did testified officer not l i v e received or friends at that pornography did not ever his computer, computer. him, 2005, pornography. Sellers apartment; that and he t h a t S e l l e r s t o l d h i m he h a d s t a t i n g t h a t s o m e o n e h a d s e e n some d i s t u r b i n g t h a t he d i d n o t e v e r t e l l child i n October time; i m a g e s a n d t h a t he was t h e r e up up c h i l d came t o h i s g i r l f r i e n d ' s there a call that, looking give S e l l e r s he h a d d o w n l o a d e d o r p u l l e d and had erased S e l l e r s permission b u t he Finally, t o f o l l o w up on t h e i n f o r m a t i o n ; d i d give some o f i t ; a n d t h a t t o take him consent possession to look he of at the he t e s t i f i e d t h a t , when S e l l e r s t a l k e d t o S e l l e r s h a d a s k e d h i m how t h e f i l e s 13 c o u l d have g o t t e n on CR-08-1767 his computer; that he told Sellers that, downloaded them u s i n g p e e r - t o - p e e r n e t w o r k and that videos, he told but Sellers he did not that he had remember i f anything, he sharing software; downloaded downloading music and any child pornography. Melton offense. County; argues that the S t a t e d i d not prove Specifically, that he kept he c o n t e n d s the computer venue f o r the t h a t he l i v e d i n J e f f e r s o n in Jefferson County; and that, " [ w ] i t h the e x c e p t i o n of testimony concerning the one i n s t a n c e w h e r e [ h e ] t o o k t h e c o m p u t e r t o B e s t Buy i n S h e l b y C o u n t y , A l a b a m a , t h e r e c o r d i s d e v o i d of any t e s t i m o n y s u g g e s t i n g t h a t the images i n q u e s t i o n where e v e r a c q u i r e d or p o s s e s s e d anywhere other than Jefferson County. In essence, the criminal act with which [he] is charged was completed in Jefferson County, and the act of t a k i n g t h e c o m p u t e r t o B e s t Buy i n S h e l b y County was i n no way n e c e s s a r y i n o r d e r f o r t h e c r i m e t o be c o n s u m a t e d . " (Melton's brief in App. Gilliam 1984), v. as at pp. State, 21-22.) 502 So. We 2d follows: 14 addressed 1210, a similar 1210-11 (Ala. claim Crim. CR-08-1767 "Corporal Andrews of the Opelika Police Department was functioning as an undercover n a r c o t i c s a g e n t on D e c e m b e r 15, 1982. He met w i t h a p p e l l a n t , B r u c e I r v i n G i l l i a m , who p r o p o s e d t o s e t up a p u r c h a s e o f m a r i j u a n a b y O f f i c e r A n d r e w s f r o m a third party. T h e p r i c e was t o be $ 1 , 3 5 0 and a p p e l l a n t was t o r e c e i v e $100 for brokering the transaction. They p r o c e e d e d t o the Wire Road e x i t o f I n t e r s t a t e 85. Andrews handed the appellant $ 1 , 3 5 0 , w h i c h he h a n d e d o v e r t o two p e o p l e f o r a brown paper bag c o n t a i n i n g m a r i j u a n a . Andrews and the appellant returned to Opelika i n separate vehicles and stopped at Andrews's trailer. A p p e l l a n t G i l l i a m t h e n got the bag of m a r i j u a n a out of the o f f i c e r ' s t r u c k and c a r r i e d i t i n t o the t r a i l e r , w h e r e he w e i g h e d i t . O f f i c e r A n d r e w s t h e n p a i d a p p e l l a n t the $100. "The L e e C o u n t y g r a n d j u r y i n d i c t e d a p p e l l a n t u n d e r Code o f A l a b a m a 1975, S e c t i o n 2 0 - 2 - 8 0 ( 1 ) ( a ) , f o r t r a f f i c k i n g i n c a n n a b i s . ... "The indictment read i n pertinent part: Bruce Irvin Gilliam, alias, w h o s e t r u e C h r i s t i a n name i s o t h e r w i s e unknown t o t h e G r a n d J u r y , d i d on, t o - w i t : December 15, 1982, knowingly and u n l a w f u l l y p o s s e s s C a n n a b i s i n an amount i n e x c e s s o f 2.2 pounds, but l e s s than 2,000 pounds, in violation of § 2 0 - 2 - 8 0 ( 1 ) ( a ) o f t h e Code o f A l a b a m a . ' 15 CR-08-1767 " A p p e l l a n t contends t h a t the court should have g r a n t e d h i s motion f o r change of venue s i n c e the m a r i j u a n a was obtained i n Macon County, not Lee County. B o t h the s t a t e and a p p e l l a n t a g r e e d t h a t the possession of appellant was limited to appellant's approaching the Officer's truck, picking up the bag containing the marijuana, carrying i t into the officer's trailer, and w e i g h i n g i t on a s e t o f t r i p l e b e a m s c a l e s . Is this s u f f i c i e n t possession? We find that i t i s . I n R o b i n s o n v . S t a t e , 428 S o . 2 d 148 (Ala. Cr. App. 1982), t h i s court approved the f o l l o w i n g p o r t i o n of the t r i a l c o u r t ' s o r a l charge: "'The possession prohibited includes any p o s s e s s i o n by p h y s i c a l d o m i n i o n of however brief duration.' " T h i s p r o o f of a c t u a l p o s s e s s i o n i n Lee County was sufficient to support the jury's verdict. Under a t h e o r y of c o n s t r u c t i v e p o s s e s s i o n , these f a c t s would support a f i n d i n g t h a t the appellant had a c t u a l or p o t e n t i a l c o n t r o l o v e r the s u b s t a n c e and i n t e n t t o e x e r c i s e d o m i n i o n o v e r i t , and an e x t e r n a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n of s u c h i n t e n t and c o n t r o l . I t i s u n q u e s t i o n e d t h a t a p p e l l a n t had knowledge of the presence of the marijuana. We f i n d t h e court did not e r r i n d e n y i n g the motion f o r change i n venue." Similarly, possessed while of the at the the in this computer B e s t Buy actual case, the containing store possession e v i d e n c e showed t h a t the images i n Shelby County. of the 16 computer at of Melton pornography That the evidence Best Buy CR-08-1767 store i n Shelby County proper in without Shelby was sufficient County. t o show t h a t v e n u e Therefore, Melton's was argument is merit. II. Melton also argues that the t r i a l court erred i n denying h i s motion to suppress e v i d e n c e law enforcement officers pursuant seizure to computer an and allegedly his u n l a w f u l s e a r c h and statement to law enforcement R e l y i n g upon W a l t e r v. U n i t e d S t a t e s , contends that testimony Squad d i d not open any officers a r r i v e d ; that scope of the when they therefore, search viewed law indicated specific 447 that files U.S. law enforcement officers conducted by members contents of specific the enforcement warrant before opening those officers files. of should (1980), of b e f o r e law of his officers. 649 members found the he Geek enforcement exceeded the files; have the Geek Squad and that, obtained a 2 On a p p e a l , M e l t o n d o e s n o t a r g u e t h a t t h e l a w e n f o r c e m e n t officers were not j u s t i f i e d in seizing the computer and r e m o v i n g i t from t h e B e s t Buy s t o r e because t h e y d i d n o t f i r s t o b t a i n a w a r r a n t a n d b e c a u s e no e x i g e n t c i r c u m s t a n c e s e x i s t e d at t h a t time. R a t h e r , he m e r e l y a r g u e s t h a t t h e s e i z u r e a n d the subsequent f o r e n s i c a n a l y s i s o f the computer were t a i n t e d by the a l l e g e d l y improper i n i t i a l s e a r c h conducted by law enforcement o f f i c e r s . T h e r e f o r e , we n e e d n o t a d d r e s s t h e p r o p r i e t y o f t h e o f f i c e r s ' a c t i o n s i n s e i z i n g t h e computer and r e m o v i n g i t from t h e B e s t Buy s t o r e . 2 17 CR-08-1767 "A ' s e a r c h ' o c c u r s when that s o c i e t y i s prepared infringed." U n i t e d S t a t e s v. 1565 Jacobsen, an e x p e c t a t i o n o f p r i v a c y to c o n s i d e r reasonable i s 466 U.S. 109, 113, 104 S. Ct. 1652, (1983). In Walter, twelve large sealed packages that contained 871 b o x e s o f 8 - m i l l i m e t e r f i l m d e p i c t i n g h o m o s e x u a l were shipped Florida, by to addressed a Atlanta, to Leggs, L'Eggs Products, opened the film. While of of the the tried the film the and an F B I to were and L'Eggs the of film, one side of the contents on the opened one boxes a g e n t p i c k e d up The employees the packages. obtain with a projector. a warrant consignee of the or However, the More t h a n communicate w i t h packages before 18 FBI either viewing saw the boxes. boxes film of explicit by contacted a f t e r t a k i n g p o s s e s s i o n of the packages, FBI films boxes and two the Inc., employees s i d e of or to view p o r t i o n s of light. Products, the other were d e l i v e r e d to individual boxes on Petersburg, packages mistakenly of saw St. the the employees unsuccessfully up they from Although Employees examining descriptions One Inc., packages drawings carrier Georgia. Inc. twelve suggestive private activities and holding the two FBI, months agents viewed agents did the consignor the films. the not or The CR-08-1767 United by States the FBI Supreme C o u r t h e l d t h a t t h e v i e w i n g agents " c o n s t i t u t e d an of the unreasonable films invasion of t h e i r owner's c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y p r o t e c t e d i n t e r e s t i n p r i v a c y . " 447 U.S. 654, that argued at the 100 S. Ct. owners of reasonable expectation opened the p a c k a g e s and the boxes. 2395 the at 2400. packages The no government longer had of p r i v a c y because a p r i v a t e p a r t y However, had exposed the the Court a had descriptive labels rejected that on argument, stating: " B u t p e t i t i o n e r s e x p e c t e d no one e x c e p t t h e i n t e n d e d recipient e i t h e r to open the 12 p a c k a g e s o r to p r o j e c t the f i l m s . The 12 c a r t o n s w e r e s e c u r e l y w r a p p e d and s e a l e d w i t h no l a b e l s o r m a r k i n g s t o i n d i c a t e the c h a r a c t e r of t h e i r c o n t e n t s . There i s no r e a s o n why t h e c o n s i g n o r o f s u c h a s h i p m e n t w o u l d h a v e any lesser expectation of p r i v a c y than the c o n s i g n o r o f an o r d i n a r y l o c k e d s u i t c a s e . The fact t h a t t h e c a r t o n s were u n e x p e c t e d l y opened by a t h i r d party before the s h i p m e n t was d e l i v e r e d to i t s i n t e n d e d c o n s i g n e e does not a l t e r the consignor's legitimate expectation of p r i v a c y . The private search merely f r u s t r a t e d that expectation i n part. I t d i d not s i m p l y s t r i p the r e m a i n i n g unfrustrated p o r t i o n o f t h a t e x p e c t a t i o n o f a l l F o u r t h Amendment protection." 447 U.S. a t 6 5 8 - 5 9 , 100 However, situation third unlike S. C t . at 2402-03 Walter, this i n which the p r o p e r t y party who then opened was the 19 case (footnotes does mistakenly packages. not omitted). involve a d e l i v e r e d to a Rather, Melton CR-08-1767 voluntarily Squad and spyware agreed that determine privacy computer The was whether in the over 2007), over to the the on the Melton files on computer Geek Court had his of t o members Squad removing computer. a reasonable Geek after the Geek viruses and we must expectation he turned Pennsylvania the addressed 363 a similar (Pa. Super follows: "On appeal, the Commonwealth m a i n t a i n s that the trial court erred in concluding that Appellee r e t a i n e d a p r i v a c y i n t e r e s t i n the computer because he volitionally r e l i n q u i s h e d any expectation of p r i v a c y i n t h a t i t e m by d e l i v e r i n g i t t o Circuit C i t y employees knowing t h a t those employees were g o i n g t o i n s t a l l a n d t e s t a DVD d r i v e . We a g r e e i n part with this contention. "... We b e g i n o u r d i s c u s s i o n w i t h C o m m o n w e a l t h v . S h o a t z , 469 P a . 5 4 5 , 366 A . 2 d 1216 (1976), which e x t e n s i v e l y a n a l y z e s whether i n d i v i d u a l s have the right to contest the search of their personal property after they have abandoned a privacy interest i n that item. In Shoatz, police were i n v e s t i g a t i n g a r e p o r t t h a t t h r e e men were a c t i n g suspiciously and appeared to be preparing to burglarize a store. Police initiated surveillance of the t h r e a t e n e d premises and s h o r t l y t h e r e a f t e r observed three men, two of whom w e r e c a r r y i n g s u i t c a s e s , a p p e a r i n an a l l e y a d j a c e n t t o t h e s t o r e . One o f t h e o f f i c e r s a p p r o a c h e d t h e men a n d a s k e d t o speak t o them. The two men who were c a r r y i n g s u i t c a s e s d r o p p e d t h e m , a n d a l l o f t h e men fled. P o l i c e s e a r c h e d t h e s u i t c a s e s and d i s c o v e r e d i l l e g a l 20 of Squad. i n C o m m o n w e a l t h v . S o d o m s k y , 939 A . 2 d as of Therefore, computer t o members o f t h e Superior situation Ct. turned CR-08-1767 weapons. The defendants, who were immediately apprehended, r a i s e d c o n s t i t u t i o n a l o b j e c t i o n s to the search of t h e i r suitcases. Our Supreme Court concluded t h a t when t h e d e f e n d a n t s dropped their s u i t c a s e s and r a n , t h e y abandoned t h a t p r o p e r t y and t h u s , were not e n t i t l e d t o c o n t e s t t h e s e a r c h . "... The C o u r t noted that Pennsylvania has a d o p t e d t h e t h e o r y o f abandonment, w h i c h a p p l i e s as l o n g as i m p r o p e r p o l i c e conduct d i d not induce a defendant's d e s e r t i o n of h i s personal property. P u r s u a n t t o t h i s l e g a l c o n s t r u c t , when an i n d i v i d u a l evidences an intent to r e l i n q u i s h control over p e r s o n a l p r o p e r t y , he o r s h e h a s a b a n d o n e d a p r i v a c y interest i n property and cannot object t o any e n s u i n g s e a r c h o f t h e i t e m by p o l i c e . Abandonment revolves around the issue of i n t e n t , which i s determined from words, acts, and a l l relevant circumstances e x i s t i n g at the time the p r o p e r t y i s purportedly deserted. Accord Commonwealth v. Sanders, 407 P a . S u p e r . 2 7 0 , 595 A . 2 d 6 3 5 , 638 ( 1 9 9 1 ) ( ' w h e t h e r a p e r s o n r e a s o n a b l y may e x p e c t t h a t his or her possessions shall be free from u n w a r r a n t e d g o v e r n m e n t a l i n t r u s i o n d e p e n d s on t h e f a c t s and c i r c u m s t a n c e s ' ) . "As t h e S h o a t z C o u r t e x p l a i n e d , 'The i s s u e i s not abandonment i n t h e s t r i c t p r o p e r t y - r i g h t sense, but whether t h e person p r e j u d i c e d by t h e s e a r c h had voluntarily discarded, left behind, or otherwise relinquished his interest i n the property in question so t h a t he could no longer retain a reasonable e x p e c t a t i o n of p r i v a c y w i t h regard to i t at t h e time o f t h e s e a r c h . ' Shoatz, supra a t 553, 366 A . 2 d a t 1 2 2 0 . "The t h e o r y o f a b a n d o n m e n t i s e x t r a p o l a t e d f r o m t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s Supreme C o u r t ' s o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t ' t h e F o u r t h Amendment p r o t e c t s p e o p l e , n o t p l a c e s . What a p e r s o n k n o w i n g l y e x p o s e s t o t h e p u b l i c , e v e n i n h i s own home o r o f f i c e , i s not a subject of F o u r t h A m e n d m e n t p r o t e c t i o n . B u t w h a t he s e e k s t o p r e s e r v e a s p r i v a t e , e v e n i n an a r e a a c c e s s i b l e t o 21 CR-08-1767 the p u b l i c , may be constitutionally protected.' K a t z v . U n i t e d S t a t e s , 389 U.S. 347, 3 5 1 - 5 2 , 88 S. Ct. 507, 19 L. Ed. 2d 576 (1967) (citations o m i t t e d ) ; s e e a l s o O l i v e r v . U n i t e d S t a t e s , 466 U.S. 170 , 104 S. Ct. 1735, 80 L. Ed. 2d 214 (1984 ) (defendant d i d not have r e a s o n a b l e e x p e c t a t i o n of privacy in his visible real estate containing marijuana). "Our Supreme C o u r t has more r e c e n t l y e x a m i n e d t h e p r i n c i p l e i n C o m m o n w e a l t h v . H a w k i n s , 553 Pa. 76, 718 A.2d 265 (1998). In that case, the d e f e n d a n t h a n d e d an i t e m t o a n o t h e r i n d i v i d u a l , who then placed i t i n h i s mouth. Police seized the individual and extracted the property, which consisted of illicit drugs. Our Supreme Court refused to a l l o w the defendant to object to the seizure of the drugs, noting that under current F o u r t h Amendment j u r i s p r u d e n c e , a defendant cannot object to a search unless he establishes a legitimate expectation of privacy ' i n the area s e a r c h e d o r e f f e c t s s e i z e d ' and t h a t s u c h i n t e r e s t a l s o m u s t be s a n c t i o n e d b y s o c i e t y as r e a s o n a b l e a n d justifiable. Id. at 81, 718 A.2d a t 2 67. It c o n t i n u e d t h a t a ' l e g i t i m a t e e x p e c t a t i o n of p r i v a c y i s a b s e n t w h e r e an o w n e r o r p o s s e s s o r meaningfully abdicates his c o n t r o l , ownership, or possessory interest' in his personal property. I d . at 81-82, 718 A.2d a t 2 67. The Court concluded that the d e f e n d a n t had abandoned h i s e x p e c t a t i o n of p r i v a c y i n t h e d r u g s by h a n d i n g them t o t h e d r u g p u r c h a s e r a n d t h a t he h a d no l e g i t i m a t e e x p e c t a t i o n o f p r i v a c y i n t h a t i n d i v i d u a l ' s mouth. It also refused to g r a n t the defendant d e r i v a t i v e s t a n d i n g to o b j e c t to the s e a r c h of the drug p u r c h a s e r ' s body under the Pennsylvania Constitution. "... I n t h e p r e s e n t c a s e , we l i m i t o u r i n q u i r y to a d e t e r m i n a t i o n of whether A p p e l l e e ' s expectation of p r i v a c y i n the v i d e o s on t h e c o m p u t e r t h a t he r e l i n q u i s h e d to C i r c u i t C i t y employees f o r r e p a i r s was r e a s o n a b l e o r w h e t h e r he k n o w i n g l y e x p o s e d t h e computer's video f i l e s to the p u b l i c such t h a t he 22 CR-08-1767 v o l u n t a r i l y abandoned h i s p r i v a c y i n t e r e s t i n them. The t r i a l court found that Appellee did retain a p r i v a c y i n t e r e s t i n the contents of the computer, reasoning t h a t he d i d not expect the computer's contents ' t o be published to anyone o t h e r than e m p l o y e e s o f C i r c u i t C i t y as n e e d e d t o c o m p l e t e t h e requested installation.' Trial Court Opinion, 3 / 6 / 0 6 , a t 7. In r e a c h i n g this conclusion, the t r i a l c o u r t n o t e d t h a t A p p e l l e e d i d not g i v e C i r c u i t C i t y employees the r i g h t to d e l e t e f i l e s , access f i n a n c i a l i n f o r m a t i o n , or a c c e s s h i s e - m a i l and so t h e r e b y d i d not l o s e ' a l l s u b j e c t i v e ' e x p e c t a t i o n of p r i v a c y i n h i s computer. I d . a t 8. Thus, the t r i a l c o u r t found the subsequent s e i z u r e of the computer t o be illegal. "The trial court analogized this case to Commonwealth v. Davis, 743 A.2d 94 6 (Pa. Super. 1999), wherein we held that a tenant did not relinquish his privacy i n t e r e s t i n an apartment merely because the l a n d l o r d had limited access r i g h t s t o t h e a p a r t m e n t and t h a t t h e l a n d l o r d c o u l d not, t h e r e f o r e , consent to a w a r r a n t l e s s search of the apartment. Similarly, in Commonwealth v. DeJohn, 486 Pa. 32 , 403 A.2d 1283 (1 97 9 ) , the Supreme C o u r t found that under the Pennsylvania Constitution, a person r e t a i n s a privacy i n t e r e s t i n b a n k r e c o r d s , and f u r t h e r h e l d t h a t a bank c a n n o t submit the records to the p o l i c e i n the absence of a search warrant. The D e J o h n d e c i s i o n was based primarily on the fact that an individual's d i s c l o s u r e o f f i n a n c i a l r e c o r d s t o a b a n k was not e n t i r e l y v o l u n t a r y i n t h a t one c a n n o t p a r t i c i p a t e i n modern s o c i e t y w i t h o u t o b t a i n i n g a bank account. The DeJohn C o u r t also observed that a customer discloses his f i n a n c i a l records to a bank f o r a l i m i t e d p u r p o s e , to a i d i n conduct of financial affairs, and that a customer's expectation of privacy i s not diminished m e r e l y because a bank m a i n t a i n s the records. did " I n i t i a l l y , we m u s t o b s e r v e t h a t t h e t r i a l c o u r t not employ the p r o p e r l e g a l s t a n d a r d . First, 23 CR-08-1767 the c o u r t focused on t h e i r r e l e v a n t question of whether A p p e l l e e gave C i r c u i t C i t y employees a c c e s s to f i n a n c i a l r e c o r d s and e - m a i l f i l e s . These items were not searched; what A p p e l l e e d i d not give e m p l o y e e s p e r m i s s i o n t o do i s n o t t h e c o n s i d e r a t i o n . We must e x a m i n e w h e t h e r he d i d g i v e access or k n o w i n g l y r i s k a c c e s s t o h i s v i d e o f i l e s , w h i c h were the items d i s c o v e r e d h e r e i n . Furthermore, contrary to t h e t r i a l c o u r t ' s c o n c l u s i o n , i f A p p e l l e e exposed the video contents of h i s computer t o C i r c u i t C i t y e m p l o y e e s , he a b a n d o n e d h i s p r i v a c y i n t e r e s t i n those computer c o n t e n t s because those employees were members of the p u b l i c . I f Appellee knowingly p u b l i s h e d h i s c o m p u t e r v i d e o f i l e s t o members o f t h e p u b l i c , he h a d no r e a s o n a b l e e x p e c t a t i o n , u n d e r t h e a p p l i c a b l e l a w , t h a t t h e v i d e o f i l e s w o u l d n o t be disseminated to other i n d i v i d u a l s , including p o l i c e . "As n o t e d , a b a n d o n m e n t i s a q u e s t i o n o f i n t e n t and dependent upon a l l t h e a t t e n d a n t facts and circumstances. In accordance with t h i s p e r t i n e n t s t a n d a r d , we t h e r e f o r e w i l l s c r u t i n i z e a l l t h e f a c t s and circumstances to determine whether Appellee retained a reasonable expectation of privacy i n h i s videos. F i r s t , we o b s e r v e t h a t A p p e l l e e g a v e t h e employees permission to perform certain actions r e l a t i v e t o h i s computer f i l e s . He r e q u e s t e d a n d c o n s e n t e d t o t h e i n s t a l l a t i o n o f a DVD d r i v e a n d was s p e c i f i c a l l y informed that the d r i v e ' s o p e r a b i l i t y w o u l d be t e s t e d b y C i r c u i t C i t y e m p l o y e e s . Appellee f a i l e d t o e i t h e r i n q u i r e a s t o how t h e DVD d r i v e w o u l d be t e s t e d o r o t h e r w i s e r e s t r i c t t h e e m p l o y e e s ' access t o h i s computer files f o r that purpose. T h u s , A p p e l l e e s h o u l d h a v e b e e n a w a r e t h a t he f a c e d a r i s k of exposing the contents of h i s i l l e g a l video files. C f . U n i t e d S t a t e s v . B a r t h , 26 F. S u p p . 2 d 929 (W.D. T e x . 1998 ) ( c o m p u t e r o w n e r d i d n o t l o s e reasonable e x p e c t a t i o n of p r i v a c y i n computer f i l e s c o n t a i n e d i n s e a r c h e d h a r d d r i v e b e c a u s e owner gave repairman, a c o n f i d e n t i a l informant, hard d r i v e f o r l i m i t e d purpose of r e p a i r i n g problem u n r e l a t e d to f i l e s t h a t were s e a r c h e d ) . 24 CR-08-1767 "We a l s o f i n d i t c r i t i c a l to our a n a l y s i s t h a t when the child pornography was discovered, the C i r c u i t C i t y e m p l o y e e s w e r e t e s t i n g t h e DVD d r i v e ' s o p e r a b i l i t y i n a c o m m e r c i a l l y - a c c e p t e d manner r a t h e r than conducting a search for i l l i c i t items. Cf. Barth, i d . Appellee i m p l i e s t h a t the DVD drive s h o u l d have b e e n t e s t e d by i n s e r t i n g and p l a y i n g a DVD. Appellee's brief a t 3. Nevertheless, as n o t e d , A p p e l l e e d i d n o t a s k how t h e b u r n e r w o u l d be t e s t e d n o r d i d he p l a c e a n y r e s t r i c t i o n s r e g a r d i n g the manner of t h a t p r o c e d u r e . As Mr. Richert's testimony i n d i c a t e d , the p l a y i n g of videos a l r e a d y i n t h e c o m p u t e r was a m a n n e r o f e n s u r i n g t h a t t h e b u r n e r was functioning properly. Once t h e search for v i d e o s was initiated, the l i s t of Appellee's videos appeared automatically on the computer screen. The e m p l o y e e t e s t i n g t h e b u r n e r was f r e e t o s e l e c t any v i d e o f o r t e s t i n g p u r p o s e s , as A p p e l l e e had n o t r e s t r i c t e d a c c e s s t o any f i l e s . Therefore, Mr. R i c h e r t d i d n o t e n g a g e i n a f i s h i n g e x p e d i t i o n in t h i s case. "The f i n a l f a c t o r we u t i l i z e i s the v o l i t i o n a l nature of Appellee's actions. In this case, A p p e l l e e r e m o v e d t h e c o m p u t e r f r o m h i s home, t o o k the computer to C i r c u i t City, and left i t there without e i t h e r removing the videos c o n t a i n i n g c h i l d p o r n o g r a p h y o r c h a n g i n g t h e t i t l e s o f t h e v i d e o s so t h a t they d i d not appear t o have i l l e g a l content. Contrary to the circumstances i n DeJohn, supra, where a p e r s o n has l i t t l e c h o i c e b u t t o r e t a i n bank accounts i n order to f u n c t i o n i n s o c i e t y , A p p e l l e e was n o t c o m p e l l e d t o t a k e t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c o m p u t e r c o n t a i n i n g c h i l d pornography to the s t o r e i n the f i r s t i n s t a n c e , n o r was he f o r c e d t o l e a v e i t t h e r e a f t e r being informed t h a t the burner's operability w o u l d be c h e c k e d . A p p e l l e e was a w a r e o f t h e c h i l d p o r n o g r a p h y and c o u l d have e l e c t e d t o l e a v e the s t o r e w i t h the computer r a t h e r than r i s k d i s c o v e r y of the pornographic files. "This s c e n a r i o a l s o stands i n c o n t r a s t w i t h the landlord case relied upon by the trial court. 25 CR-08-1767 Although landlords routinely retain the right to inspect t h e i r premises upon n o t i c e , p e o p l e still r e t a i n a p r i v a c y e x p e c t a t i o n i n t h e i r home d e s p i t e i t s s t a t u s as r e n t a l p r o p e r t y . H e r e , h o w e v e r , we find that under the facts and circumstances presented, Appellee knowingly exposed to the p u b l i c , the C i r c u i t C i t y employees, the contents of h i s video files. I t i s clear that Circuit City e m p l o y e e s w e r e members o f t h e p u b l i c ; hence, i f Appellee knowingly exposed the contents of h i s video files t o t h e m , a s members o f t h e p u b l i c , he no l o n g e r r e t a i n e d an e x p e c t a t i o n o f p r i v a c y i n t h o s e v i d e o s n o r c o u l d he e x p e c t t h a t t h e y w o u l d n o t b e d i s t r i b u t e d to other people, including p o l i c e . "... A s n o t e d , t h e t r i a l c o u r t o v e r l o o k e d t h e a t t e n d a n t f a c t s and c i r c u m s t a n c e s i n t h i s case and i m p r o p e r l y f o c u s e d upon what a c c e s s r i g h t s A p p e l l e e had not granted to the C i r c u i t City employees. W h i l e t h e t r i a l c o u r t may o r may n o t be c o r r e c t t h a t Appellee retained a privacy interest i n other c o m p u t e r f i l e s , s u c h as e - m a i l o r f i n a n c i a l r e c o r d s , he d i d n o t r e t a i n a p r i v a c y i n t e r e s t i n h i s v i d e o s under t h e f a c t s and c i r c u m s t a n c e s h e r e i n . "... Since Appellee abandoned his privacy i n t e r e s t i n t h e v i d e o s c o n t a i n e d i n t h e c o m p u t e r , he cannot object to the subsequent viewing of the video l i s t and f i l e by p o l i c e . As n o t e d , o u r d e c i s i o n i s f i r m l y r o o t e d i n c u r r e n t P e n n s y l v a n i a a u t h o r i t y ; we t h e r e f o r e r e j e c t A p p e l l e e ' s i n d e p e n d e n t r e l i a n c e on the P e n n s y l v a n i a C o n s t i t u t i o n t o p r o t e s t the p o l i c e actions i n t h i s case. "... O u r r e s u l t i n t h i s c a s e i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the weight of a u t h o r i t y i n t h i s area. I f a person i s aware of, or f r e e l y grants to a third party, p o t e n t i a l a c c e s s t o h i s c o m p u t e r c o n t e n t s , he h a s knowingly exposed the contents of h i s computer t o the p u b l i c and has l o s t any r e a s o n a b l e e x p e c t a t i o n of p r i v a c y i n those c o n t e n t s . E.g. U n i t e d S t a t e s v. S i m o n s , 2 0 6 F . 3 d 392 ( 4 t h C i r . 2 0 0 0 ) ( w h e r e e m p l o y e e was i n f o r m e d t h a t h i s w o r k - r e l a t e d i n t e r n e t a c t i v i t y 26 CR-08-1767 would be scrutinized by employer, he had no l e g i t i m a t e expectation of privacy i n f r u i t s of h i s internet activity a s he k n o w i n g l y exposed such a c t i v i t y t o p u b l i c ) ; U n i t e d S t a t e s v. K i n g , [(No. 2:05CR301-WHA, N o v . 2 8 , 2 0 0 6 ) ] (M.D. A l a . 200 6) [ n o t r e p o r t e d i n F.Supp.2d)] (defendant knowingly exposed p e r s o n a l f i l e s t o p u b l i c under K a t z by l i n k i n g t o network after being informed that personal files could and would be s e a r c h e d u s i n g network even though defendant attempted to protect f i l e s from n e t w o r k s e a r c h ) ; Lown v . S t a t e , 172 S.W.3d 753 ( T e x . App. 2005) (defendant d i d n o t have reasonable expectation of privacy i n f i l e s on w o r k c o m p u t e r which were backed up a t r e q u e s t of people i n a u t h o r i t y a t defendant's company)." (Footnotes omitted.) Similarly, computer of to the Best t h e Geek indicated agreed Buy s t o r e Also, Melton Melton voluntarily and t u r n e d i t over the State presented knew a b o u t and s o f t w a r e inquired the existence of the child F u r t h e r , Woods t e s t i f i e d t h a t he on t h e c o m p u t e r Geek Squad's a s t o how t h e v i r u s e s inquired accessed. the as to whether t o members that The r e c o r d d o e s n o t i n d i c a t e on took h i s evidence and t h a t t o members o f t h e Geek S q u a d r e m o v i n g limitations files case, on t h e c o m p u t e r . viruses spyware. or Squad. that pornography found i n this the viruses access to the individual be files computer, removed, would A d d i t i o n a l l y , Melton had not d e l e t e d those before he turned the computer 27 and t h a t M e l t o n p l a c e d any and spyware would any Melton over t o members be specific of the CR-08-1767 Geek Squad. a Finally, password child CR, lock pornography. J a n . 16, reported failing i n S.W.3d) of the i n d i v i d u a l (holding to password-protect repairs"). would Based relinquished access reasonable t h e Geek Squad t o t h o s e a privacy contents interest Fourth o f any o f f i c e r s exceeded of t h e Geek Even all over any i n those of those restrict assumed t h e r i s k facts of this course of case, of privacy when he e x p o s e d Melton i n the t h e members B e c a u s e he d i d n o t r e t a i n the officers when they regardless d i d not viewed the of whether the o f t h e s e a r c h c o n d u c t e d b y members Squad. i f we expectations were to find of privacy that Melton by merely d i d not turning t o m e m b e r s o f t h e G e e k S q u a d , we n e x t expectation expectation to (not o r f o l d e r s a t i s s u e and by files, files, t h e scope 2007) "[b]y failing principles Amendment (No. 0 9 - 0 6 - 4 5 0 Beaumont expectation files. to put containing them i n t h e g e n e r a l c h i l d pornography of -- them, S i g n o r e l l i on t h e s p e c i f i c any containing violate that, files v. S t a t e , (Tex. C t . App. access to the f i l e s the repairman files any d i d n o t make a n y a t t e m p t See S i g n o r e l l i 2008) the repairman's that on Melton that of privacy society he retained i s prepared 28 relinquish the computer determine i n the f i l e s to consider whether was an reasonable. CR-08-1767 In this Best case, Buy employees computer. When employees of questionable and were law enforcement officers regarding child the o f f i c e r s Best Buy files. highly Those arrived them of the on at by Melton's the store, filenames of the were e x t r e m e l y filenames suggestive contacted pornography first showed had been explicit child pornography. Also, S e l l e r s t e s t i f i e d a b o u t some t e r m s t h a t a r e c o m m o n l y u s e d w h e n searching those for child terms were pornography, contained a n d we in some of some the filenames on properly i n t h e presence o f t h e computer a t t h a t time and t h a t were p r o p e r l y looking the officers of computer. officers that that Melton's the I t i s undisputed note at the filenames found by Best Buy employees. Therefore, not society would privacy i n computer files Rather, the question i swhether, a t the time law enforcement o f f i c e r s were whether the question were generally t o be names pornography consider was that suggested an e x p e c t a t i o n reasonable. 29 that that case i s an e x p e c t a t i o n reasonable. a t t h e B e s t B u y s t o r e , an e x p e c t a t i o n explicit find i n this of privacy they society of in files contained with child i s prepared to CR-08-1767 In United 104 S. Court Ct. States 1652, addressed v. 1661-62 a similar Jacobsen, 466 U.S. (1983), the United issue as 109, 122-23, States Supreme follows: "The q u e s t i o n remains whether the a d d i t i o n a l i n t r u s i o n o c c a s i o n e d by the f i e l d t e s t , w h i c h had not been c o n d u c t e d by t h e F e d e r a l E x p r e s s a g e n t s and t h e r e f o r e exceeded the scope of the p r i v a t e search, was an u n l a w f u l ' s e a r c h ' o r ' s e i z u r e ' w i t h i n t h e m e a n i n g o f t h e F o u r t h Amendment. "The f i e l d t e s t a t i s s u e c o u l d d i s c l o s e o n l y one f a c t p r e v i o u s l y u n k n o w n t o t h e a g e n t -- w h e t h e r o r n o t a s u s p i c i o u s w h i t e p o w d e r was c o c a i n e . I t could tell him nothing more, not even whether the s u b s t a n c e was s u g a r o r t a l c u m p o w d e r . We m u s t f i r s t d e t e r m i n e w h e t h e r t h i s c a n be c o n s i d e r e d a ' s e a r c h ' s u b j e c t t o t h e F o u r t h A m e n d m e n t -- d i d i t i n f r i n g e an e x p e c t a t i o n o f p r i v a c y t h a t s o c i e t y i s p r e p a r e d to c o n s i d e r reasonable? "The c o n c e p t o f an i n t e r e s t i n p r i v a c y that s o c i e t y i s p r e p a r e d t o r e c o g n i z e as r e a s o n a b l e i s , by i t s v e r y n a t u r e , c r i t i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h e mere expectation, however well justified, that c e r t a i n f a c t s w i l l n o t come t o t h e a t t e n t i o n o f t h e authorities. Indeed, t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n u n d e r l i e s the rule that Government may utilize information v o l u n t a r i l y d i s c l o s e d to a governmental informant, d e s p i t e the c r i m i n a l ' s reasonable expectation that his associates would not disclose confidential i n f o r m a t i o n to the a u t h o r i t i e s . See U n i t e d S t a t e s v . W h i t e , 401 U.S. 745, 7 5 1 - 7 5 2 , 91 S. C t . 1122, 1125-1126, 28 L. Ed. 2d 453 (1971) (plurality opinion). "A c h e m i c a l t e s t t h a t m e r e l y d i s c l o s e s w h e t h e r or not a p a r t i c u l a r s u b s t a n c e i s c o c a i n e does not compromise any l e g i t i m a t e i n t e r e s t i n p r i v a c y . T h i s c o n c l u s i o n i s n o t d e p e n d e n t on t h e r e s u l t o f any particular test. I t i s p r o b a b l y s a f e t o assume t h a t 30 113 CR-08-1767 virtually a l l of the tests conducted under c i r c u m s t a n c e s c o m p a r a b l e t o t h o s e d i s c l o s e d by t h i s r e c o r d would r e s u l t i n a p o s i t i v e f i n d i n g ; i n such c a s e s , no l e g i t i m a t e i n t e r e s t h a s b e e n c o m p r o m i s e d . But even i f the results are negative -merely d i s c l o s i n g t h a t the substance i s something other t h a n c o c a i n e -- s u c h a r e s u l t r e v e a l s n o t h i n g o f special interest. C o n g r e s s h a s d e c i d e d -- a n d t h e r e i s no q u e s t i o n a b o u t i t s p o w e r t o do s o -- t o t r e a t the i n t e r e s t i n ' p r i v a t e l y ' p o s s e s s i n g cocaine as illegitimate; thus governmental conduct that can r e v e a l w h e t h e r a s u b s t a n c e i s c o c a i n e , a n d no o t h e r a r g u a b l y ' p r i v a t e ' f a c t , c o m p r o m i s e s no l e g i t i m a t e privacy interest." In this case, after being contacted by Geek Squad e m p l o y e e s and v i e w i n g f i l e n a m e s t h a t a p p e a r e d t o i n d i c a t e the f i l e s file or c o n t a i n e d c h i l d pornography, the o f f i c e r s opened files contained i n question child to determine pornography. A c o n s t i t u t i o n a l r i g h t to possess See Perry Also, in Alabama that v. Ex State, parte Supreme constitutionality 568 So. Felton, Court of 2d 526 13A-12-192, A l a . Code 1975, person they does not actually have 339 So. (Ala. Crim. 2d Child 638 a App. (Ala. challenge Pornography 1990) . 1988), to the the Statute, stating: "As p o i n t e d o u t i n t h e o p i n i o n o f t h e C o u r t o f Criminal Appeals, t h e Supreme C o u r t of Ohio, i n S t a t e v . M e a d o w s , 28 O h i o S t . 3 d 4 3 , 503 N . E . 2 d 697 ( 1 9 8 6 ) , was c o n f r o n t e d w i t h t h e same i s s u e p r e s e n t e d h e r e ; t h a t c o u r t h e l d t h a t an O h i o s t a t u t e , w h i c h criminalized the knowing, private possession of 31 a c h i l d p o r n o g r a p h y i n h i s home. rejected Alabama's whether the § CR-08-1767 materials that showed a m i n o r p a r t i c i p a t i n g or engaging i n sexual activity, masturbation, or b e s t i a l i t y , d i d n o t v i o l a t e t h e F i r s t Amendment t o the Constitution of the United States, a s made a p p l i c a b l e t o t h e s t a t e s by reason o f t h e F o u r t e e n t h Amendment. for " I n Meadows, C h i e f J u s t i c e C e l e b r e z z e , a majority of the Court, stated: writing "'To a i d i n o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e state's impetus f o r the eradication of c h i l d pornography through the banning of i t s possession, as w e l l as t h e competing i n t e r e s t s i n v o l v e d , we t u r n t o t h e m o r e r e c e n t S u p r e m e C o u r t p r o n o u n c e m e n t i n New Y o r k v . F e r b e r ( 1 9 8 2 ) , 458 U.S. 7 4 7 , 102 S. C t . 3 3 4 8 , 73 L. E d . 2 d 1 1 1 3 . Against a backdrop of p u b l i c i n d i g n a t i o n over the proliferation of c h i l d pornography, the Ferber court defined a new c a t e g o r y o f unprotected speech. In contrast to Stanley, Ferber dealt specifically with c h i l d pornography, not obscenity i n v o l v i n g only adults, and upheld the constitutionality of a criminal statute outlawing the promotion of sexual performances by minors through the distribution of material depicting such performances. As such, "the Court unanimously upheld a New York criminal statute that bans the d i s t r i b u t i o n of nonobscene material depicting sexual conduct by children." The decision essentially holds that states can constitutionally define the visual d e p i c t i o n o f s e x u a l conduct by c h i l d r e n as obscenity without having to s a t i s f y the threshold constitutional test for determining whether the material i s obscene. The c o u r t r u l e d t h a t t h e s t a t e ' s 32 CR-08-1767 "compelling" i n t e r e s t i n eliminating c h i l d p o r n o g r a p h y was s u f f i c i e n t l y g r e a t t o a l l o w the s t a t e s to bypass the t e s t f o r adult obscenity stated i n M i l l e r v. C a l i f o r n i a ( 1 9 7 3 ) , 413 U.S. 1 5 , 93 S. C t . 2 6 0 7 , 37 L. Ed. 2d 419. Henceforth, states may automatically declare such visual d e p i c t i o n s of s e x u a l c o n d u c t by m i n o r s t o be o b s c e n e a n d , a s s u c h , u n p r o t e c t e d b y t h e F i r s t Amendment. The F e r b e r c o u r t d i d n o t consider the p r o p r i e t y of s t a t e c r i m i n a l s a n c t i o n s c o n c e r n i n g the f i n a l stage of the child pornography cycle, i.e., private possession. Nevertheless, the decision does touch on the competing interests i n v o l v e d i n t h i s c a s e , [and] the court's discussion of the state's goals is instructive. In r e c o g n i z i n g New York's "compelling" i n t e r e s t of safeguarding the physical and mental well-being of its c h i l d r e n , the court e x p l a i n e d t h a t " [ t ] h e p r e v e n t i o n o f s e x u a l e x p l o i t a t i o n and abuse of children constitutes a government o b j e c t i v e of s u r p a s s i n g importance." Id. 458 U.S. a t 7 5 7 , 102 S. C t . a t 3 3 5 5 . "'In t h i s v e i n , the Ferber court set f o r t h a number o f i m p o r t a n t and l e g i t i m a t e state objectives accomplished by the eradication of child pornography. For i n s t a n c e , the court observed t h a t "[t]he legislative judgment, as well as the judgment found i n the r e l e v a n t l i t e r a t u r e , i s t h a t t h e use o f c h i l d r e n as s u b j e c t s o f pornographic materials i s harmful to the p h y s i o l o g i c a l , e m o t i o n a l and m e n t a l h e a l t h of the c h i l d . " I d . a t 7 5 8 , 102 S. C t . a t 3355. The Ferber court found that the e x i s t e n c e of photographs " d e p i c t i n g sexual activity by juveniles is intrinsically r e l a t e d to the s e x u a l abuse of c h i l d r e n i n a t l e a s t two w a y s . F i r s t , the materials produced are a permanent r e c o r d of the 33 CR-08-1767 c h i l d r e n ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n and t h e harm t o the child is exacerbated by their circulation. Second, the distribution network for child pornography must be c l o s e d i f the p r o d u c t i o n of m a t e r i a l which requires the sexual exploitation of c h i l d r e n i s t o be e f f e c t i v e l y c o n t r o l l e d . " I d . a t 7 5 9 , 102 S. C t . a t 3 3 5 5 . "'The court also discerned that state efforts directed at the banning of p r o d u c t i o n would not adequately s o l v e the dilemma. The h i d d e n r e a l i t y o f t h e c h i l d p o r n o g r a p h y i n d u s t r y makes i t " d i f f i c u l t , i f not i m p o s s i b l e , to h a l t the e x p l o i t a t i o n o f c h i l d r e n by p u r s u i n g only those who produce I d . a t 7 5 9 - 7 6 0 , 102 S. C t . at 3356. I n t h i s r e g a r d , we n o t e t h a t t h e possessor's desire to maintain depictions o f c h i l d a b u s e a l s o " p r o v i d e [ s ] an e c o n o m i c m o t i v e f o r a n d ... [ i s ] t h u s an integral p a r t of the p r o d u c t i o n of such m a t e r i a l s , an a c t i v i t y i l l e g a l t h r o u g h o u t t h e N a t i o n . " Id. at 761, 102 S. Ct. at 3356. A f l o u r i s h i n g home m a r k e t f o r s u c h abusive m a t e r i a l s w i l l help guarantee that there will be additional victimization of children. C f . i d . a t 7 6 1 - 7 6 2 , f n . 13, 102 S. C t . a t 3 3 5 7 , n. 1 3 . "'Against these s u b s t a n t i a l o v e r r i d i n g interests we believe that, like the promotion stage of the c h i l d pornography cycle addressed i n Ferber, the value of permitting possession of "photographic r e p r o d u c t i o n s of c h i l d r e n engaged i n lewd s e x u a l conduct i s e x c e e d i n g l y modest, i f n o t de m i n i m i s . " I d . a t 7 6 2 , 102 S. C t . a t 3357. "'Unlike the obscene materials considered i n Stanley, M i l l e r , et a l . , c h i l d p o r n o g r a p h y i n v o l v e s , by i t s n a t u r e , 34 CR-08-1767 the physical, mental and sexual abuse, seduction and harmful exploitation of children. The d e p i c t i o n s ought to be banned by the state are but m e m o r i a l i z a t i o n s of c r u e l mistreatment and unlawful conduct. Additionally, such material would continue to exploit and v i c t i m i z e t h e c h i l d r e n shown by haunting t h e m i n t h e f u t u r e . F e r b e r a t 7 5 9 , f n . 10, 102 S. C t . a t 3 3 5 5 , f n . 1 0 . We b e l i e v e t h e i n t e r e s t of the s t a t e i n p r o t e c t i n g the privacy, health, emotional welfare and w e l l - r o u n d e d growth of i t s young c i t i z e n s , together with i t s undeniable i n t e r e s t of s a f e g u a r d i n g t h e f u t u r e o f s o c i e t y as a whole, comprise exactly the type of "compelling reasons" justifying a "very limited" First Amendment intrusion e n v i s i o n e d by t h e S t a n l e y c o u r t . At the same t i m e , the cost to the individual possessor's r i g h t of f r e e speech, p r i v a c y and t h o u g h t , c a u s e d by t h e s t a t e ' s b a n n i n g of v i s u a l mementos from an episode of sexual abuse of a child, is slight. Moreover, the content value of such m a t e r i a l i s t r i f l i n g a n d a l t e r n a t i v e means of s i m u l a t i o n e x i s t . ' " B a s e d u p o n t h e r e a s o n i n g i n M e a d o w s , we a r e o f the o p i n i o n t h a t the judgment of the court of C r i m i n a l A p p e a l s i s due t o be a f f i r m e d . The s t a t e ' s interest in protecting the privacy, health, e m o t i o n a l w e l f a r e , and w e l l - r o u n d e d g r o w t h o f i t s c i t i z e n s who are ' u n d e r t h e age o f 17 y e a r s , ' § 13-12-192(b), together with i t s interest in s a f e g u a r d i n g t h e f u t u r e o f s o c i e t y as a w h o l e , a r e the type of 'compelling reasons' justifying a '"very limited'" First Amendment intrusion e n v i s i o n e d b y t h e S t a n l e y [ v . G e o r g i a , 394 U.S. 557, 89 S. C t . 1 2 4 3 , 22 L. E d . 2 d 542 (1969),] Court.' [ S t a t e v . ] M e a d o w s [ , 28 O h i o S t . 3 d 4 3 , 503 N . E . 2 d 697 (1986)]." 35 CR-08-1767 Based on t h e p u r p o s e and goals underlying the statutes c r i m i n a l i z i n g the possession of c h i l d pornography, i t i s c l e a r that, on a t t h e p o i n t when o f f i c e r s w e r e l o o k i n g a t t h e f i l e n a m e s t h e computer, any e x p e c t a t i o n o f p r i v a c y i n f i l e s that had names t h a t w e r e h i g h l y s u g g e s t i v e o f c h i l d p o r n o g r a p h y was n o t an expectation reasonable. contained they Also, adult would that have Sellers closed into limited. Because society was p r e p a r e d rather the f i l e s potentially viewed there i s prepared testified pornography intrusion officers society that, than no child and l e f t . of would files, had any have been of privacy that as r e a s o n a b l e the as pornography, Therefore, expectation to recognize recognize i f the f i l e s p r i v a t e matters was t h e names to at the officers time d i d not v i o l a t e F o u r t h Amendment p r i n c i p l e s b y v i e w i n g t h e c o n t e n t s o f any of the f i l e s . For Melton's these reasons, motion to the trial court properly denied suppress. III. Melton granted him. f u r t h e r argues the State's The o r i g i n a l motion that the t r i a l t o amend indictment court the indictment a l l e g e d t h a t he 36 erroneously against CR-08-1767 "did knowingly possess obscene matter c o n t a i n i n g a v i s u a l r e p r o d u c t i o n o f a p e r s o n u n d e r t h e a g e o f 17 y e a r s e n g a g e d i n an a c t o f s a d o - m a s o c h i s t i c a b u s e , sexual intercourse, sexual excitement, masturbation, g e n i t a l n u d i t y , or other sexual conduct, to-wit: numerous p i c t u r e s o f c h i l d r e n and numerous v i d e o s of c h i l d r e n , i n v i o l a t i o n of S e c t i o n 13A-12-192(b) of t h e Code o f A l a b a m a , a g a i n s t t h e p e a c e and d i g n i t y of t h e S t a t e of Alabama." (C.R. the 22.) Before indictment crime of July 21, trial to trial, court State i n c l u d e the Possession of 2004 the through granted filed allegation Obscene M a t t e r September the a motion 8, motion "that d i d occur 2005." to the on (C.R. amend to amend alleged or about 55.) The over Melton's objection. "The c o u r t may p e r m i t a c h a r g e t o be a m e n d e d w i t h o u t t h e d e f e n d a n t ' s c o n s e n t , a t any t i m e b e f o r e v e r d i c t o r f i n d i n g , i f no a d d i t i o n a l o r d i f f e r e n t o f f e n s e i s charged and i f the substantial rights of the defendant are not p r e j u d i c e d . " Rule 1 3 . 5 ( a ) , A l a . R. Crim. P. "'The element of p r e j u d i c e to the " s u b s t a n t i a l r i g h t s o f t h e d e f e n d a n t " i s u s u a l l y i n t e r p r e t e d as requiring some showing of surprise which will interfere with the defendant's p r e s e n t a t i o n at trial.' [2] L a F a v e & I s r a e l , C r i m i n a l P r o c e d u r e § 1 9 . 2 ( g ) a t 462 [1934]." Pace v. S t a t e , 652 So. In this the result i n an case, additional 2d 321, 327 amendment or (Ala. Crim. of different 37 the App. indictment offense being 1994). did not charged. CR-08-1767 Further, that other than general a l l e g a t i o n s , the amendment Therefore, prejudiced he i s n o t e n t i t l e d M e l t o n h a s n o t shown his substantial to r e l i e f as t o t h i s rights. 3 claim. IV. Finally, sufficient couches Melton evidence argues that to support h i s argument in terms the State his conviction. of the present Although sufficiency evidence, h i s contentions a c t u a l l y address the d i d not of only the weight he the of evidence. "'"[T]he 'weight of t h e e v i d e n c e ' r e f e r s t o 'a d e t e r m i n a t i o n [ b y ] t h e t r i e r of fact t h a t a g r e a t e r amount o f c r e d i b l e e v i d e n c e s u p p o r t s one s i d e o f an i s s u e o r c a u s e t h a n the o t h e r . ' " T i b b s v . F l o r i d a , 457 U.S. [31] a t 3 7 - 3 8 [ 1 0 2 S. C t . [ 2 2 1 1 ] a t 2 2 1 6 ] [1982](emphasis added).'" Zumbado v . S t a t e , 615 S o . 2 d 1 2 2 3 , 1 2 4 0 (quoting v. App. Johnson State, 555 So. 2d ( A l a . C r i m . App. 1993) 818, 820 ( A l a . Crim. 1989)). A l t h o u g h M e l t o n makes a d d i t i o n a l a s s e r t i o n s i n h i s b r i e f to t h i s c o u r t , " ' " [ t ] h i s c o u r t i s bound by t h e r e c o r d and n o t by a l l e g a t i o n s o r arguments i n b r i e f r e c i t i n g m a t t e r s n o t d i s c l o s e d b y t h e r e c o r d . " M o o r e v . S t a t e , 457 S o . 2 d 9 8 1 , 989 ( A l a . C r . A p p . 1 9 8 4 ) , c e r t . d e n i e d , 470 U.S. 1 0 5 3 , 105 S. C t . 1 7 5 7 , 84 L. E d . 2 d 820 ( 1 9 8 5 ) . ' G a r n e t t v . S t a t e , 555 So. 2 d 1153 ( A l a . C r i m . App. 1 9 8 9 ) . " S i m i l t o n v . S t a t e , 672 S o . 2 d 1363, 1366 ( A l a . C r i m . App. 1995) . T h e r e f o r e , we w i l l n o t consider those assertions. 3 38 CR-08-1767 "The i s s u e o f t h e w e i g h t o f t h e e v i d e n c e i s p r e s e r v e d b y a m o t i o n f o r a new t r i a l , s t a t i n g ' t h a t the v e r d i c t i s c o n t r a r y t o law or the weight o f the evidence.' S e e [ A l a . ] R. C r . P. 2 4 . 1 ( c ) ( 1 ) . " Zumbado, a new 615 S o . 2 d a t 1 2 4 1 . trial Therefore, For challenging Melton d i d not f i l e the weight h i s argument i s n o t p r o p e r l y of a motion f o r the evidence. before this t h e a b o v e - s t a t e d r e a s o n s , we a f f i r m t h e t r i a l judgment. AFFIRMED. W e l c h , Windom, Kellum, and Main, 39 J J . , concur. court. court's