University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name In the matter of the Application of United States for an Order Authorizing the Physical Search of Nonresidential Premises and Personal Property NS-DC-0048
Docket / Court 81-[redacted] ( FISC )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) National Security
Special Collection Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- All Matters
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Case Summary
For the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse collection of FISA Matters, see our special collection.

On November 2, 1981, the Select Committee on Intelligence of the U.S. Senate issued a report on the ... read more >
For the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse collection of FISA Matters, see our special collection.

On November 2, 1981, the Select Committee on Intelligence of the U.S. Senate issued a report on the Implementation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act had been in full effect for over two years when the report was issued. The Committee recommended that the Act be permitted to continue in effect without amendment pending the results of further study and deliberations by the Committee. The report included a Memorandum of Law submitted by the Department of Justice to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and the Court's response.

On June 4, 1981, the Department of Justice applied to the FISC for an order authorizing the physical search of nonresidential premises and personal property. The Department simultaneously submitted a Memorandum of Law to the Court contending that--notwithstanding its application--the Court lacked jurisdiction and authority to approve physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes. The Department of Justice argued that the Constitution does not require prior judicial review of intelligence physical searches of foreign powers or their agents when properly authorized by the President or the Attorney General. The Memorandum of Law was written in unclassified form to permit its publication in the Committee's report.

Presiding Judge George L. Hart, Jr., agreed with the memorandum and denied the application on the basis that the FISC has no statutory, implied or inherent authority or jurisdiction to review intelligence physical search applications. A redacted copy of the Court's order is included with the Committee's report.

Jessica Kincaid - 06/10/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Warrant/order for search or seizure
General
Confidentiality
Search policies
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action FISA Title I Warrant (Electronic Surveillance), 50 U.S.C. §§ 1801-1812
Defendant(s) None on record
Plaintiff Description The U.S. Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1981
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Links Guest Post: New Resource — Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse FISA Archives
Just Security
Posted: Jun. 26, 2014
By: Margo Schlanger
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum of Law [Part of Senate Report 97-280] 06/03/1981
NS-DC-0048-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Memorandum of Law [Part of Senate Report 97-280] 06/11/1981 (FISC)
NS-DC-0048-0003.pdf | External Link | Detail
Implementation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, (1980-81): Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 97-280 (1st Session) 11/02/1981
NS-DC-0048-0001.pdf | Detail
Judges Hart, George Luzerne Jr. (FISC, D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0048-0001 | NS-DC-0048-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Willard, Richard K. (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0048-0001 | NS-DC-0048-0002
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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