University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Smith v. Obama NS-ID-0001
Docket / Court 2:13-cv-00257-BLW ( D. Idaho )
State/Territory Idaho
Case Type(s) National Security
Special Collection Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- All Matters
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- Telephony Metadata
Case Summary
On June 12, 2013, a private citizen who is a Verizon Wireless subscriber filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, under 5 U.S.C. § 706 and the Constitution, against the President, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the National Security Agency, the ... read more >
On June 12, 2013, a private citizen who is a Verizon Wireless subscriber filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, under 5 U.S.C. § 706 and the Constitution, against the President, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the National Security Agency, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General of the U.S., and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the government's search and seizure of her telephone records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, 50 U.S.C. § 1861 violated the Fourth Amendment and 5 U.S.C. § 706. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the NSA was monitoring and searching her telephone records without showing first that there was probable cause to believe that she was engaged in criminal behavior.

On November 7, 2013, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint. On December 20, 2013, the plaintiff filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. On January 24, 2014, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and for lack of jurisdiction.

On June 3, 2014, Judge B. Lynn Winmill granted the defendants' motion to dismiss and denied the plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief. Judge Winmill wrote that there was no Fourth Amendment violation in this case based on precedent, including the Supreme Court case of Smith v Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979), in which the Supreme Court held that a person has no expectation of privacy in the telephone numbers that she dials. Smith v. Obama, 2:13-CV-257-BLW, 2014 WL 2506421 (D. Idaho June 3, 2014). Although the NSA's data gathering goes beyond the telephone numbers dialed, this is still not a violation of the Fourth Amendment because the Ninth Circuit had extended Smith v. Maryland's holding to cover call length and call time, as well. The Court noted, too, that other courts had already found that the NSA is not violating the Fourth Amendment. See A.C.L.U. v Clapper, NS-NY-0003.and U.S. v. Moalin, U.S. v. Moalin, 2013 WL 6079518 (S.D.Cal. 2013).

Jessica Kincaid - 06/16/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Confidentiality
Search policies
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) Department of Defense
National Security Agency
Plaintiff Description A private citizen who is a Verizon Wireless subscriber
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing NS-TX-0003 : Perez v. Clapper (W.D. Tex.)
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)
2:13-cv-00257-BLW (D. Idaho) 06/03/2014
NS-ID-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 06/12/2013
NS-ID-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint 11/07/2013
NS-ID-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Decision {Granting defendants’ motion to dismiss and deny Smith’s motion for injunctive relief} 06/03/2014 (2013 WL 6079518) (D. Idaho)
NS-ID-0001-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief for Amici Curiae Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Mark Udall, and Senator Martin Heinrich in Support of Plaintiff-Appellant, Urging Reversal of the District Court 09/09/2014
NS-ID-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of Amici Curiae Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Thirty-Three Technical Experts and Legal Scholars in Support of Appellant 09/09/2014
NS-ID-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Appellant's Reply Brief 10/16/2014
NS-ID-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Winmill, B. Lynn (D. Idaho)
NS-ID-0001-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cohn, Cindy A. (California)
NS-ID-0001-0004
Eppink, Richard Allen (Idaho)
NS-ID-0001-0004
Jaffer, Jameel (New York)
NS-ID-0001-0004
Malek, Lucas Todd (Idaho)
NS-ID-0001-0002 | NS-ID-0001-0004 | NS-ID-0001-9000
Smith, Peter J IV (Idaho)
NS-ID-0001-0002 | NS-ID-0001-0003 | NS-ID-0001-0004 | NS-ID-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berman, Marcia (District of Columbia)
NS-ID-0001-9000
Dearinger, Bryan (District of Columbia)
NS-ID-0001-9000
Gilligan, James J (District of Columbia)
NS-ID-0001-9000
Hargrove, Syrena Case (Idaho)
NS-ID-0001-9000
Patton, Rodney (District of Columbia)
NS-ID-0001-9000
Other Lawyers Rotenberg, Marc (District of Columbia)
NS-ID-0001-0006
Sims, Charles S. (New York)
NS-ID-0001-0005

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