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Case Name In re Search of an Apple iPhone Seized During the Execution of a Search Warrant on a Black Lexus IS300, California License Plate 35KGD203 NS-CA-0022
Docket / Court 5:16-cm-00010-SP ( C.D. Cal. )
Additional Docket(s) 5:15-MJ-00451   [ 15-451 ]
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) National Security
Case Summary
On December 3, 2015, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Magistrate Judge David T. Bristow) authorized a search and seizure warrant of an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters who killed 14 people in California in 2015. However, despite the search warrant, the ... read more >
On December 3, 2015, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Magistrate Judge David T. Bristow) authorized a search and seizure warrant of an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters who killed 14 people in California in 2015. However, despite the search warrant, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) was unable to access the iPhone. The encrypted iPhone was protected by a passcode that had security protocols that erased the phone’s data after ten tries.

On February 16, 2016, U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles asked the district court to order Apple to assist the FBI in the investigation of the iPhone pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651. That same day, Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym ordered Apple to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) with accessing the iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters. The order required Apple to remove the auto-erase function and the limit on the number of passwords one can enter on the iPhone. The order also indicated that Apple could be asked to write custom software to access the iPhone. See 2016 WL 618401

This case received enormous public attention as Apple formally opposed the district court’s order. In order to manage litigation, the district court decided to split this issue to its own case and reassigned the case 5:15-MJ-00451 to a new docket number 5:16-CM-00010.

On February 19, 2016, the government filed a motion to compel Apple to comply with the court’s February 16 order to access the iPhone. On February 25, 2016, Apple filed a motion to vacate the order and opposition to government’s motion to compel assistance. Apple countered that government’s request for a code to access the iPhone would create a backdoor to all such devices that would be exploitable by other entities. Technology companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and others filed amicus briefs supporting Apple’s position in March 2016.

On March 21, 2016, the government asked the court to delay the scheduled hearing, claiming that an “outside party” might be able to unlock the iPhone without Apple’s help.

On March 28, 2016, the government notified the court that it had successfully accessed data stored on the iPhone and no longer required the assistance from Apple. The government officially withdrew its legal action against Apple.

On March 29, 2016, Judge Pym vacated the February 16 order compelling Apple to assist agents in search. This case is closed. See this Order.

Susie Choi - 04/07/2017


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Records Disclosure
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Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Special Case Type
Criminal
Warrant or subpoena application
Causes of Action All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651
Defendant(s) Apple Inc.
Plaintiff Description The U.S. Government
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filing Year 2016
Case Closing Year 2016
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing NS-NY-0021 : In re Order Requiring Apple Inc. to Assist in the Execution of a Search Warrant Issued by the Court (E.D.N.Y.)
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
5:15-mj-00451-DUTY-1 (C.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0022-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/06/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
5:16-cm-10 (C.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0022-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/20/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Government's Ex Parte Application For Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search; Memorandum of Points and Authorities [ECF# 18]
NS-CA-0022-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/16/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Compelling Apple, Inc. to Assist Agents in Search [ECF# 19] (2016 WL 618401) (C.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0022-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/16/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Vacating February 16, 2016 Order [ECF# 210] (C.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0022-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/29/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Pym, Sheri Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
NS-CA-0022-0001 | NS-CA-0022-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chiu, Allen W. (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0022-0003 | NS-CA-0022-9000
Christensen, Stephanie S. (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0022-9000
Decker, Eileen (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0022-0003
Donahue, Patricia A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0022-0003
LaBahn, David Richard (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0022-9000
Lewis, Anthony J. (California) show/hide docs
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Wilkison, Tracy L. (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0022-0003 | NS-CA-0022-9000
Yohalem, Mark R. (California) show/hide docs
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Defendant's Lawyers Behnke, Jerry A. (California) show/hide docs
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Bernhard, Darren B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Bibring, Peter (California) show/hide docs
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Blavin, Jonathan H. (California) show/hide docs
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Bridges, Andrew P. (California) show/hide docs
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Butler, Alan (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Cardozo, Nathan (California) show/hide docs
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Cohn, Cindy A. (California) show/hide docs
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Cope, Sophia Sabrina (California) show/hide docs
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Crocker, Andrew (California) show/hide docs
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Crum, Travis M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Fagan, Gary R. (California) show/hide docs
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Faulkner, William (California) show/hide docs
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Feldman, Michael Aaron (California) show/hide docs
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Gikow, Stephen Nathaniel (California) show/hide docs
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Grammer, William Cody (California) show/hide docs
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Granick, Jennifer Stisa (California) show/hide docs
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Green, Ariel (California) show/hide docs
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Greene, David Allen (California) show/hide docs
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Haddad, Mark E. (California) show/hide docs
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Haskins, Steven A. (California) show/hide docs
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Hayes, David L. (California) show/hide docs
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Hoffman, Marcia (California) show/hide docs
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Hunter, Tanya L. (California) show/hide docs
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Joyce, Eamon P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Katyal, Neal Kumar (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Katz, Daniel Franklin (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Krinsky, David M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Landis, Jeffrey (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Larson, Stephen G. (California) show/hide docs
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Lemley, Mark Alan (California) show/hide docs
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Lev, Sean A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Lynch, Jennifer (California) show/hide docs
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Maddigan, Michael M. (California) show/hide docs
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Mayer, Martin J. (California) show/hide docs
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McLean, Nicholas M. (New York) show/hide docs
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Meister, Melissa A. (California) show/hide docs
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Mittan, Ciara Nicole (California) show/hide docs
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Moore, Richmond T. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Murray, Jason C. (California) show/hide docs
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Nadolenco, John (California) show/hide docs
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Newby, Tyler Griffin (California) show/hide docs
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Opsahl, Kurt Bradford (California) show/hide docs
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Palow, Caroline Elizabeth Wilson show/hide docs
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Patashnik, Joshua (California) show/hide docs
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Pfefferkorn, Riana (California) show/hide docs
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Pincus, Andrew J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Preziosi, Tarquin (California) show/hide docs
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Ring, Rosemarie T (California) show/hide docs
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Roth, Jerome Cary (California) show/hide docs
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Rubin, Michael (California) show/hide docs
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Shallman, Daniel N. (California) show/hide docs
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Shanmugam, Kannon K. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Taub, Richard Franklin (California) show/hide docs
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Tien, Lee (California) show/hide docs
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Touchstone, James R. (California) show/hide docs
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Willard, Lauren S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Williams, Jamie (California) show/hide docs
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Wimmer, Kurt (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Zadikany, Ruth (California) show/hide docs
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Other Lawyers Boutrous, Theodore J. Jr. (California) show/hide docs
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Hanna, Nicola T. (California) show/hide docs
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Olson, Theodore B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Vandevelde, Eric David (California) show/hide docs
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Zwillinger, Marc J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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