CAAF has released its opinion in United States v. Huntzinger, No. 09-0589/AR, available here.  The opinion affirms ACCA’s ruling.  Chief Judge Effron wrote for a unanimous court.

The opinion declined to exempt combat zone living quarters from any Fourth Amendment protection:

[T]he granted issues concern the unique powers of search and seizure granted to military commanders under the application of the Fourth Amendment to members of the armed forces.  These rules apply in domestic and deployed locations.  Although the application of the rules and the exceptions therein depend upon the context, there is no general exception for locations or living quarters in a combat zone.

Huntzinger, slip op. at 8-9 (internal citation omitted).  In affirming, CAAF expressly declined to rely on the military judge’s alternate ruling “that Appellant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in his living quarters.”  Id., slip op. at 9.  Under the facts of this case, CAAF held that the military judge appropriately concluded that the commanding officer “had a substantial basis for making a probable cause determination to authorize the search.”  Id., slip op. at 15.

6 Responses to “CAAF affirms in Huntzinger, but declines to find a blanket combat zone exception to the Fourth Amendment”

  1. Anon says:

    The key here is that the accused, although in a combat zone, was living in a dormitory in which you could lock your door. Hard to argue that there is no expectation of privacy in that situation.

  2. Dwight Sullivan says:

    Anon 1730, “The key is . . . you could lock your door.” Was that intentional? :-)

  3. Anonymous says:

    What was interesting in this case, was that an expert was requested by the defense for computer forensics, and the judge told the defense counsel to just use the government’s expert and along with the CA denied the expert request (or a reasonable substitute).

    Neither ACCA nor CAAF had any interest in this issue which I still don’t understand.

  4. soonergrunt says:

    Anon 2010–
    Is that because the question wasn’t raised? It’s not mentioned anywhere in the opinion. Can CAAF review things that aren’t raised as issues by either party?

  5. soonergrunt says:

    I should preface that with “I’m not a lawyer, but…” but I should think that my ignorance shines through adequately to make that clear.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It was raised at ACCA. It was raised but not granted, I believe, at CAAF.

    I could be wrong on the second half but don’t think so.