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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – University Police – Off-Campus Search – Cooperation Agreement – Civil Litigation – Privileged Materials

State v. Bernard (Lawyers Weekly No. 14-07-0853, 23 pp.) (Donna Stroud, J.) Appealed from Guilford County Superior Court (David Hall, J.) N.C. App.

Holding: Where defendant sent a fraudulent email through the North Carolina A&T computer servers on the campus, her offenses were “committed on Campus.” Therefore, pursuant to a cooperation agreement between A&T and the City of Greensboro, campus police had authority to execute a search warrant of defendant’s off-campus home.

We affirm the trial court’s partial denial of defendant’s motion to suppress evidence seized in the search. We find no error in defendant’s convictions for accessing a government computer without authority, accessing computers, and identity theft.

Although the university police detective who executed the search warrant knew about defendant’s pending civil litigation against his employer and deliberately chose to seize documents related to that case, including confidential attorney-client communications, the trial court properly suppressed the evidence which was subject to the attorney-client privilege.


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