Death and Illegal Search and Seizure

If you’re dead, are you still protected from illegal search and seizure (ISS)?

Many seem to be making reference to ISS regarding the FBR iPhone and Apple case.

I understand there are other issues regarding this. . .but is ISS really a part of the case seeing as how the accused parties are dead.

The FBI has a court order authorizing their search of the phone, IIRC. But it’s an interesting question - if the cops illegally search a dead man’s possessions, whose rights have been violated?


Dead people don’t own things. A dead person has no “possessions”. The property he used to own is now vested in his legal personal representatives. Any violation of rights is a violation of their rights and they, of course, are alive and well and can take legal action to vindicate their rights.

Plus, he didn’t own the phone in question. It was his work phone, and I think his employer supports the government’s application to have Apple assist in searching it.