Proposed amendments to F.R.Civ.P. 41

On September 18, 2014, the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure proposed an amendment to Rule 41

Rule 41. Current Rule 41(b) generally limits warrant authority to searches within a district, but it contains four exceptions where out-of-district or extra-territorial warrants are permitted. The proposed amendment would authorize an additional exception.

Magistrate judge would be allowed to “issue a warrant to use remote access to search electronic storage media and seize or copy ESI even when that media or information is or may be located outside of the magistrate judge’s district. The proposed amendments address two increasingly common situations affected by the territorial restriction: (1) where the warrant sufficiently describes the computer to be searched but the district within which that computer is located is unknown; and (2) where the investigation requires law enforcement to coordinate searches of numerous computers in numerous districts”.

This proposal – together with all the other proposed amendments (see our article) – will now go before the United States Supreme Court for review and, if approved, will take effect on December 1, 2015, absent any action by Congress to revise or reject the amendments.


More information on pending amendments are available at http://www.uscourts…


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