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Supreme Court to Hear Case Following Brief Written by Meyers Nave

Oakland, CA – Thanks in part to a brief written by Meyers Nave attorneys Joseph Quinn and Nancy Thorington, the U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will hear City of Ontario v. Quon.

The case questions whether city employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy in text messages sent through employer-owned cell phones. The Ninth Circuit Court ruled with the employees, and the City of Ontario appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. Subsequently, Mr. Quinn and Ms. Thorington wrote a brief in support of the appeal on behalf of the League of California Cities and California State Association of Counties.

The City of Ontario asked the Supreme Court to take the case in order to resolve important legal and policy issues. Meyers Nave’s brief focused on public employers’ practical need for clarification regarding the circumstances in which they can seek to retrieve work-related materials or investigate violations of workplace rules without first securing a warrant.

The brief set forth everyday circumstances, such as Public Records Act requests, in which public employers need immediate access to work-related text message accounts. It also explained why those operational realities of the public workplace counseled against a finding that employees can expect that their use of employer-owned devices, as well as messages sent over such devices, are protected by constitutional privacy guarantees.

The Supreme Court addresses the merits of only the most exceptional and important cases. Meyers Nave applauds Mr. Quinn and Ms. Thorington for presenting a brief that highlighted why this case deserves the attention of the Supreme Court. Now that the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case, we anticipate that the Court will issue its ruling on the merits by the end of June.

About Meyers Nave

Founded in 1986, Meyers Nave is a law firm recognized for its work with all types of public entities in California and provides the full scope of legal services to cities, counties, redevelopment agencies and special districts statewide. Meyers Nave’s areas of practice include labor/employment; torts; redevelopment; city attorney/general counsel representations; eminent domain; litigation; writs and appeals; public finance; public contracts and land use; and environmental law.


Jayne Williams
Meyers Nave
(510) 808-2000