Cell phone pictures not within Stored Communications Act

A police dispatcher was terminated based on texts and pictures found on her cell phone in violation of department policy.  Garcia v. City of Laredo, No. 11-41118 (Dec. 12, 2012).  The Fifth Circuit affirmed summary judgment on her claim that this data was protected by the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. ch. 121, finding that the phone was not a “facility” and the data saved on it was not in “electronic storage” as the statute defined those terms.  The Court also rejected her contention that the district judge had shown bias against her counsel in the course of the proceedings below.