Updated Content Now Available in the Digital Version of Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina

Most readers of this blog are familiar with Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina. For those who are not, it is a treatise on search and seizure law. It covers stops, arrests, warrantless searches, search warrants, and much more. The most recent (sixth) edition was published in 2021 and was authored by long-time School of Government faculty member Robert L. Farb and research attorney Christopher Tyner. However, the law is never static, and the intervening years have seen major developments concerning issues such as digital searches, strip searches, the recording of interrogations, the automobile exception to the warrant requirement, and more. I’ve updated the treatise, and this post details how to access the new content.

The old way was paper supplements. In years gone by, the School of Government would release periodic paper supplements to major treatises like Arrest, Search, and Investigation. The cost would be relatively modest – the last time we issued a supplement, I believe it cost $40. But they were cumbersome to use, requiring readers to check multiple volumes and flip back and forth between them. Readers who wanted to remain current might have to buy multiple supplements over the lifespan of an edition of a treatise. And of course, we would produce supplements only every year or two, meaning that even the supplements would not be completely current. Perhaps because of some of these limitations, we found that many people who bought the book chose not to purchase the supplements.

The new way is digital access. We plan to continue to produce printed editions of Arrest, Search and Investigation every five years or so. But we don’t plan to produce paper supplements to those volumes. Instead, I’ll be updating the digital version of the treatise. I have just completed the Spring 2024 Update that is current through December 1, 2023, and will soon start working on the next update. I hope to update the digital version twice yearly, much more often than we could do with paper supplements. So, the way to get the new content is to purchase access to the digital edition.

How to get digital access. You can read more about Arrest, Search, and Investigation here. There are buttons near the top of the page that you can use to purchase the print version of the book (for $135) or the digital version (for $99). Of course, some people may want the printed book and digital access, and that’s great. We’re working on bundle pricing so that you can have your cake and eat it too, all at a reasonable cost. Stay tuned as we finalize the details on that.

The purchase process for the digital version is a little cumbersome right now (it’s actually being sold as a “course” through our internal purchasing system), but once you work your way through it, you’ll get an email explaining how to access it online. We hope to be moving to a more automated purchasing process soon. Your digital access will last for the life of the current print edition. When the next edition comes out, perhaps in 2026, people who want digital access to the new version will need to purchase it just as they would a new printed book.

I welcome your feedback. I don’t think we’re ever going back to paper supplements. But if you have comments about the purchase process, the digital product, or the content of the treatise, please let me know. I’m aware that it is used by many different people in a lot of different ways, and I want to ensure that it meets everyone’s needs as much as possible.