For the professional edge in your day-to-day practice, rely on the most timely, objective reporting on significant developments, trends, and emerging patterns in criminal law today—Criminal Law...
Police don’t need a warrant to search mobile phone location information that is automatically transmitted to the service provider, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled May 4 ( Zanders v. State , 2017 BL 148778, Ind., No. 15S01-1611-CR-571, 5/4/17 ).
Mobile phone users do not have an expectation of privacy in these records because they willingly share that information with mobile phone providers, the court held. In doing so, it joined the majority of federal circuit courts to have ruled on the subject.
The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits agree with the Indiana Supreme Court.
The Third Circuit has held that a warrant is not required to access these records, but left open the possibility that such disclosures could implicate the Fourth Amendment in certain circumstances.
Police requested mobile phone records from service provider Sprint to locate Marcus Zanders, an at-large armed robbery suspect. Police ended up not needing the records to locate him, but prosecutors later presented the records at trial.
Zanders argued that police should have obtained a warrant before searching and seizing his records, and that their failure to do so violated his Fourth Amendment rights.
But the records merely located the cell towers closest to Zanders’s phone—rather than his person—and he had voluntarily relinquished that information to Sprint, the court said.
Nor were Zanders’s state constitutional rights violated. Such violations are measured using a totality of the circumstances test.
Because Zanders was armed and dangerous and his privacy interest in the records was low, the police interest in locating him outweighed any potential violation he suffered, the court said.
“Granted, hindsight tells us that the” records were “not what ultimately led police to Zanders; that was old-fashioned physical surveillance,” Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush wrote for the majority. “But the issue is whether police were justified in requesting” the location data “in the heat of this armed-robbery-suspect hunt. They were.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Jessica DaSilva in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: C. Reilly Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)