Skip to content

Legal News

No Search Warrant Needed to Track Cell Phones of Criminal Suspects

Posted May 8, 2015

No Search Warrant Needed to Track Cell Phones of Criminal Suspects

The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled  that police do not need probable cause or a warrant to request a service provider to divulge cell-tower tracking records on a suspect.  The records were obtained under the Stored Communications Act (SCA), which provides that law enforcement may require a telephone provider to disclose customer records if the court finds that the records are relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation.  Under the SCA, the government is not required to show probable cause as it would need to if it had to obtain a warrant for the records.  The defendant asserted that the record production constituted a search under the Fourth Amendment and thus required a warrant.  The court disagreed.  Read articles in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes.