United States v. Jones case brief summary
Facts of the Case
•The government put a tracking device on Jones’s vehicle to get information for drug trafficking charges.
•They had a warrant for the GPS to be installed in 10 days in D.C but they installed it on the 11th day in Maryland so the court treats it as a warrantless search.
•Vehicles are an “effect” and applying a GPS is a “search.”
•The government stated that he had no reasonable expectation of privacy on his vehicle.
•The government is saying they did not search or seize his car because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on a public street.
“obtaining information by physically intruding on a constitutionally protected area constitutes a search”
•The difference between Oliver is that the field was not a PPHE.
A trespass on houses or effects is not a search unless it done to obtain information.
Knotts: the GPS on the container was on public roads and there was no reasonable expectation of privacy.
But the beeper was on the container before the owner received it. It was not yet his property. The Government trespassorily put the GPS on Jones’s property that was already in his possession.
Concurring: Allowing the government to do this is scary.
It wasn’t planting the GPS that constituted a search but monitoring the location that was the search.
The court focuses on how they put the GPS on the bottom of the court when they should have focused on the monitoring for a long period of time.
The court focused too much on property law- what if they had tapped into a GPS already attached to the car?
•Because tracking is easy and cheap, the legislature should draw the lines
The constitution itself told us this is a protected area, therefore, we don’t even need to do a reasonable expectation of privacy analysis.
Whether privacy is invaded or not may depend upon whether personal information is uncovered, whether possessions are touched or moved, whether information from inside a home or other location is discovered, or whether intrusive means were used to obtain information.
There are two tests to decide if there was a search, andtwo different ways to get to the same place
If the government intrudes on a reasonable expectation of privacy is gray and hard to determine when there was not a physical intrusion.
If the government has physically intruded on a constitutionally protected area (PPHE).
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