Jan 052010
 January 5, 2010  Posted by  Court, Surveillance

Over on FourthAmendment.com, John Wesley Hall Jr. alerts us to an Ohio case involving GPS and the Fourth Amendment.   In State v. Dalton, 2009 Ohio 6910, the court remanded the case because the lower court had not addressed Dalton’s claim that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his car’s wiring system and that  the placement of a GPS device in his car’s wiring system by police was unconstitutional:

[*P15] In his motion to suppress, Dalton argued that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the electrical system of his vehicle and that his “right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure was violated when police wired the GPS tracking device into his vehicle’s electrical system in order to gain information on the travels and locations of the vehicle.” Therefore, Dalton was not only arguing that the information gathered from the GPS device amounted to an unlawful search and seizure, but also that the warrantless placement of the GPS device on his car was unconstitutional. Although, as we further explain below, we conclude that there is a second prong to the argument in Dalton’s motion to suppress that the trial court did not consider, we note that this argument is not drafted as clearly as it could have been. Dalton does not fully delineate before the trial court the distinction between placement of the GPS and the collection of the information from the device. In any event, the nuance has important legal implications and the trial court neglected to consider the second prong of Dalton’s argument.

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