C.D.Ill.: 18 month pole camera surveillance of def’s house didn’t violate REP

18 month pole camera surveillance of defendant’s house didn’t violate his reasonable expectation of privacy. United States v. Tuggle, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127333 (C.D. Ill. July 31, 2018):

2. Long—term Pole Camera Surveillance Under the Fourth Amendment

The remaining question before the Court is whether this 18-month surveillance violated the defendant’s reasonable expectation of privacy. Defendant analogizes the facts here to the placing of GPS tracking on a car. Long periods of GPS tracking have been found to impinge on an expectation of privacy. United States v. Jones, 565 U.S. 400, 414, 132 S. Ct. 945, 181 L. Ed. 2d 911 (2012). The Court does not find that analogy applicable here. Pole cameras are limited to a fixed location and capture only activities in camera view, as opposed to GPS, which can track an individual’s movement anywhere in the world. The Seventh Circuit has not made a dispositive ruling on the long-term warrantless use of pole cameras. However, several other circuits have been presented with this issue and all of them have allowed the evidence to be admitted. See United States v Houston, 813 F.3d 282, 289 (6th Cir. 2016) (warrantless use of pole camera footage for over 10 weeks); United States v Bucci, 582 F.3d 108, 116-17 (1st Cir. 2009) (approving eight months of warrantless pole camera surveillance); United States v Mazzara, 2017 U.S. Dist. Lexis 178575 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 27, 2017) (finding 21 months of pole camera surveillance of a residence from across the street did not violate Fourth Amendment right). At some point the length of monitoring may constitute a search. Here, the facts and case law from other circuits do not support a finding that the extended surveillance at issue here constitute that search. Therefore, the Motion to Suppress is respectfully denied.

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