NJ: State failed to show exigency for warrantless phone records search

Under New Jersey statute and constitution, cell phone records and CSLI required a showing of probable cause and a court order since 2010. Exigent circumstances were a recognized exception, and the state failed to show exigency here. State v. Manning, 2020 N.J. LEXIS 5 (Jan. 13, 2020):

3. When the State invokes the exigent-circumstances exception to justify a warrantless search it must prove that law-enforcement officers had an objectively reasonable basis to believe that securing a warrant was not practicable because immediate action was necessary to stop the flight of a suspect, to safeguard members of the public from a threat of harm, or to prevent the destruction of evidence. The Court has never held that a generalized concern about public or police safety or the preservation of evidence would justify a warrantless search or seizure. (pp. 25-31)

4. Detective Frazer was unable to articulate anything more than a generalized concern for public safety and the preservation of evidence as reasons for not complying with the warrant requirement. He did not identify an objectively reasonable basis to believe that there was a threat to the public or police, or that evidence might be destroyed, in the time it would have taken to obtain a warrant. …

This entry was posted in Cell phones, Cell site location information, Emergency / exigency. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.