United States v. Jones: Government's Placing of GPS Tracking Device on Car is a Fourth Amendment Search

23 January 2012 Wisconsin Appellate Law Blog

The United States Supreme Court today held that the government’s placement of a GPS tracking device on a car while it was parked in a public parking lot was a search for Fourth Amendment purposes. The decision, written by Justice Scalia, makes clear that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against government trespass survives the “reasonable expectation of privacy” analysis of Katz v. United States, 389 U. S. 347, 351 (1967). Earlier cases by the Seventh Circuit, United States v. Garcia, 474 F.3d 994 (7th Cir. 2007), and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in Wisconsin v. Sveum, 2009 WI App 81, aff’d on other grounds, 2010 WI 92, had held that GPS placements were not Fourth Amendment searches.

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