But, you'll be back to iOS. 😃 Users almost always revert back to iPhone after experiencing the troublesome Android OS. You will also notice my app does not have all the bells and whistles that it has on your iPhone. Some features are not possible to create on Android because Android devices have an array of different OS versions, some that support some features and others that do not. It's like the buffalo theory—I can only develop an app as best as the oldest, most popular OS. With Android, it is up to the device manufacturer to provide an update, whereas Apple allows all of their devices to be updated to allow the same features. On the flip side, you will find many apps in Google Play that Apple declined to approve for sale in the Apple App Store, like malware. Lol. But seriously, there are some pretty cool police apps on Android that are not available on Apple. Hope to see you return to your iPhone soon!
On Feb. 5, 2009, St. Charles County, Missouri sheriff’s deputy Christopher Hunt was searching for Phillip Alberternst, who was wanted for several felonies related to meth-making. Alberternst’s girlfriend called deputies advising she was in the residence with the fugitive who was asleep. Upon arrival, the girlfriend refused to cooperate and Hunt kicked in the door. Alberternst resisted arrest and jail intake staff noted a few scratches on Alberternst from the struggle. In October 2012, Hunt was convicted of felony burglary and sentenced to five years because he broke into the home and “assaulted” Alberternst. Rick Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri at St. Louis later stated, “I frankly have never heard of an officer being charged with breaking and entering – burglary – for entering a residence without a warrant.” In this case, St. Charles County officials support Hunt, is paying for his criminal defense and attempted to write a 10% check for his appeal bond, though the judge would not allow it. St. Charles County Sheriff Tom Neer continues to back Hunt and employ him in an administrative position even after his conviction. Here we are again with a criminal charge contrary to a Federal court’s opinion allowing such conduct. In Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 571 (1980) the U.S. Supreme Court ruled officers may force entry into the home of the subject with an arrest warrant where they have reason to believe the subject of the warrant is home at the time. In Hunt’s case, news reports as to whether the home belong to Alberternst or his girlfriend differ. Accordingly, Steagald v. U.S., 451 U.S. 204 (1981) may apply, which held, absent exigency or consent, officers must obtain a search warrant before entering the home of a third party to make an arrest of a non-resident; an arrest warrant is insufficient. Therein lies the problem; it takes an officer going against the grain of what has been established in precedent for new case law to be established. It takes an officer doing what he thinks is right, often times in a split-second environment, and a prosecutor arguing the officer’s decision is a righteous one (not criminally charging him). This is the mentality needed to establish new case law that is practical given the fact-pattern established in the Alberternst case. But this is not the case – these officers are being criminally charged for going against the grain – conduct that has historically inspired great case law.
Many officers do not realize how case law is established within their respective federal circuit. Federal law provides that a three-judge panel be embodied so a majority decision can be determined, otherwise known as a “judicial panel.” However, each circuit court is not comprised of only these three judges; there are 282 judges covering all 13 federal appellate circuits (average of 22 judges per circuit). Both law enforcement officers and lawyers know opinions change when the slightest fact changes. Thus, it can be said that what a judicial panel has previously opined can be overruled by the same three judges or any of the possible 1,540 combination of judges forming a judicial panel from within the same circuit. And yet law enforcement officers are required to abide by the precedents established within their district and the U.S. Supreme Court or face civil liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, or as we now know, criminal liability.
When is the last time you received a legal update from your agency’s law department? We are expecting police officers to make legal decisions in a system that lawyers cannot keep up with. Worse yet, we are prosecuting officers when their actions are the slightest bit out of line with established precedent. With this prosecutorial culture, anything subjective in our line of work is open for prosecution. Conduct a Terry stop where the prosecutor argues reasonable suspicion ceased to exist and face possible unlawful restraint charges. Handcuff and transport a suspect based on probable cause that is later determined to be tainted and face possible kidnapping charges.
On May 4, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court defined what the criminal element “knowingly” should be interpreted to signify in the case of Flores-Figueroa v. United States, 129 S. Ct. 1886 – 2009. The court held that ordinary English grammar suggests that the term “knowingly” applies to all of the statutory elements. The court rejected the government’s focus on what the words necessarily imply (that is – “John knowingly threw away the homework of his sister” does not necessarily imply that John knew the homework belonged to the sister) in favor of a test that looks at the words would ordinarily imply (that is -- that John knew whose homework it was). In criminal law, courts are typically required to apply the required mens rea to every element in a statute.
Taking Flores-Figueroa into consideration, are prosecutors establishing the required mens rea to criminally charge and convict law enforcement officers? The Washington state legislature addressed this very issue by requiring malice or an “evil intent” to offenses that other states would charge at the drop of a dime, even though an officer is thought to be acting within his or her scope of duties. I would submit the officers in the above cases “did their job.” The two cases I mention are just a sample of the dozens of cases I read about annually – the worst yet was the officer indicted for felony Theft of Office when she was talking on her mobile phone while patrolling (the prosecution claimed he stole government money when he used his time on the clock to talk on the phone). It is an unfortunate situation when officers are neither criminally nor civilly responsible under the facts of this case, but are criminally charged by prosecutors second-guessing decisions from an armchair. Regardless of the above cases, a malicious or “evil intent” needs to be a requirement for both criminal and civil cases, otherwise we are prohibiting our officers from doing what is righteous for fear they will be the next defendant; these prosecutorial indiscretions and meritless civil liability awards need to come to an end.
INTERNET - Allows the app to create network sockets and send/receive data to/from the Internet.
ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION - Allows the app to access approximate location from location providers using network sources such as cell tower and Wi-Fi. This is required for EvidenceCam and GPS Coordinates to function.
ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION - Allows the app to access precise location sources such as Global Positioning System on the device. This is required for EvidenceCam and GPS Coordinates to function.
WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE - Allows the app to write to the USB storage and/or to the SD card.
ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE - Allows the app to view information about the network connections such as which networks exist and are connected. This information is also used in analytics and statistics.
READ_PHONE_STATE - Allows the app to access the phone features of the device. An app with this permission can determine the phone number and serial number of the phone, whether a call is active, the number that call is connected to and the like.
RECORD_AUDIO - Allows the Audio Recorder feature to function using the device's microphone.
CAMERA - Allows EvidenceCam to function using the device's camera.
CHECK_LICENSE - My app has licensing enabled to prevent users from sharing it for free.
C2D_MESSAGE - Enables users to receive my Push Notifications
RECEIVE - Enables users to receive my Push Notifications
WAKE_LOCK - I have no clue.
READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE - Allows the app to read to the USB storage and/or to the SD card.
Want an app for your state laws? Until today, users were required to download an app for each state. Worse yet, need the Code of Federal Regulations? Until today, users had to download a separate app for each and every title. Not any longer. AllLaw™ is a legal buffet allowing users the ability to cherry pick the titles and chapters they use while maintaining all laws in a single location.
~ United States Code
~ Code of Federal Regulations*
~ Laws from all 50 states*
~ U.S. Supreme Court opinions*
~ Legal Dictionary
~ Federal Rules of Civil procedure
~ Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
~ Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure
~ Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure
~ Federal Rules of Evidence
~ Manual of patent Examining Procedure*
*In-App Purchase Required. Alaska, D.C., Hawaii, and West Virginia are in progress.
Print, Email and Bookmark
Need to print, email, or bookmark a statute for future reference? You can do it all from within AllLaw™.
Cloud Storage - Native Speed
With the vast amount of contact AllLaw™ provides, storage in the Cloud is necessary to prevent your device's storage from being consumed. However, bookmarked pages are automatically downloaded natively on the device for quick offline access.
Can't find the statute using a specific term? You can with AllLaw™. Whether you're trying to find a codified statute by searching a specific term, or searching for specific language on a lengthy page, our search engines can help you find what you're looking for…fast.
In a unanimous decision authored by Judge Patrick Dinkelacker, the court affirmed a decision by the court of common pleas that granted summary judgment in favor of Cincinnati Organized and Dedicated Employees in a case where the city had filed a declaratory judgment action asking the court to declare the city ordinance (Cincinnati Municipal Code 308-83) to be lawful.
The court found that the city ordinance was in conflict with a 2006 state law, R.C. 9.481, that was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court in 2009.
In describing the state statute, Dinkelacker wrote: “R.C. 9.481 is entitled ‘Political subdivisions generally prohibited from imposing residency requirements on employees.’ Subsection (A) is a definitional section. R.C. 9.481(B)(1) states that ‘[e]xcept as otherwise provided in division (B)(2) of this section, no political subdivision shall require any of its employees, as a condition of employment, to reside in any specific area of the state.’ Subsection (B)(2)(b) provides an exception that permits localities to require certain employees to live no farther away than adjacent counties to ‘ensure adequate response times by certain employees of political subdivisions to emergencies or disasters while ensuring that those employees generally are free to reside throughout the state[.]’ Finally, subsection (C) states that ‘[e]xcept as provided in division (B)(2) of this section, employees of political subdivisions of this state have the right to reside any place they desire.’
Judge Dinkelacker concluded: “…[W]e hold that Cincinnati Municipal Code 308-83(a) is in conflict with R.C. 9.481, and it is, therefore, void.”
The opinion was joined by Judges J. Howard Sundermann and Sylvia Sieve Hendon.
Cincinnati v. State, 2012-Ohio-3162
Civil Appeal From: Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas
Judgment Appealed From Is: Affirmed
Date of Judgment Entry on Appeal: July 13, 2012
In short, the answer is yes. But lets not forget that all iPhone apps are available on the iPad and can be viewed using the 2x button. Considering this, why would I direct time and money to implement something that already exists when the time and money can be spent developing new features? This seems to be the most logical direction to take since the app can already be loaded in the iPad. However, I do concede that from a purely aesthetic perspective, the app needs to be formatted for iPad use; especially since new cruiser MDTs are taking the form of tablets. But when? Well, this is entirely dependent upon sales. The greater the sales, the faster I can complete my projects, which results in the faster implementation of a iPad version.
Certain portions of the app are slowly being converted to iPad format. Once the main features are converted to iPad, the contents itself should be easy to transfer. I still don't anticipate the full conversion any time soon, but rest assured, I am working on it.
- The apparent authority doctrine dictates that an officer cannot search the contents of passengers belongings upon receipt of consent from the driver unless it is apparent that the driver has authority to grant consent to search those belongings (i.e. a male driver consenting to search the vehicle does not include the female passenger's purse left behind in the vehicle).
- With regard to actual authority to consent, a valid consent may be given by a third party who possesses common authority over the property at issue, which is generally shown by joint access or control of the property for most purposes.
- A person possessing common authority has the authority to consent to a search. This common authority rests upon mutual use of the property and joint access or control to the location or item(s) searched. United States v. Matlock, 415 U.S. 164 (1974)
- When officers obtain valid third-party consent, they are not also required to seek consent from a defendant, even if he is detained nearby. U.S. v. Amratriel, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 21166, October 14, 2010
- The consent by one party to the seizure of property shared equally is valid even when the other party is present and refuses consent. U.S. v. King, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 8970 (April 30, 2010). The Georgia v. Randolph, 126 S. Ct. 1515 (2006), holding that the consent of one party with authority is trumped by the refusal of another present party with authority is limited to searches and seizures of the home, not property.
Case Example 1 - United States v. Welch, 4 F.3d 761 (9th Cir. 1993)
The driver gave consent to search his rental car. A female passenger in the vehicle had a purse stored in the trunk. Upon opening the purse, the police discovered $500.00 in counterfeit bills. The woman appealed her conviction, claiming that the police had illegally searched her purse without probable cause or valid consent. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, noting that the key issue in the case was not whether the driver could consent to a search of the vehicle generally, but rather whether the driver “had the authority, either actual or apparent, to give effective consent to the search of his companion’s purse.” Id. at 764 (emphasis in original)(footnote omitted)
"By sharing access to and use of the car with McGee, Welch relinquished, in part, her expectation of privacy in the vehicle. McGee’s voluntary consent to a search is sufficient to waive Welch’s Fourth Amendment interests in the car. Welch’s purse is another matter entirely. The fact that she had a limited expectation of privacy in the car by virtue of her sharing arrangement with McGee does not mean that she had similarly limited privacy expectation in items within the car which are independently the subject of such expectations. The shared control of ‘host’ property does not serve to forfeit the expectation of privacy in containers within that property. Id. (citation omitted)"
Case Example 2 - People v. James, 163 Ill.2d 302, 317 (1994)
The defendant was a passenger in a car that was stopped by officers of the Urbana police department. The officers directed the driver and the passengers to step out of the car. When the defendant exited the car, she left her purse on the front, passenger-side seat of the car. One of the officers then escorted the defendant away from the car. Although the defendant was not aware of it, the driver of the car agreed to a police search of the car. During this search, the officer opened and looked into defendant’s purse, where they found cocaine.
The Defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence found by police officers during the search of her purse. She argued that she had not consented to the search and that the driver lacked the authority to consent to a search of her purse. The State argued that the police officer may have incorrectly assumed that the purse belonged to the driver of the car. Therefore, the State contended that the driver had the apparent authority to consent to a search of the defendant’s purse. The State further asserted that defendant assumed the risk that the driver of the car in which she was riding would agree to a police search of the car and its contents, including defendant’s purse. The State argues that it would be impractical to require police officers to “inquire of all of the occupants of an automobile whether they consent to the search of their belongings, and then sort out and classify all of those belongings.”
The appellate court determined that the issue on appeal was whether the driver had the apparent authority to give effective consent to the search of her companion’s purse. The court held that the officer should have ascertained who owned the purse he found in the car before he opened and searched the contents of the purse. The court further observed that it would have been objectively reasonable for the law enforcement officer to realize that the purse might belong to one of the passengers rather than to the driver. A purse is normally carried by a woman, and all of the adult occupants of the vehicle were women. Thus, the purse could logically have belonged to any one of the three adult women in the car. The purse was found on a passenger seat in the car, not on the driver’s seat, thereby tending to the conclusion that the purse belonged to the passenger, not the driver. It would have been unreasonable for the officer to believe that driver shared some common use in the purse with one of the passengers in the car, since a purse is generally not an object for which two or more persons share common use and authority. Therefore, the court held that the officer acted unreasonably when he proceeded to search the closed purse, although he was ignorant of the identity of the owner of the purse.
State v. Vantreese, No. 03-00076 APANO (Fla. 6th Cir. App. Ct. April 23, 2004). It was not reasonable for the deputy to assume that the driver had the apparent authority to consent to the passenger’s purse – passenger’s purse suggested individual ownership requiring consent before the search.
State v. Friedel, 714 N.E.2d 1231 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999). Based upon the driver’s consent to search the vehicle, the police searched the passenger’s purse found on the floor behind the driver’s seat, where the passenger had been sitting. Id. at 1235. The court found that it was not objectively reasonable for the police to believe that the driver had the authority to consent to search the purse because it was a woman’s handbag and the passenger was the only female occupant of the car. Id. at 1240. The court further ruled that the passenger’s consent to the search could not be implied from her silence or failure to object because she had never been asked for consent. Id. at 1241.
Addressing the topic at-hand, police are not entitled to pat-down a person, absent reasonable suspicion the person may be armed, simply because they have stopped that person pursuant to a lawful Terry stop and placed that person as a passenger in their cruiser. However, in United States v. McCargo, 464 F.3d 192 (2d Cir. 09/13/2006) the court held in cases where the police may lawfully transport a suspect in the rear of a police car, the police may carry out a departmental policy, imposed for reasons of officer safety, by patting down that person. Because the police must have a legitimate law-enforcement reason to transport a suspect, the court saw little danger that policies such as these might be used as a pretext for a suspicionless frisk.
I also want to point out the decision in U.S. v Muhammad, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 9575 (May 11, 2010), which held that an officer may remove all suspicious objects from a persons pocket for inspection to determine if the object is a weapon or concealing a weapon. Muhammad contended that because Agent McCrary knew that the object in Muhammad's back pocket was not a weapon or an object concealing a weapon, Agent McCrary could not lawfully remove the wallet from Muhammad's pocket. The record did not support this assertion. Agent McCrary testified that during a pat-down search it is often difficult to tell whether an object is a weapon or might conceal a weapon merely by touching the object. He stated that officers must generally "pull the suspicious object out and actually inspect it" to determine whether the object presents a safety concern. He further testified that he was not certain what the hard four-inch long and three-inch wide object in Muhammad's pocket was, but he said that the item "felt like an object that could conceal a weapon.” The court ruled this pat-down search stayed within the bounds of Terry, and the Fourth Amendment permitted Agent McCrary to remove the object from Muhammad's pocket.
Other Noteworthy Pat-Down Cases
Arizona v. Johnson, No. 07–1122 (2009). Police officers have leeway to frisk a passenger in a car stopped for a traffic violation even if nothing indicates the passenger has committed a crime or is about to do so. The justices accepted Arizona's argument that traffic stops are inherently dangerous for police and that pat-downs are permissible when an officer has a reasonable suspicion that the passenger may be armed and dangerous. The pat-down is allowed if the police “harbor reasonable suspicion that a person subjected to the frisk is armed, and therefore dangerous to the safety of the police and public,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said.
U.S. v. Baker, 78 F.3d 135, 137 (4th Cir. 1996). An officer may dispense with a pat-down of a person and direct the suspect to lift his shirt. When an officer has reasonable suspicion, this technique will always be less intrusive (because it is only searching one area of the body and the officer does not have to put his hands on the suspect) than a traditional frisk and consequently be justified.
United States v. Walker, Nos. 08-4680/4682, 2010 U.S. LEXIS 16684 (6th Cir. Decided August 12. 2010). If officers believe a suspect is armed, officers may search the contents of their bags.
United States v. Bustos-Torres, 396 F.3d 935, 943 (8th Cir. 2005). Police officers may perform a pat-down search of an individual upon reasonable suspicion that they may be armed and dangerous. . . ."A suspicion on the part of police that a person is involved in a drug transaction supports a reasonable belief that the person may be armed and dangerous because weapons and violence are frequently associated with drug transactions.
U.S. v. Meadows, 571 F.3d 131 (1st Cir. 2009). Although officers may not use handcuffs routinely during investigatory stops, officers are permitted to use handcuffs to protect themselves and others. Officers may handcuff a suspect within the scope of a valid investigatory stop if they reasonably believe the suspect is armed. An officers’ decision to handcuff a suspect before conducting the pat-frisk did not convert the stop into a de facto arrest.
Although not technically "app legal," you can download all these apps on all of your agency's devices while only paying for each app once (just use a single app store login and sync all devices). Using the same Apple ID would also allow for officers to know the GPS location of each officer using Find My iPhone (Free), which also allows for alerts to be sent to the devices. There are a couple CAD apps available to allow officers to compose their written reports and receive their dispatches via the iPad, including LawSoft and SafetyNet.
Get rid of the Windows crashworthy Touchbooks and buy your agency some iPads. A better product at a cheaper cost!
By KELLY PETRYSZYN
AMHERST — When Jacob Morris was hired at Lorain Police Department seven and a half years ago, a colleague advised him to buy manila folders and stuff all the reference material he could into a duffel bag to stash in his cruiser.
Now he’s ditched the duffel bag, and replaced it with a smart phone, holding more information than ever filled his file folders.
“As a police officer, it helps you find things quicker and take action quicker,” said Morris, now a detective, said about how the smart phone has changed his job.
The smart phone has become a mobile toolbox for officers, eliminating the need to bring a camera, tape recorder, GPS or file folders on the road. In particular, Ohio Cop application is condensing all the resources police use to a single app that is accessed with a tap of their fingertips.
Amherst Detective Zac Horning said the app and others on his iPhone save him time and effort when out on the road.
“It just makes it easier, the more you can know, the right then and there, the better,” he said.
Horning said word of the Ohio cop app spread like wildfire around the police station. “Just about everybody here has it. Once somebody got it, they spread the word,” he said. The department pays for phone service for supervisors and detectives, but they have to buy their own phone and any apps that go along with it.
Frustrated with lack of legal knowledge amongst law enforcement officers, Columbus law enforcement officer Mark Brooks developed The Ohio Cop app to educate officers, Brooks wrote on his website. He also developed a U.S. Cop app to assist officers in other states across the nation. The app is loaded with information about Ohio laws, warrants, training and law enforcement news. The app is packed with handy tools such as an Internet address convertor that allows officers to trace an IP address back to a location. The app also has a mobile link to OH-LEG, Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway. The mobile portal allows officers to look up driver license photos, addresses, license plates and other pieces of information that can lead to an arrest.
“When we’re in the field, it comes in handy if we’re looking for somebody,” Horning said. “We can find out who owns a vehicle or find out where a person may be at.”
Lorain Police Lt. Mark Carpentiere uses OH-LEG on his smart phone and can remember a time in the 1990s when officers had to write a letter to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Columbus to get a driver’s license photo mailed to them in two to three weeks to investigate a suspect. After that, officers still had to go back to the station to pick up a photo and then take it to the scene to ID suspects. Now OH-LEG mobile eliminates the car trip and the frustration. “It’s so nice to be able to pull up a picture or get an address,” Carpentiere said.
As a detective, Morris spends a lot of time out on the road. The app allows him to conduct an interview, gather evidence and type up the report at the scene. That way, he can type up the report while he’s doing surveillance or sitting in court, so his desk work is done by the time he gets back to the office.
“I can spend more time in the field investigating things or making contact with a suspect,” Morris said. He added that he can use tools such as the evidence camera to label and time stamp evidence photos and then send them back to his computer. That way, he doesn’t have to waste time at his desk back at the office.
Morris has also ditched carrying around drug reference books and now uses his phone to ID illegal pills. Years ago, officers had to take pills seized from suspects to a pharmacy, to the station or call Poison Control to determine their identity. Now with the help of the Ohio Cop app, police can type in the number on the pill, color and shape and immediately learn if it is a illegal substance.
Morris likes that the app aggregates content that is already out there. “There’s no secret stuff,” he said. “Everything is public record that helps a police officer became more efficient at their job.”
Horning said the smart phone in general can help make arrests speedier. If an officer catches up with a shoplifting suspect and wants to verify its the right person, the officer came snap a photo, email it to an officer with the witnesses and have witnesses identify the suspect.
Other apps are helpful, too. Morris uses tape a talk to replace a recorder and Quick Office to replace a computer to type reports.
With a quarter of the population being Hispanic in Lorain, Horning uses Google Translate to type a question in English and have it converted to Spanish. If you turn the phone sideways, the word gets bigger, making it easier to read. Horning said there’s also a button that plays audio of the Spanish translation. The department has a volunteer interpreter, but when the person is not available, Horning said using his iPhone is a good idea. He also uses a Vehicle Identification app that allows him to ID the year, make and color of a vehicle. Overall the smart phone is increasing efficiency and allowing officers to take action quicker that can lead to arrests quicker than before. “It gives you more at your fingertips than you had before,” Horning said.
Link to article
This iPad app contains the most recent 24 issues of both publications and will automatically sync upon new editions being added for public release. Just to forewarn you, the app is large…65.3 MB in size.
As for Blackberry, they have indicated only 4 issues (very detailed and specific) with the apps, which I am hoping can be addressed in the very near future. This is, however, entirely up to my hosting service to determine if they’ll incorporate the changes Blackberry requested they make.
In Jones, the government had a warrant for the placement of the GPS device but the warrant expired by one day prior to the placement of the device. Therefore, the Court DID NOT address whether a warrant was even required since warrant had expired and was therefore moot. Instead of arguing the search was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, the government argued that placement of the GPS on the car was not a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. However, during oral arguments, the government tried to argue the search was reasonable. This argument was not addressed by the Court. Therefore, the Court DID NOT address that even if placement of a GPS device is a search, such a search would be unreasonable to conduct without a warrant. The Court noted:
As it has always been understood, when in doubt, get a warrant. But know the precedent established in United States v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276 (1983) and United States v. Karo, 468 U. S. 705 (1984) still applies, which held that the warrantless monitoring of signals (beeper and wireless phone pings) inside an automobile traveling on public roads did not violate the Fourth Amendment because it did not reveal any information that was not also available through visual surveillance. However, Knotts and Karo are different then Jones in that the beeper had been placed in the container before it came into the defendants’ possession, with the consent of the then-owner. 460 U. S., at 278. Knotts did not challenge that installation, and the Court declined to consider its effect on the Fourth Amendment analysis. Id., at 279, n. However, in Karo, the installation was challenged. As in Knotts, at the time the beeper was installed the container belonged to a third party, and it did not come into possession of the suspect until later. 468 U. S., at 708. Thus, the specific question the Court considered was whether the installation “with the consent of the original owner constitute[d] a search or seizure . . . when the container is delivered to a buyer having no knowledge of the presence of the beeper.” Id., at 707 (emphasis added). The U.S. Supreme Court held not.
“The Government argues in the alternative that even if the attachment and use of the device was a search, it was reasonable--and thus lawful--under the Fourth Amendment because “officers had reasonable suspicion, and indeed probable cause, to believe that [Jones] was a leader in a large-scale cocaine distribution conspiracy.” We have no occasion to consider this argument. The Government did not raise it below, and the D. C. Circuit therefore did not address it. We consider the argument forfeited.” (cites omitted).
Conclusion: To date, there has been no U.S. Supreme Court decision that has established whether the placement of GPS device to the undercarriage of a vehicle, absent a warrant and in a public place, amounts to a "search" in violation of the Fourth Amendment. However, there have been multiple Federal Circuit Court decisions that support such placement:
In United States v. Sparks, 750 F.Supp.2d 384 (2010), the court held that U.S. v. Moore's 1977 holding that probable cause is required for the installation of a tracking device, is no longer good law following the U.S. Supreme Court's 1983 holding in U.S. v. Knotts. District Court Justice Young commented that “where the use of a tracking device serves only as a technological substitute for an otherwise legal activity, it must remain constitutionally sound.” Knotts at 284. In Sparks, FBI agents attached a GPS unit to a suspected bank robber's vehicle. The Court ruled that the suspect had neither a subjective expectation of privacy in the open air parking lot (where GPS was affixed), the exterior of the vehicle, or the movement of his vehicle on the streets. Id. at 396. With the absence of any reasonable expectation of privacy, the Court indicated that no warrant or court order was needed to install or monitor the GPS. Id.
In Morton v. Nassau County Police Department, 2007 WL 4264569 (E.D.N.Y. ), plaintiff’s brought a civil rights claim against police alleging the warrantless installation and use of a GPS violated her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. Nassau County Police had attached a GPS device to plaintiff’s vehicle based upon previous sightings at residential burglaries. The Court cited approvingly to U.S. v. Knotts, “a person traveling in an automobile on public thoroughfares has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements from one place to another.” Knotts at 281. The Court noted “the use of the GPS device did not permit the discovery of any information that could not have been obtained by following an automobile traveling on public roads either physically or through visual surveillance, conduct that neither requires a warrant nor implicated Fourth Amendment rights.” Id. at 282. In continuing to follow Knotts the Court held there was no reasonable expectation of privacy in one’s movements on public ways, and thus there was no search, seizure or Fourth Amendment implication by mere placement of a GPS device. at 4. See also U.S. v. Moran, 349 F.Supp. 2d 425 (N.D. N.Y. 2005).
The Fifth Circuit standard for the warrantless installation of an electronic tracking device is an “intermediate standard”, requiring law enforcement officers to have reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot. United States v. Michael, 645 F.2d 252 (5th Cir. 1981). In U.S. v. Michael, the Fifth Circuit held that DEA’s warrantless attachment of an electronic tracking device, to the exterior of a suspect’s vehicle while parked in a public place, based upon reasonable suspicion was sufficient to reduce any Fourth Amendment concerns. Id. at 257. The 5th Circuit en banc, noted expressly “...under the facts presented, the installation of the beeper was permissible, even if we assume the installation was a search.” Id. at 256. Thus in the Fifth Circuit in an abundance of caution, ruled that the warrantless GPS installation should be based upon reasonable suspicion that the suspect (vehicle) is involved in criminal activity.
The Seventh Circuit has continually held that there is no search or seizure under the 4th Amendment when police attach a GPS tracking device underneath a suspect’s vehicle, that does not draw power from the engine or battery, does not take up room occupied by passengers or packages, and does not alter the vehicles appearance. See, United States v. Garcia, 474 F.3d 994 (7th Cir. 2007), and United States v. Cuevas-Perez, 2011 WL 1585072 (C.A.7 (Ill.)).
In United States v. Marquez, 605 F.3d 604 (8th Cir. 2010), the Eighth Circuit noted no reasonable expectation of privacy had been violated by DEA agents installing the GPS. Id. at 607. The Court explained that a person traveling in a motor vehicle via public roads has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements from one locale to another. Id. at 608. The 8th Circuit held that when police have reasonable suspicion that a specific vehicle is transporting drugs, a warrant is not required to install a non-invasive GPS tracking device, while the vehicle is parked in a public place, for a reasonable period of time. Id. at 610. Thus in the Eighth Circuit while law enforcement officials do not need a warrant to install a GPS device, they must possess a reasonable suspicion that the vehicle is involved in criminal activity.
The Ninth Circuit in following U.S. v. Knotts, ruled that United States Forest Service officers warrantless placement of two electronic tracking devices on the undercarriage of a suspect’s vehicle while parked outside the curtilage did not constitute a seizure in a Fourth Amendment sense. United States v. McIver, 186 F.3d 1119, 1127 (9th Cir. 1999). The Ninth Circuit cited to several cases which indicated that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in the exterior of a vehicle. See, New York v. Class, 475 U.S. 106 (1980) - “(t)he exterior of a car, of course, is thrust into the public eye, and thus to examine it does not constitute a search” Id. at 114.
In United States v. Shovea, 580 F.2d 1382 (10th Cir. 1978), federal agents became aware of a suspicious order of precursor chemicals from a New York based company for the production of methamphetamine. Id. at 1383. Physical surveillance of the pick-up of the precursor chemicals, coupled with the suspicious manner of transport, and subsequent arrival at an airport for a trans-continental trip provided agents with the requisite probable cause to place an electronic tracking device onto a suspect’s vehicle. Id. at 1384. The 10th Circuit noted that although whether the installation of an electronic tracking device on a motor vehicle is a search or seizure under the 4th Amendment was a difficult question, it need not be reached in the present case. Id. at 1387. The 10th Circuit assumed without deciding that the installation of the tracking device was a search under the 4th Amd, that was justified by the existence of probable cause and exigent circumstances (ie., the inherent mobility of vehicles making the application for a warrant impracticable ie., motor vehicle exception) Id. at 1388. Thus in the 10th Circuit, the warrantless installation of a tracking device based upon probable cause without initially acquiring a court order does not violate the 4th Amendment. Id.
In United States v. Smith, 387 Fed.Appx. 918 (C.A. 11th Circuit), a DEA Task-Force Officer, without the benefit of a warrant attached a GPS unit to a marijuana trafficker’s Cadillac Escalade. The Court found that the GPS was installed in a public place and held that Smith lacked any reasonable expectation of privacy in the exterior of his vehicle. Id. at 921. The Court indicated that without any legitimate expectations of privacy there were no 4th Amendment issues. See, United States v. Barton, 698 F.Supp.2d 1303 (N.D. Fla. 2010) – “there is no 4th Amd violation for using a tracking device as a substitute for visual surveillance”. In the 11th Circuit warrantless installation of GPS devices does not impede on any reasonable expectations of privacy, thus no 4th Amendments concerns exist.