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New Jersey Supreme Court Rules: Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in Cell Phone Location

On July 18, 2013, The Supreme Court of New Jersey held in State v. Earls (14-1-0706) that Article I, Paragraph 7 of the New Jersey Constitution protects a citizen’s privacy interest in the location of his or her cell phone. Police must obtain a warrant based on a showing of probable cause, or qualify for an exception to the warrant requirement, to obtain tracking information through the use of a cell phone.

A basic cell phone operates like a scanning radio and contacts the nearest cell site towers every seven seconds. Cell phones can be tracked so long as they are not turned off. With advances in technology, cell-phone providers today can pinpoint the location of a person’s cell phone with increasing accuracy.

The Court held that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, and that cell phones are not meant to serve as tracking devices to locate their owners wherever they may be. Without a warrant, law enforcement in New Jersey will not be able to obtain information regarding the location of a citizen’s cell phone. Should you have questions about this area of the law, please contact attorney, Michael Mormando, at the law firm of Attorneys Hartman, Chartered.

J.E.

I was served with disciplinary charges at work which then developed into criminal charges. Katie explained each issue to me, and was able to resolve both the criminal case and my discipline! She was always available to me if I had questions and I am very happy with the outcome!

I.D.W.

After working with another attorney, who messed up my case, I hired Katherine Hartman to represent me. I found her to be sincere, trustworthy, knowledgeable and patient in explaining everything to me. In short, Katherine kept me out of jail and I would hire again! (Even though I hope I never have to see her again!)

J.C.

I highly recommend the Hartman Law Firm. Katie Hartman is a true professional, and an absolute advocate for her clients. She takes pride in making herself available for her clients in regards to questions or concerns relating to your case. She will leave no stone unturned!

D.Y.

I wish I could select a higher star rating. Our Company was assisted by Michael Mormando of Attorneys Hartman in a municipal case and we simply could not be happier with the way our case was handled. Michael was extremely knowledgeable and professional. He is a true master of his craft and we would highly recommend his services

D.C.

Katherine was such a pleasure to work with! She was very caring, responsive, and professional throughout my whole experience. I will continue to recommend her and her firm to all of my friends and family

1/5