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NCJ Number: 99727 Find in a Library
Title: Electronic Tracking Devices and the Fourth Amendment - Knotts, Karo, and the Questions Still Unanswered
Journal: Catholic University Law Review  Volume:34  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1985)  Pages:277-395
Author(s): C S Fishman
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 119
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in 'Knotts' and 'Karo' (pertaining to the constitutional uses of electronic surveillance), analyzes questions left unanswered by these decisions regarding the use of electronic tracking devices, and outlines legislation to resolve these issues.
Abstract: In 'Knotts' (1983) and 'Karo' (1984), the Court declined to categorize as either a search or a seizure those aspects of beeper surveillance that do no more than assist police in monitoring public conduct. The 'Karo' decision, however, insisted that investigators obtain a warrant when a beeper is used to intrude into a private location. Neither case required the Court to consider whether trespassory installation of a beeper constitutes a search or seizure. The most important question left unanswered by these decisions is whether a warrant authorizing private-location monitoring must be based upon probable cause (as traditional search warrants must be) or the less demanding standard of reasonable suspicion. The interests of effective law enforcement and individual privacy can best be balanced through legislation providing comprehensive standards for such surveillance and requiring reasonable suspicion as the legal prerequisite for a warrant to place a beeper in a private location. A total of 488 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Electronic surveillance; Right of privacy; Search and seizure laws; US Supreme Court decisions
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