FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jana Kooren, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-529-1693 or 651-485-5925
St. Paul, Minn – The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed a brief in State v. Liebl, a case that questions the validity of warrantless GPS tracking in the context of a Department of Natural Resources investigation. The ACLU-MN argues in its brief that the attachment of a GPS device and the subsequent tracking of Liebl's movements violated the Fourth Amendment because the mobile tracking order obtained by the DNR was not based on a finding of probable cause. The District court had previously ruled against the DNR and suppressed evidence in the case based on the DNR's warrantless search, however the DNR appealed and the case is currently in front of the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
The Department of Natural Resources secretly placed a GPS tracking device on the truck of Joshua Dwight Liebl in 2014. The DNR obtained a "tracking order," which does not require a showing of probable cause, for Liebl's vehicle because they suspected he was poaching deer.
"Secretly tracking Minnesotans without adequate protections for their rights is reprehensible. This so-called "tracking order", can be obtained fairly easily, and without a warrant from a judicial officer. Minnesotans should not have to fear that they are secretly being tracked by the government without adequate oversight," stated Charles Samuelson, Executive Director of the ACLU-MN.
The ACLU-MN is only taking a position on whether evidence obtained against Liebl should be suppressed based on the DNR's failure to get a valid, probable cause warrant before it tracked Liebl's movements with a GPS tracking device.
The ACLU-MN is a non-profit organization that works to defend the civil liberties of all Minnesotans. Learn more at www.aclu-mn.org.