Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Court did not err in denying motion to suppress parolee's ankle monitor data

United States v. Mathews, 2019 WL 2721266 (10th Cir. July 1, 2019) (CO, published): Mathews was convicted of Hobbs Act robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The evidence used to place him at the robbery was seized from the historical GPS data produced by the ankle monitor he had been directed to wear as he transitioned from prison to the community. On appeal he challenged the district court’s decisions denying his motion to suppress and his request for a Daubert hearing. The panel agreed with those decisions. The court allows warrantless searches without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion by police officers with no responsibility for parolees or probationers when the totality of the circumstances renders the search reasonable. A search of a parolee or probationer authorized by state law satisfies this standard. The search here was authorized by Colorado law and Mathews had no heightened expectation of privacy in the historical GPS data. The historical data was under the Colorado Department of Correction’s control not Mathews. Additionally, there was no need for a Daubert hearing on the government’s GPS data expert because the district court ordered it to provide Mathews with precisely what he asked for - an explanation for why witnesses said Mathews was not in the vicinity of the pawnshops at which the GPS data placed him.