Delaware Court Grants Motion to Suppress CSLI

In this case, the Defendant worked as a State employee for many years. Suspected of falsifying his timesheets, the Government wished to compare his location information to his timesheets to look for discrepancies. The Court used a State statute, similar to the Stored Communications Act to acquire the defendant’s CSLI from his phone’s service provider.

In response to a Motion to Suppress, the Government first argued that the order met the requirements of a search warrant. The Court rejected that argument because the reviewing judge did not receive a document purporting to be a search warrant application, and did not issue a document purporting to be a search warrant.

They also argued that the CSLI would be inevitably discovered because of a subsequent search warrant. The Court never received an explanation why the doctrine would apply and distinguished case law on the subject. The Court also refused to invoke the independent source doctrine where the State made no showing that they independently received the materials from a subsequent warrant. In fact, at the time of this ruling, the State still had not received the information.

The Motion to Suppress was therefore granted.

The case is State v. Rone, 2018 Del. Super. LEXIS 396 (Sup. Ct. Delaware) September 17, 2018.

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