Middle District of Tennessee finds bank location records to be covered by third party doctrine and also invokes good faith exception.

In this case, a subpoena was issued by law enforcement for bank records, specifically, account information and transaction history, for an 18 month period. Subsequently, an indictment was issued for counts related to enticing a minor and child pornography.

The Defendant filed a Motion to Suppress pursuant to Carpenter v. United States because the bank records revealed some location information. The Court nonetheless invoked the third party doctrine because it was not the “near perfect” surveillance complained of in Carpenter…. without ever elucidating how close one needs to be to “near perfect” to be in a position to complain about the surveillance. The Court also claimed use of a bank card is more voluntary than the use of a phone….. but it does not consider what the alternative is. Carpenter had the option of turning off his phone, which the Supreme Court found unacceptable. I guess here this Defendant could try to live off the land without money despite the necessity of the American banking system.

You know……. cash in your mattress. No…. not ridiculous at all.

The Court also invokes the good faith exception…. which is the stronger position for the Government given the binding Circuit precedent that existed prior to Carpenter.

The case is United States v. Frei, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS, 2019 WL 189826 (M.D. Tenn.) January 14, 2019.

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