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In NC Case, US Supreme Court Rules Tracking Device Is A Search

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that North Carolina courts were wrong to decide that GPS ankle bracelets don't count as searches.

Torrey Dale Grady is a repeat sex offender, and North Carolina forced him to wear a GPS tracking device at all times. Grady argued that violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches. Several state courts, including the state Supreme Court, dismissed Grady's argument, saying the ankle monitor does not count as a search.

The U.S. Supreme court ruled it does. The justices said: "The state's program is plainly designed to obtain information. And since it does so by physically intruding on a subject's body, it effects a Fourth Amendment search."

The Supreme Court did not, however, decide whether the search was unreasonable. The justices sent the case back to state courts to rule on that question, and determine whether North Carolina's tracking program is constitutional.