United States v. Jones Case Brief

Facts of the case

Antoine Jones was arrested on Oct. 24, 2005, for drug possession after police attached a tracker to Jones’s Jeep — without judicial approval — and used it to follow him for a month. A jury found Jones not guilty on all charges save for conspiracy, on which point jurors hung. District prosecutors, upset at the loss, re-filed a single count of conspiracy against Jones and his business partner, Lawrence Maynard. Jones owned the Levelsnightclub in the District of Columbia. Jones and Maynard were then convicted, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the Supreme Court specifically stated in a 1983 case regarding the use of a beeper to track a suspect that the decision could not be used to justify 24-hour surveillance without a warrant.

CONCLUSION

Affirming, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the Government’s installation of the GPS device on defendant’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constituted a search.Under the common-law trespassory test, the Government physically occupied private property for the purpose of obtaining information. Such a physical intrusion would have been considered a searchwithin the meaning of the Fourth Amendment when it was adopted. Defendant possessed the vehicle at the time the Government trespassorily inserted the information-gathering device. The Government forfeited its alternative argument that officers had reasonable suspicion and probable cause.

  • Advocates: Michael R. Dreeben Deputy Solicitor General, Department of Justice, for the petitioner Stephen C. Leckar for the respondents
  • Petitioner: United States
  • Respondent: Antoine Jones
  • DECIDED BY:Roberts Court
  • Location: –
Citation: 565 US _ (2012)
Granted: Jun 27, 2011
Argued: Nov 8, 2011
Decided: Jan 23, 2012
United States v. Jones Case Brief