An Act To Require a Warrant To Obtain the Location Information of a Cell Phone or Other Electronic Device
Sec. 1. 16 MRSA c. 3, sub-c. 10 is enacted to read:
ELECTRONIC DEVICE LOCATION INFORMATION
§ 641. Definitions
As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 642. Warrant needed for acquisition of location information
Except as provided in this subchapter, a government entity may not obtain location information without a valid warrant issued by a duly authorized judge or justice using procedures established pursuant to Title 15, section 55.
A judge or justice may issue a warrant for the location information of an electronic device pursuant to this section for a period of time necessary to achieve the objective of the authorization, but in any case the warrant is not valid for more than 10 days after the issuance. A judge or justice may grant an extension of a warrant upon a finding of continuing probable cause and a finding that the extension is necessary to achieve the objective of the authorization. An extension may not exceed 30 days.
§ 643. Notice
Notice must be given to the owner or user of an electronic device whose location information was obtained by a government entity.
§ 644. Exceptions to warrant requirement
When disclosure of location information is not prohibited by federal law, a government entity may obtain the location information without a warrant:
No later than 48 hours after seeking disclosure pursuant to this subsection, the government entity seeking the location information shall file with the appropriate court a written statement setting forth the facts giving rise to the emergency and the facts as to why the person whose location information was sought is believed to be important in addressing the emergency.
§ 645. Designated law enforcement officer
On a case-by-case basis and in accordance with this section, the Attorney General may designate an investigative or law enforcement officer who may acquire location information before obtaining a warrant.
§ 646. Reporting requirements
The Administrative Office of the Courts may prescribe the content and form of the reports under this section.
§ 647. Conditions of use of location information
§ 648. Action against a corporation
This subchapter may not be construed to create a cause of action against a corporation or its officers, employees or agents for providing location information.
This bill prohibits a government entity from obtaining the location information of a cellular telephone or other electronic device without a valid warrant, except that a government entity may obtain such information with the consent of the owner or user of the electronic device, to respond to the user's call for emergency services or to respond to certain emergency situations when a warrant cannot be issued in time to avert death or serious physical injury. It also authorizes the Attorney General to designate a law enforcement officer to obtain location information without a warrant in cases where there is an imminent threat of serious physical injury or a threat to national security.
This bill requires a government entity to inform the owner or user of an electronic device that location information was obtained from that person's device within 3 days of obtaining the location information, unless the court determines there is good cause to delay this notification.
This bill also requires judges involved with granting warrants to obtain location information to report their activities regarding the warrants to the Administrative Office of the Courts annually. It directs the Administrative Office of the Courts to provide a summary of those reports to the Legislature.