Justices to hear cell location history case in Anderson

The Indiana Supreme Court will travel north later this month to hear an oral argument in Madison County.

Justices announced Wednesday they will hear the case of Marcus Zanders v. State of Indiana, 15S01-1611-CR-571 on Sept. 26. The case involves a criminal search and seizure of an armed robbery suspect using historical cell site location information to track him down.

In an effort to locate Zanders, police asked his cell-phone service provider to provide historical CSLI. That location information led to his arrest and convictions in Dearborn Superior Court on four robbery-related counts.

Zanders appealed, arguing that obtaining the CSLI violated his Federal and State Constitutional rights. He also argued a detective improperly testified as an expert witness.

The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Zanders’ convictions when it determined his Fourth Amendment rights were violated, but the high court in a 3-2 decision in May 2017 ruled Zanders had no expectation of privacy regarding the cell phone location information when it was provided to a third party — his cell provider.

The case returns before the Indiana Supreme Court on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of the United States granted Zanders’ petition for writ of certiorari, vacated the Indiana justices’ opinion, and sent the case back for reconsideration under Carpenter v. United States, 585 U.S. ___, 138 S. Ct. 2206 (2018). That ruling found the third-party doctrine did not apply to historical CSLI, so the government generally must first get a search warrant to obtain such records.

The Indiana Supreme Court will hear argument on petition to transfer at 10 a.m. on Sept. 26 in Reardon Auditorium at Anderson University, 1015 E. 5th St., Anderson. The argument is open to the public and will be webcast live.

About 650 students are scheduled to attend the event from the following schools:

• Anderson Christian School
• Anderson University
• Burris Laboratory School
• Daleville Jr.-Sr. High School
• The Excel Center of Anderson
• Indiana Christian Academy
• Inspire Academy: A School of Inquiry
• Lapel High School
• Liberty Christian School
• Muncie Central High School
• Tri Central Middle-High School
• Wapahani High School
• Wes-Del High School

Oral arguments in Indiana appellate courts may be viewed here.

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