Supreme Court to travel, invites amici in smartphone privacy case

The Indiana Supreme Court will hit the road early next year to hear oral argument in a first impression case involving smartphone privacy. Justices also have invited amicus parties in the case as they seek to determine whether law enforcement can force a woman to unlock her phone as part of a criminal investigation.

Justices will travel to Wabash to hear the case of Katelin Eunjoo Seo v. State of Indiana on April 18, 2019 in Wabash, Indiana. Last year, Seo was charged with invasion of privacy, stalking, intimidation and other charges stemming from the alleged harassment of a man. When police ordered Seo to unlock her smartphone, she refused, contending that it violated her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed in a divided ruling that overturned a Hamilton County contempt order against Seo.

The high court granted transfer to the case and invited the participation of amicus curie briefing pursuant to Appellate Rule 41 for the oral argument. Entities wishing to prepare and file a brief as amicus curiae must file a motion for leave to appear as amicus and tender its proposed brief on or before January 31, 2019. Any response brief filed by Seo or the state must be filed on or before February 28, 2019.

According to a Dec. 13 order, the argument will last 40 minutes, time equally divided between the parties. Counsel for Seo will present argument first. Any entity granted amicus curiae status may argue without further motion, but only with the consent of the party with whom the amicus curiae is substantively aligned.

The time of the argument has yet to be determined.

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