The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

by Booth, George


SC19960 - State v. Brown (Burglary; larceny; conspiracy; attempt; criminal mischief, criminal trover; possession of burglar tools; motions to suppress; motion to dismiss; "The present case is in large part governed by the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court in Carpenter v. United States, ___ U.S. ___, 138 S. Ct. 2206, 2217, 2221, 201 L. Ed. 2d 507 (2018), in which the court held that an individual has "a legitimate expectation of privacy in the record of his physical movements as captured through [cell site location information]" (CSLI), and, therefore, "the [g]overnment must generally obtain a warrant supported by probable cause before acquiring such records." The state appeals from the judgments of dismissal rendered by the trial court after it granted the oral motion of the defendant, Terrance Brown, seeking dismissal of all charges in thirteen separate dockets. The state claims that the trial court improperly granted the defendant's motions to suppress any and all "cellular-telephone-derived location information" obtained by the state as a result of three ex parte orders that had been granted pursuant to General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 54-47aa. In their original briefs and arguments to this court, the parties focused primarily on whether the trial court properly granted the defendant's motions on the basis of its conclusion that the state obtained the prospective and historical CSLI in violation of § 54-47aa, and that suppression of the records was the appropriate remedy. Following oral argument, however, this court stayed the appeal pending the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Carpenter and ordered the parties to submit supplemental briefs concerning the relevance of that decision to this appeal. In light of the court's holding in Carpenter, we conclude that, because the state obtained the defendant's historical CSLI solely on the basis of a reasonable and articulable suspicion, rather than on a warrant supported by probable cause, the records were obtained in violation of the defendant's fourth amendment rights. We further conclude that the trial court properly determined that suppression of both the historical and prospective CSLI—which the state concedes it obtained in violation of § 54-47aa—was the appropriate remedy. Finally, we conclude that the trial court properly rejected the state's reliance on the inevitable discovery doctrine. Accordingly, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.")