State v. Jean, CR-16-0283-PR

Citation407 P.3d 524
Decision Date03 January 2018
Docket NumberNo. CR-16-0283-PR,CR-16-0283-PR
Parties STATE of Arizona, Appellee, v. Emilio JEAN, Appellant.
CourtSupreme Court of Arizona

407 P.3d 524

STATE of Arizona, Appellee,
Emilio JEAN, Appellant.

No. CR-16-0283-PR

Supreme Court of Arizona.

Filed January 3, 2018

Mark Brnovich, Arizona Attorney General, Dominic Draye, Solicitor General, Joseph T. Maziarz, Chief Counsel, Criminal Appeals Section, Terry M. Crist, III (argued), Assistant Attorney General, Phoenix, Attorneys for State of Arizona

Sandra Diehl, Coconino County Public Defender, Brad Bransky (argued), Deputy Public Defender, Flagstaff, Attorneys for Emilio Jean

Stefan M. Palys, Stinson Leonard Street, LLP, Phoenix, and Kathleen E. Brody, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Arizona, Phoenix, Attorneys for Amicus Curiae American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona

David J. Euchner (argued), Slade E. Smith, Rule 38(d) Certified Law Student, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Tucson, Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice

CHIEF JUSTICE BALES authored the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II(A), (B), (C), and (D), in which JUSTICES BRUTINEL, TIMMER, and BOLICK joined. VICE CHIEF JUSTICE PELANDER authored the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts II(E) and III, in which JUSTICES BRUTINEL, TIMMER, and GOULD and JUDGE ESPINOSA joined.* CHIEF JUSTICE BALES, joined

407 P.3d 526

by JUSTICE BOLICK, filed an opinion dissenting in part and dissenting in the judgment. VICE CHIEF JUSTICE PELANDER, joined by JUSTICE GOULD and JUDGE ESPINOSA, filed an opinion dissenting in part. JUSTICE BOLICK filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

BALES, C.J., opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II(A), (B), (C), and (D); and PELANDER, V.C.J., opinion of the Court with respect to Parts II(E) and III:

¶ 1 We consider whether the Fourth Amendment rights of defendant Emilio Jean, a passenger of a truck that he sometimes drove while accompanied by its owner, were violated when police officers collected information over several days from a Global Positioning System ("GPS") tracking device they had placed on the truck without obtaining a warrant. GPS tracking may constitute a search for Fourth Amendment purposes if its use involves a common law trespass, United States v. Jones, 565 U.S. 400, 132 S.Ct. 945, 181 L.Ed.2d 911 (2012), or invades a person's reasonable expectation of privacy, Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 88 S.Ct. 507, 19 L.Ed.2d 576 (1967). Although we conclude Jean was subjected to a warrantless search that violated his reasonable expectation of privacy and thus his Fourth Amendment rights, the evidence obtained need not be suppressed because the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applies.


¶ 2 In reviewing a trial court's denial of a motion to suppress, we consider only the evidence adduced at the suppression hearing and view the facts and reasonable inferences therefrom in the light most favorable to sustaining the court's ruling. State v. Valenzuela, 239 Ariz. 299, 301 ¶ 3, 371 P.3d 627, 629 (2016). In February 2010, Jean and David Velez–Colon shared the driving of a commercial tractor-trailer from Georgia to Arizona. While the vehicle was in Phoenix, Department of Public Safety ("DPS") officers became suspicious and ran a license plate search, revealing that the trailer, marked "Swift," was reported stolen and that the truck was registered to "Swiff" with Velez–Colon as the company owner. Suspecting that the vehicle was being used to transport drugs, DPS officers installed a GPS tracking device on the truck without obtaining a warrant. Although the officers knew Velez–Colon owned the truck, they did not know Jean was traveling with him.

¶ 3 Federal Drug Enforcement Agency officers followed the vehicle to Tucson where they witnessed Velez–Colon engage in a suspicious hand-to-hand exchange. The federal agents continued their surveillance of the truck as it returned to Phoenix without dropping off a load. After the truck left Phoenix at 9:30 pm on February 17, 2010, and then as it traveled to California, law enforcement officers monitored it exclusively through GPS, tracking the vehicle to a truck stop, to a warehouse, and then back to a truck stop in Ontario, California, before it returned to Arizona. Velez–Colon and Jean took turns driving. Overall, the officers monitored the truck's movements with GPS for about thirty-one hours over three days.

¶ 4 Assisted by the GPS location data, a DPS officer stopped the vehicle around 4:00 am on February 19 after it reentered Arizona. When the officer approached the truck, Velez–Colon was in the driver's seat and Jean was lying, apparently asleep, in the truck cabin's sleeping bunk. The officer asked Jean, as the co-driver, to present his driver's license and logbook and asked about their journey. Jean said he was paid to drive by Velez–Colon. The officer separately asked both Velez–Colon and Jean for permission to search the truck; they each refused. After a drug-detection dog alerted to the trailer, officers searched it and found 2140 pounds of marijuana.

¶ 5 The State charged Jean with conspiracy, illegally conducting an enterprise, money laundering, and transportation of marijuana in an amount over two pounds. Jean moved to suppress the evidence, arguing that the discovery of the marijuana in the trailer was the result of an illegal search because the officers lacked a warrant when they placed

407 P.3d 527

the GPS tracking device on the truck. Jean argued that the GPS tracking violated his possessory and privacy rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and article 2, section 8 of the Arizona Constitution. The trial court held an evidentiary hearing on Jean's motions; he did not testify at the hearing. (Jean also unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence based on the officer's allegedly illegal stop of the vehicle, but he abandoned that argument and therefore issues relating to the stop are not before us.)

¶ 6 The trial court denied Jean's motion to suppress, reasoning that Jean, as a passenger, did not have standing to object to the State's use of the GPS tracking device on the truck owned by Velez–Colon. Jean was subsequently found guilty as charged and sentenced to two concurrent prison terms of ten years, followed by two concurrent probation terms of five years.

¶ 7 The court of appeals affirmed. State v. Jean, 239 Ariz. 495, 372 P.3d 1019 (App. 2016). It reasoned that Jean could not claim his Fourth Amendment rights were violated based on a trespass theory because he was not a bailee and did not otherwise have a possessory interest in the vehicle. Id. at 500 ¶¶ 18–19, 372 P.3d at 1024. The court also held that Jean had "no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements as a passenger or driver of the truck" because "a person travelling in a vehicle on public roads has no reasonable expectation of privacy in the person's movements from one place to another," id.¶ 20 (citing United States v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276, 281, 103 S.Ct. 1081, 75 L.Ed.2d 55 (1983) ), "particularly where the government's monitoring is short-term," id. (quoting State v. Estrella, 230 Ariz. 401, 404 ¶ 12, 286 P.3d 150, 153 (App. 2012) ).

¶ 8 We granted review to determine whether the warrantless GPS tracking constituted a search and violated Jean's rights under the Fourth Amendment, and if so, whether the evidence gathered therefrom should be excluded. We have jurisdiction under article 6, section 5(3) of the Arizona Constitution and A.R.S. § 12–120.24.



¶ 9 "We review for abuse of discretion the trial court's factual findings on the motion to suppress, but review de novo the trial court's ultimate legal determination that the search complied with the Fourth Amendment." State v. Gilstrap, 235 Ariz. 296, 297 ¶ 6, 332 P.3d 43, 44 (2014). The Fourth Amendment provides that "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." U.S. Const. amend. IV. A vehicle is an "effect" under the Fourth Amendment, and the installation and use of a GPS tracking device may constitute a search. Jones, 565 U.S. at 404, 132 S.Ct. 945.

¶ 10 Although our courts, including the trial court in this case, have sometimes referred to a person's ability to challenge a search "as ‘standing’ for the sake of brevity," State v. Peoples, 240 Ariz. 244, 247 ¶ 8, 378 P.3d 421, 424 (2016), the key inquiry is whether the search "has infringed an interest of the defendant which the Fourth Amendment was designed to protect," Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 140, 99 S.Ct. 421, 58 L.Ed.2d 387 (1978). "Fourth Amendment rights are personal rights which ... may not be vicariously asserted." Id. at 133–34, 99 S.Ct. 421 (quoting Alderman v. United States, 394 U.S. 165, 174, 89 S.Ct. 961, 22 L.Ed.2d 176 (1969) ). Thus, whether Jean can challenge the government's use of GPS tracking turns on whether the search violated his own Fourth Amendment rights. See id. at 140, 99 S.Ct. 421.


¶ 11 Jean argues that the warrantless GPS tracking violated his Fourth Amendment rights because it involved a trespass. The State counters that Jean cannot challenge the GPS tracking on a trespass theory because he did...

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