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Grady v. North Carolina, 14–593

Petitioner was convicted in North Carolina trial courts of a second degree sexual offense in 1997 and of taking indecent liberties with a child in 2006, and after serving his sentence of the 2006 crime, petitioner was ordered to appear for a hearing to determine whether he should be subjected to satellite-based monitoring (SBM) as a recidivist sex offender. Petitioner argued that the monitoring program would violate his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, but the trial court disagreed and ordered petitioner to enroll and be monitored for the rest of his life. The Supreme Court of North Carolina affirmed. The petition for certiorari is granted, the judgment of the Supreme Court of North Carolina is vacated, and the case is remanded for further proceedings, where: 1) the State's program is plainly designed to obtain information, and since it does so by physically intruding on a subject's body, it effects a Fourth Amendment search; 2) Fourth Amendment prohibits only unreasonable searches, and the reasonableness depends on the totality of the circumstances, including the nature and purpose of the search and the extent to which the search intrudes upon reasonable privacy expectations; and 3) the North Carolina courts did not examine whether the monitoring program was reasonable when properly viewed as a search.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 03/30/2015
  • Published 03/30/2015

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  • United States Supreme Court

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