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State v. Sveum

787 N.W.2d 317 (2010)

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State v. Sveum

Wisconsin Supreme Court

787 N.W.2d 317 (2010)

Facts

Michael Sveum (defendant) was convicted in 1996 of crimes related to stalking and harassing his former girlfriend, Jamie Johnson. Sveum was imprisoned and released on probation and parole in 2002. In 2003, Johnson reported to the police that Sveum was stalking her again. The police obtained a warrant to install and monitor a global positioning system (GPS) device on Sveum’s car in order to monitor Sveum’s movements near Johnson. The warrant specified that the device could be installed, monitored daily, and replaced as necessary, and that it must be removed as soon as practicable but not more than 60 days after the warrant date. The police installed a device on the undercarriage of Sveum’s car without entering the car or opening the hood. The police monitored the device, replaced it twice because of the limited battery life of the units, and removed the final device after 35 days of monitoring. The data collected provided incriminating evidence showing that Sveum had in fact been stalking Johnson. Based on this and other evidence, Sveum was charged with aggravated stalking. Sveum sought to suppress the evidence obtained from the GPS monitoring, alleging that it was unlawfully obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The circuit court denied the motion, and Sveum was convicted. Sveum appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed his conviction. Sveum’s petition for review to the Wisconsin Supreme Court was granted.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Roggensack, J.)

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