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Bill Would Allow Judge to Issue Search Warrant by Telephone in Tennessee

August 07, 2014  | 

Some state senators oppose a Tennessee bill that would allow a magistrate or judge to issue a search warrant by telephone or "other reliable electronic means," reports the Kingsport Times-News.

Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus said the bill, SB 1685, originated from his office, is backed by state district attorneys general and is in response to a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that does not give law enforcement the right to draw blood without a search warrant in drunken-driving investigations.

Current law calls for a law enforcement officer to appear before a magistrate or judge who will examine documents and issue a search warrant based on probable cause and supported by an affidavit. Staubus said this system moves too slowly when quick decisions need to be made, especially in DUI cases.

If an electronic search warrant bill passed, Staubus said an officer could email documents to a judge, do a meeting via Skype, and the judge could electronically sign the warrant.

Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

t.hart1122 @ 8/7/2014 8:15 PM

We've been doing phone and electronic warrants in California for years, I just assumed that phone warrants were done in every state. I hope it passes for the convenience of everyone involved in the justice system.

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