Simon v. San Francisco

Amicus Brief of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellees

Brief filed: 05/17/2024


Simon v. San Francisco

9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 24-1025

Prior Decision

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California Case No. 4:22-cv-05541


The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office’s (“Sheriff” or “SFSO”) policy of sharing pretrial releasees’ location data with other law enforcement agencies and officers on an ongoing basis as part of the pretrial Electronic Monitoring (“EM”) program is not necessary to achieve the program’s stated goals of ensuring public safety and appearance in court.  For decades, law enforcement agencies in California have used EM as a less restrictive alternative to pretrial detention without sharing the private and constitutionally protected information of pretrial releasees.  Pretrial releasees’ location data also is not shared on an ongoing, warrantless basis in the federal EM system, further demonstrating that effective monitoring can be achieved without compromising a pretrial releasee’s privacy and due process rights. Ultimately, if SFSO determines that sharing a pretrial releasee’s location data is necessary for public safety, there is a simple solution: they can obtain a warrant. But the warrantless, ongoing sharing of location data belonging to presumptively innocent pretrial releasees is a plainly unnecessary violation of the constitutional rights to privacy and due process.  


Galia Z. Amram, Laura Lively Babashoff, Lara McDonough, Chloe Connolly, Morrison & Foerster LLP, San Francisco, CA.

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