State high court weighs arrest of man involving phone GPS

YERINGTON — The Nevada Supreme Court is considering whether a convicted stalker’s constitutional rights were violated when a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy tracked him through his cellphone’s global positioning system without first obtaining a warrant.

During oral arguments Thursday in Yerington, attorney Kris Brown said Michael Meisler’s Fourth Amendment right against illegal searches was violated.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Thomas Gregory countered that use of the cellphone records was justified because Meisler posed an imminent threat.

Meisler is a disbarred lawyer and had a previous conviction for stalking. The deputy obtained a warrant for his arrest on charges of stalking a former girlfriend and her 17-year-old son, but did not get a warrant before tracking his whereabouts through his cellphone’s GPS.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the case may be the first in Nevada involving police using cellphone records in their investigations without first getting a warrant.

State and federal laws permit police to use cellphone information without warrants in cases in which someone is lost or in imminent bodily danger.

Brown argued the use of cellphone positioning in this case went beyond those restrictions.

Justices will rule later.

Meisler, 62, was sentenced last winter to four to 12 years in prison for stalking the woman and her son. He is serving the sentence in Lovelock State Prison. He appealed that conviction, and the hearing Thursday was to present arguments in that appeal.


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