2019 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 13 - Offenses Against Person
Part 6 - Invasion of Privacy
§ 39-13-610. Search warrant required to obtain location information of an electronic device -- Exceptions to warrant requirement -- Admissibility into evidence.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 39-13-610 (2019)
  • (a) As used in this section:

    • (1) “Electronic communication service” means a service that provides to users of the service the ability to send or receive wire or electronic communications;

    • (2) “Electronic device” means a device that enables access to or use of an electronic communication service, remote computing service, or location information service;

    • (3) “Governmental entity” means a state or local government agency, including, but not limited to, any law enforcement agency that is a lawfully established state or local public agency responsible for the prevention and detection of crime, local government code enforcement, or the enforcement of penal, traffic, regulatory, game, or controlled substance laws. A governmental entity also includes any other investigative entity, agency, department, division, bureau, board, commission, or an individual acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of a state or local agency;

    • (4) “Location information” means information concerning the location of an electronic device that, in whole or in part, is generated or derived from or obtained by the operation of an electronic device on a cellular telephone network or a location information service, rather than obtained from a service provider; and

    • (5) “Location information service” means the provision of global positioning service or other mapping, locational, or directional information service.

  • (b) Except as provided in subsection (c), no governmental entity shall obtain the location information of an electronic device without a search warrant issued by a duly authorized court.

  • (c) A government entity may obtain location information of an electronic device without obtaining a search warrant under any of the following circumstances:

    • (1) If the electronic device is reported stolen by the owner;

    • (2) If necessary to respond to the user's call for emergency services;

    • (3) To prevent imminent danger to the life of the owner or user;

    • (4) To prevent imminent danger to the public;

    • (5) With the informed, affirmative consent of the owner or user of the electronic device;

    • (6) If the user has posted the user's location within the last twenty-four (24) hours on a social media website; or

    • (7) If exigent circumstances justify obtaining location information for the electronic device without a warrant.

  • (d) Any evidence obtained in violation of this section is not admissible in a civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding and shall not be used in an affidavit of probable cause in an effort to obtain a search warrant.

  • (e)

    • (1) This section shall not be construed to apply to any smart meter gateway device.

    • (2) For purposes of this subsection (e), “smart meter gateway device” means any electric or natural gas utility meter, utility meter component, utility meter load control device, or any device ancillary to the utility meter, which is located at an end-user's residence or business and which serves as a communication gateway or portal to electrical or natural gas powered appliances, equipment, or devices within the end-user's residence or business, or which otherwise communicates with, monitors, measures, records, reports, stores, restricts, or regulates such electrical or natural gas powered appliances, equipment, or devices.

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