New GPS Apps Brings Electronic Evidence To The Forefront of Divorces

A recent Supreme Court case suggests that you may want to shy away from these new GPS apps offered through your hand held devices.

It’s of no surprise that technology allows individuals to track their friends and even spouses at nearly all times of the day.  While many spying spouses often track each other’s Facebook accounts, e-mail and cell phones, new global position systems (“GPS”) apps such as “Find My Friends” are becoming an increasingly popular tool used in family law cases, and they may not be illegal or even inadmissible at all.  It follows, of course, that with this ever-increasing use of these types of apps, many clients have come to me wondering how devastating this evidence may be in their family law case. The answer is, we aren’t sure.

A recent Supreme Court Case ruled that law enforcement agencies need a warrant to implant a GPS device on someone’s car.  However, that same ruling does not affect the ability of a private citizen to track someone else’s movements, nor does this ruling specifically speak to whether mobile devices like phones can be used to track a person without their consent.

So what does this mean in your divorce case?  First, it is most important to note that in any case, if any information is gathered illegally, be it through a GPS device or application, the information was gathered in violation of the law and it will be prohibited from entering into evidence in your proceeding.  Alternatively, since tracking technology is relatively new, courts will be taking their time combing through all of the legal issues that may arise due to the use of such technology in your case. This could give rise to invasion of privacy claims or even other civil or criminal actions.

If you may be considering filing for divorce or require legal assistance in other areas of Family Law you may always contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected].