Skip to main content

Rhode Island General Laws Title 12. Criminal Procedure § 12-32-4. Exceptions

Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes, a free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes, visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an agent of the state, or any political subdivision of the state, may obtain location information from a service provider without obtaining a warrant under the following circumstances:

(1) In order to respond to the user's call for emergency services;

(2) In order to respond to a call for emergency services, including a request from an E-911 supervisor to determine the location of a cellular telephone, when required pursuant to an emergency involving actual or potential death, serious physical injury, or major damage to property and the information is needed without delay;

(3) If an agent of the state, or any political subdivision of the state, believes that an emergency involving immediate danger of death or serious physical injury to any person requires the obtaining of information relating to the emergency without delay, and/or pursuant to the Kelsey Smith Act, as codified in § 39-2-20;

(4) If the location information was generated by an electronic device used as a condition of release from a penal institution, as a condition of pre-trial release, probation, conditional discharge, parole, mandatory supervised release, or other sentencing order;

(5) With the express consent of the owner or user of the electronic communications device concerned;

(6) With the express, informed consent of the parent or foster parent of a minor who is the owner or user, or the legal guardian or next of kin of the owner or user, if the owner or user is believed to be deceased or reported missing and unable to be contacted;

(7) If the electronic device is reported lost or stolen by the owner or user of the electronic device; or

(8) If the government entity is the owner of the electronic device and has issued it to an employee or it is attached to property owned by the government entity.

(b) Not later than five (5) days after the date on which an agent of the state, or any political subdivision of the state, obtains access to records under this section, a governmental entity shall file with the appropriate court a signed, sworn statement of a supervisory official of a rank designated by the head of the governmental entity setting forth the grounds for the access to information in this section. Should the courts not be open upon the expiration of the five (5) days, the statement shall be filed the next day the court is open to receive such statement.

(c) When location information is sought pursuant to this chapter, and unless otherwise permitted by a warrant, any acquisition of information shall immediately terminate when the location information sought is obtained.

(d) In the event an application for a warrant is denied, or in any other case where the interception is made or terminated without a warrant having been issued where required by this chapter, notice shall be served to all owners or known users of electronic devices about which location information was acquired in violation of this chapter.

(e) The notice required by § 12-32-3 shall also be provided when location information is obtained pursuant to subdivisions (a)(2) or (a)(3).

(f) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit law enforcement from obtaining, without a court order, location information when the information, including metadata attached to images and video, is otherwise publicly available on a social networking website.

Cite this article: - Rhode Island General Laws Title 12. Criminal Procedure § 12-32-4. Exceptions - last updated January 01, 2022 |

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Was this helpful?

Thank you. Your response has been sent.

Copied to clipboard