Simon et al v. The City and County of San Francisco, Sheriff Paul Miyamoto
On Sept. 8, 2022, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California and the law firm Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati filed a class-action lawsuit against the city and county of San Francisco and Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, urging the court to prevent the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office from requiring that individuals agree to unconstitutional “four-way” searches and GPS location data-sharing as conditions of pretrial release on electronic monitoring.
As a matter of U.S. and California constitutional law, only a court may determine the conditions of release on electronic monitoring that are reasonable under the circumstances of each case. But in San Francisco, Sheriff Miyamoto requires all electronic monitoring participants to sign a form granting any law enforcement officer permission to conduct a search of their person, residence, vehicle, and property at any time, without a warrant or probable cause. Individuals also must sign an acknowledgment that the sheriff may share GPS location data collected from their ankle monitor with other law enforcement agencies, also without a warrant, probable cause, or even reasonable suspicion.
The sheriff routinely shares real-time and historical GPS location data with the San Francisco Police Department and other law enforcement agencies upon request. During an investigation, police can use location data to track a specific person wearing an ankle monitor or conduct a virtual sweep to identify anyone on electronic monitoring who happened to be in the area when a crime occurred.
In addition to barring the four-way search and data-sharing conditions, the lawsuit seeks to force the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office to automatically expunge an individual’s GPS location data when their criminal case ends.
On Oct. 7, 2022, the ACLU and Wilson Sonsini filed a motion for preliminary injunction to ask the court to prohibit the sheriff's office from subjecting individuals released pre-trial on electronic monitoring to warrantless "four-way" searches and from sharing GPS location-data with other law enforcement agencies.