Runner-Up Best Oralist
Runner-Up Best Brief
This case takes place in the State of Chesapeake. On May 15, 2014, Jess Mariano, a local teenager, died while in the custody of three Starr’s Hollow Police Department officers. Mariano’s death led to protests and ultimately a riot that led to the destruction of town property. Outraged by the rioting, the destruction and the anti-police slogans that many protesters had shouted, a local town selectman proposed the Starr’s Hollow Public Safety Act of 2014, which made it an aggravated misdemeanor to engage in “threatening a law enforcement officer,” an offense which the statute defined as “any speech that expresses a serious desire to unlawfully injure” a police officer.
After a September 2015 announcement that the Starr’s Hollow County grand jury refused to indict any of the three officers who arrested Mariano, Mariano’s uncle Luke Danes addressed a crowd of protesters in the Towne Commons and made several remarks about how police were responsible for the death of his nephew. Danes held a rifle as he spoke but it was not loaded and not functional.
The Starr’s Hollow Police Department was unable to locate Danes to serve an arrest warrant so they employed a MantaRay device. Cell site simulator devices like the MantaRay can be used by government agents to locate people via their cell site location information (CSLI). The police used the MantaRay to obtain information concerning the signal strength, relative location, and recently dialed numbers from Danes’ phone. The officers used the signal strength and relative direction of Danes’ targeted phone to narrow down his location to a 50-yard vicinity. The officers then entered Luke’s Diner and arrested Danes.
Danes seeks relief for two reasons: (1) to argue that the Starr’s Hollow Public Safety Act was unconstitutional as applied to his case, and (2) to prevent the State from using evidence seized on his person after locating him with a MantaRay device.