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State v. McQueen

New Jersey Supreme Court

August 10, 2021

Applying the “heightened protection to telephone calls” afforded to New Jerseyans under Article I, Paragraph 7 of the New Jersey Constitution, a unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement was not permitted to listen to a recorded call made by an arrestee from the stationhouse. A person was arrested for certain offenses and brought to the stationhouse. There, he was allowed to make a call. He was not warned in any way that the call was recorded. But it was. No one heard the content of the call at the time. Later, a detective reviewed the call. He did not secure a warrant, subpoena, or any other authorization.  The call was incriminating for the call’s recipient, the defendant, in this matter. Based on State v. Hunt and New Jersey’s “established policy of providing the utmost protection for telephonic communications,” the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the suppression of the call.

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