August 2, 2022
The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office Wins IPRA Lawsuit Ordering Production of GPS Data
Lawsuit filed in December of 2021 Sought to Compel the Second Judicial District Court to Produce GPS Data for Certain Dangerous, Repeat Defendants on GPS Monitors
Albuquerque, N.M. – Monday, District Court Judge James A. Noel from the 13th Judicial District issued a summary judgment and order in favor of the Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez’s lawsuit against the Second Judicial District Court. The lawsuit sought to compel the Second Judicial District Court to produce the pretrial monitoring GPS data of two dangerous, repeat defendants, Jesse Mascareno-Haidle and Devin Munford, after the court denied an Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) request of the data.
In his ruling, Judge Noel agreed with the District Attorney that defendants on pretrial release with a GPS monitor “are unambiguously aware that they are being monitored ‘24/7’” and that they “[do] not have a reasonable expectation of privacy as to their location[.]” He dismissed the court’s other arguments that the release of the GPS records would infringe on defendants’ rights or the judges’ “deliberative privilege” and ordered the Second Judicial District Court to produce the GPS records to the District Attorney within fifteen days.
“This ruling makes clear that pretrial GPS records are public records and that law enforcement officers and prosecutors have a right to know the whereabouts of these defendants while they are under supervision,” said District Attorney Raul Torrez. “This is a major victory for public safety, particularly where GPS monitoring of dangerous, repeat offenders is so heavily relied upon instead of pretrial detention. We have hundreds of unsolved violent crimes in this community and we need to ensure that defendants on GPS monitoring are not involved in those crimes.”
“The ruling is good news for public safety because it gives law enforcement more tools to hold suspects accountable,” said Chief Harold Medina. “We hope we can continue to improve communication with the judiciary so we don’t have to fight for information that will help us keep the community safe.”