According to the motion to suppress filed on behalf of Van Note by her attorneys, “Susan Elizabeth Van Note respectfully moves this court for an order suppressing all evidence recovered as the result of a warrantless search of Ms. Van Note’s cellular phone record derived from violations of Ms. Van Note’s rights under the 4th Amendment.”

Due to a critical ruling last week by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Susan Van Note double-homicide trial scheduled for Aug. 17-28 is set to be rescheduled again.
The original trial scheduled in the first week of June was declared a mistrial after fears of a tainted juror pool were raised during a trial selection recess.
Van Note is accused of killing her father and his girlfriend at their Camden County home in October 2010 and has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.  The trial was moved from Camden County to Laclede County on a change of venue motion made by the defense.
Judge Kenneth Hayden granted a Joint Oral Request to strike trial to hold an evidentiary hearing before proceeding.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that obtaining cell site location information (CSLI) for an extended period without a warrant violates people’s reasonable expectation of privacy in places like their homes.
“We hold that the government conducts a search under the Fourth Amendment when it obtains and inspects a cell phone user’s historical CLSI for an extended period of time. Examination of a person’s historical CSLI can enable the government to trace the movements of the cell phone and its user across public and private spaces and thereby discover the private activities and personal habits of the user. Cell phone users have an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in this information. It’s inspection by the government, therefore, requires a warrant, unless an established exception to the warrant requirement applies,” the ruling states.
According to the motion to suppress filed on behalf of Van Note by her attorneys, “Susan Elizabeth Van Note respectfully moves this court for an order suppressing all evidence recovered as the result of a warrantless search of Ms. Van Note’s cellular phone record derived from violations of Ms. Van Note’s rights under the 4th Amendment.”
Two subpoenas were issued for constitutionally protected information related to Van Note’s cellular telephone records, according to the document. The first subpoena (Exhibit A) was signed by a Camden County Judge on Oct. 7, 2010 and the second (Exhibit B) was signed on Nov. 5, 2010. Both subpoenas were directed to AT&T Wireless and requested cell phone activities including voice calls, text messages, email and date transfers for GPS purposes, and also cell numbers and phone that accessed towers near Sunrise Beach from the time of the attack.
“The subpoenas in this case allowed law enforcement to, warrantlessly, peer into the day-to-day activities of Ms. Van Note’s private life if at any time she carried the cell phone,” the motion to suppress states. “Ms. Van Note held an expectation that merely carrying this tool of modern society would not expose her to the prying eye of the government into her private affairs.”
Camden County Prosecutor Michael Gilley said his legal team will need the extra time to prepare for the trial given how the Circuit Court of Appeals ruling could affect the state’s case.
“On Monday, defense counsel for Susan Elizabeth Van Note filed a motion to suppress based on a federal appelate court ruling last week,” Gilley said in a statement. “Given this ruling, the parties determined it was necessary to continue the trial to determine the applicability of last week’s ruling upon Ms. Van Note’s case.”
A timetable for this hearing and a new trial has yet to be determined.