Constitution boat captains can not cease GPS monitoring

May 5, 2022 2:34 p.m

  • The tracking requirement violates the Fourth Amendment, the fishermen argue
  • Injunction prohibited by law, FBI told 5th Cir.

The federal government’s mandate for ships to use GPS tracking systems remains in effect pending an appeal from charter boat captains, the Fifth Circuit ruled.

The Mexican Gulf Fishing Company, A&B Charters Inc. and other captains and charter companies say the rule violates the Fourth Amendment. The rule, which went into effect on March 1, requires charter boats to purchase and install vessel monitoring systems that store and regularly relay GPS information.

The charter boat captains told the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that the rule amounts to a property-based search without warrants. The constant monitoring “contravenes reasonable expectations of the plaintiffs …

Maya Earls

legal reporter

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