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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 16276
Experience:  Licensed Experienced Attorney/former law enforcement officer
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The state has as evidence in a Gross Sexual Imposition case

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The state has as evidence in a Gross Sexual Imposition case printouts of registration records showing that the defendant stayed at a particular hotel where the victim alleges sexual acts occurred. The agent who conducted the investigation did not have a warrant. According to the report, he asked the Sales Manager of the local hotel to search the records for the defendant’s name, and then print out the results. This particular hotel chain is based in Winnipeg, Canada but the hotel in question was in the US. I believe that that records were stored electronically on the company’s servers in Winnipeg. The data that the defendant provided was sent electronically as it was an online reservation.

I believe that the defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy due to the hotel's privacy policy. I am aware that courts have ruled that traditional paper register books give no expectation of privacy because anyone could look at them. But this data was stored on encrypted servers.

My question is if the Sales Manager at an individual hotel is able to consent to releasing that information without a warrant?

The chain has a “Privacy Officer” in corporate and also an assistant manager and general manager at the local level.

Are there grounds here for suppressing this evidence? Is there any case law supporting that?
Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to answer your question.

Generally, the data similar to the one you are describing, such as hotel records / reservation would not rise up to the level of expectation of privacy, as many employees, subcontractor and other hotel personnel has access to such data and as long as these records were requested in the court of a criminal investigation, such hotel records would not require a search warrant to be obtained and generally there would not be sufficient legal grounds to suppress such hotel records from evidence.

I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If the sales manager acted outside the scope of his duty or did in fact violate the privacy policy would that arguably show that he lacked the authority to consent? Similar to a very small child opening the door of a home for officers?
Dear Sean,

Thank you for your follow up.

It would be extremely difficult to make that argument, given the fact that the manager does have authority to access and to release such hotel records, especially when it is related to a criminal investigation, so generally this argument would not be successful.

I wish you the best of luck!
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