Michigan’s top court looking at legality of drone evidence

March 17, 2022 GMT

LONG LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments in a conflict between drones and the U.S. Constitution’s protection against illegal searches.

Local officials used aerial photos as evidence in a lawsuit filed against a couple in Long Lake Township, near Traverse City. Todd and Heather Maxon were accused of violating a zoning ordinance and creating a nuisance with cars and salvage material.

The Maxons say using a drone without a court order violated the Fourth Amendment. The Michigan Court of Appeals agreed in a 2-1 decision a year ago.

The Supreme Court said Wednesday it will hear arguments in the months ahead.

The Michigan Townships Association and the Michigan Municipal League, which represent local governments around the state, have been invited to file briefs.