The Supreme Court today denied review in People v. Meza, but Justices Goodwin Liu and Kelli Evans recorded dissenting votes. Also, Justice Liu took the relatively rare step of issuing a separate statement — which Justice Evans signed — to explain his vote.

In Meza, the Second District, Division Seven, Court of Appeal published opinion addressed challenges to a so-called geofence search warrant that produced evidence implicating the defendants in a murder. The warrant had Google produce an anonymized list of electronic devices that led to identifying people who were in the vicinity of six particular locations visited by the victim before the murder.

Division Seven held the warrant complied with the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act, but lacked the particularity required by the Fourth Amendment and was impermissibly overbroad. However, it then affirmed the murder convictions “under the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule.”

Justice Liu wrote, “a warrant that violates federal law also violates CalECPA.” He also said “[i]t is not clear whether [the good faith] exception applies to violations of CalECPA, and there are plausible arguments on both sides of the question.” He concluded, “Because I find questionable the Court of Appeal’s interpretation of this important state law, and because of the practical importance of the issue, I would grant review.”

In 2015, Justice Liu revived a long-dormant practice of issuing separate statements when the court denies review, and he and other justices have done so on numerous occasions since then.