Minnesota Ignition Interlock Lawsuit Moves Forward

Posted On August 22, 2017 Charles Ramsay

Back in February, we filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Minnesota and the various providers of ignition interlock services, based on violations of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and drivers' Fourth Amendment rights. Since then a lot has happened behind the scenes, and the case is continuing to move forward, slowly but surely.

The next "milestone" in this lawsuit will be scheduled this fall, when a Ramsey County judge will hear arguments regarding competing motions to dismiss (standard in these types of cases) and motions to amend (equally standard). About the same time, the parties will begin exchanging information, a process called "discovery" which could involve tens of thousands of documents that will set the stage for the next steps in the lawsuit. For everyone who is interested, check back here for updates -- we haven't provided much as of yet, but as things develop we'll try to keep all of our readers up-to-date.

One interesting note: whether it was in response to our lawsuit or not, the Minnesota Legislature recently passed a law that at least looks like it prevents the Department of Public Safety from ever trying to implement a broad-scale surveillance program again.

They passed a law that revokes the Department's ability to ignore the traditional rule making process. Remember, it was their exemption from the traditional rule making process that allowed the Department of Public Safety to try and get away with this type of survelience in the first place. Now, there will be a lot more oversight on Department actions.

But more importantly, they also passed a law that expressly prohibits GPS tracking without a court order. That's the basis for why we sued in the first place; it's nice to see that the program will stop monitoring individuals going forward. Now we just need to address the fact that they started doing it in the first place. 

Keep checking back, as we're expecting more developments (and therefore more news to share) in the upcoming months. 

Daniel Koewler