Senate Passes Bill Allowing State-Wide Surveillance Devices

ATLANTA (February 12, 2013) – The Georgia State Senate passed House Bill 55, carried by Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro), with a vote of 48-6 today.

“The Georgia Supreme Court Ruling passed down in January jeopardized bringing to justice drug cartels and other organized crimes because of a technicality about the current code’s allowance of surveillance devices,” said Sen. Stone.  “It’s not feasible to believe every circuit could afford to operate a $750,000 surveillance monitoring center, which makes House Bill 55 necessary to allow state-wide surveillance.  I commend the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee and the State Senate for acting quickly and judiciously to help progress more than 150 pending criminal investigations that have used wiretapping.”

Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna) presented this legislation to Senate Judiciary Non-Civil committee, chaired by Sen. Stone, last week. Golick sponsored the legislation because of the Georgia’s Supreme Court ruling in Luangkhot v. State, Phommachanh v. State and Saleumsy v. State.  The ruling declared that superior court judges could issue wiretap warrants only if the law enforcement listening posts or tapped phones were located in their circuit.

HB 55 allows an investigation warrant permitting the use of surveillance devices to apply state-wide. Pen registers and trap and trace devices are treated the same as surveillance devices with respect to state-wide warrants and interception of communication.


For Immediate Release:
February 12, 2013

For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Interim Director
Kate Greer, Broadcast Specialist