(a) In General. - Following application made under G.S. 15A-262, a superior court judge may enter an ex parte order authorizing the installation and use of a pen register or a trap and trace device within the State if the judge finds:
(1) That there is reasonable suspicion to believe that a felony offense, or a Class A1 or Class 1 misdemeanor offense has been committed;
(2) That there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the person named or described in the affidavit committed the offense, if that person is known and can be named or described; and
(3) That the results of procedures involving pen registers or trap and trace devices will be of material aid in determining whether the person named in the affidavit committed the offense.
(b) Contents of Order. - An order issued under this section:
(1) Shall specify:
a. The identity, if known, of the person to whom is leased or in whose name is listed the telephone line to which the pen register or trap and trace device is to be attached;
b. The identity, if known, of the person who is the subject of the criminal investigation;
c. The number and, if known, physical location of the telephone line to which the pen register or trap and trace device is to be attached and, in the case of a trap and trace device, the geographic limits of the trap and trace order; and
d. The offense to which the information likely to be obtained by the pen register or trap and trace device relates; and
(2) Shall direct, upon request of the applicant, the furnishing of information, facilities, or technical assistance necessary to accomplish the installation of the pen register or trap and trace device under G.S. 15A-264.
(c) Time Period and Extension.
(1) An order issued under this section shall authorize the installation and use of a pen register or a trap and trace device for a period not to exceed 60 days.
(2) An extension of an order issued under this section may be granted, but only upon an application for an order under G.S. 15A-262 and upon the judicial finding required by subsection (a) of this section. The period of extension shall not exceed 60 days.
(d) Nondisclosure of Existence of Pen Register or a Trap and Trace Device. - An order authorizing or approving the installation and use of a pen register or a trap and trace device shall direct that:
(1) The order be sealed until otherwise ordered by the judge; and
(2) The person owning or leasing the line to which the pen register or a trap and trace device is attached, or who has been ordered by the judge to provide assistance to the applicant, not disclose the existence of the pen register or trap and trace device or the existence of the investigation to the listed subscriber, or to any person, unless otherwise ordered by the judge.
The provisions of G.S. 15A-903 and 15A-904 shall apply to this Article. (1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1104, s. 1; 1997-80, s. 13.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014