During a six-month period last year, in 85 percent of 600 cases for which cellphone information was sought, warrants were obtained, according to information provided by the state to the court. Local or municipal police departments are said to have handled about 60 cases in which no warrants were sought. The court, however, raised the possibility that the data may have overstated the number of cases in which the state specifically sought warrants.
The Earls case has been referred to the appellate court to determine whether the emergency aid doctrine applies. The court observed that the emergency aid doctrine allows police to enter a dwelling without a warrant "for the purpose of protecting or preserving life, or preventing serious injury."