(a)        The Attorney General or the Attorney General’s designee may, pursuant to the provisions of section 2516(2) of Chapter 119 of the United States Code, apply to a judicial review panel for an order authorizing or approving the interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications by investigative or law enforcement officers having responsibility for the investigation of the offenses as to which the application is made, and for such offenses and causes as are enumerated in G.S. 15A-290. A judicial review panel shall be composed of such judges as may be assigned by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina or an Associate Justice acting as the Chief Justice’s designee, which shall review applications for electronic surveillance orders and may issue orders valid throughout the State authorizing such surveillance as provided by this Article, and which shall submit a report of its decision to the Chief Justice. A judicial review panel may be appointed by the Chief Justice or an Associate Justice acting as the Chief Justice’s designee upon the notification of the Attorney General’s Office of the intent to apply for an electronic surveillance order.

(b)        A judicial review panel is hereby authorized to grant orders valid throughout the State for the interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications. Applications for such orders may be made by the Attorney General or the Attorney General’s designee. The Attorney General or the Attorney General’s designee in applying for such orders, and a judicial review panel in granting such orders, shall comply with all procedural requirements of section 2518 of Chapter 119 of the United States Code. The Attorney General or the Attorney General’s designee may make emergency applications as provided by section 2518 of Chapter 119 of the United States Code. In applying section 2518 the word “judge” in that section shall be construed to refer to the judicial review panel, unless the context otherwise indicates. The judicial review panel may stipulate any special conditions it feels necessary to assure compliance with the terms of this act.

(c)        No judge who sits as a member of a judicial review panel shall preside at any trial or proceeding resulting from or in any manner related to information gained pursuant to a lawful electronic surveillance order issued by that panel.

(d)       Each application for an order authorizing or approving the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication must be made in writing upon oath or affirmation to the judicial review panel. Each application must include the following information:

(1)        The identity of the office requesting the application;

(2)        A full and complete statement of the facts and circumstances relied upon by the applicant, to justify his belief that an order should be issued, including:

a.         Details as to the particular offense that has been, or is being committed;

b.         Except as provided in G.S. 15A-294(i), a particular description of the nature and location of the facilities from which or the place where the communication is to be intercepted;

c.         A particular description of the type of communications sought to be intercepted; and

d.         The identity of the person, if known, committing the offense and whose communications are to be intercepted;

(3)        A full and complete statement as to whether or not other investigative procedures have been tried and failed or why they reasonably appear to be unlikely to succeed if tried or to be too dangerous;

(4)        A statement of the period of time for which the interception is required to be maintained. If the nature of the investigation is such that the authorization for interception should not automatically terminate when the described type of communication has been obtained, a particular description of facts establishing probable cause to believe that additional communications of the same type will occur thereafter must be added;

(5)        A full and complete statement of the facts concerning all previous applications known to the individual authorizing and making adjudication, made to a judicial review panel for authorization to intercept, or for approval of interceptions of wire, oral, or electronic communications involving any of the same persons, facilities, or places specified in the application, and the action taken by that judicial review panel on each such application; and

(6)        Where the application is for the extension of an order, a statement setting forth the results thus far obtained from the interception, or a reasonable explanation of the failure to obtain such results.

(e)        Before acting on the application, the judicial review panel may examine on oath the person requesting the application or any other person who may possess pertinent information, but information other than that contained in the affidavit may not be considered by the panel in determining whether probable cause exists for the issuance of the order unless the information is either recorded or contemporaneously summarized in the record or on the face of the order by the panel. (1995, c. 407, s. 1; 1997-435, s. 2; 2005-207, s. 1.)

Terms Used In North Carolina General Statutes 15A-291

  • Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
  • Attorney General: means the Attorney General of the State of North Carolina, unless otherwise specified. See North Carolina General Statutes 15A-286
  • Electronic: means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, Internet, or similar capabilities. See North Carolina General Statutes 15A-101.1
  • Electronic communication: means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photooptical system that affects interstate or foreign commerce but does not include: