N.D.Iowa: When no one answers a knock-and-talk, Jardines prohibits shining a flashlight in the window

The legal authority to enter to do a knock-and-talk under Jardines does not permit the police to shine flashlights in the windows when nobody answers. In addition, the government’s reliance on a Davis-type good faith exception for this conduct during a knock-and-talk doesn’t fly because Jardines was decided before this happened and was already binding authority. United States v. Alicea, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159496 (N.D.Iowa Nov. 24, 2015):

While law enforcement officers may approach the front door of a residence in order to interview an occupant, they may not exceed the limits of an implied license when intruding on private property without a warrant. That is, Officers Garringer and Boesenberg were legally entitled to walk up the driveway, over on the sidewalk, and up to the front door. When no one responded to Garringer’s knock, however, there was no implied license to leave the path typically used to approach the front door, and search through windows of darkened rooms using a flashlight. Accordingly, I believe the observations made by the officers exceeded the scope of the implied license and were violative of the Fourth Amendment.

This entry was posted in Curtilage, Trespass. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.