N.D.Ind.: Use of drug dog in hotel hallway wasn’t at all like invading the curtilage in Jardines

Use of a drug dog in a hotel hallway that produced an alert on defendant’s room’s door was not unreasonble under Jardines. A hotel hallway, accessible to many people, cannot be compared to the curtilage of a home. United States v. Lewis, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105628 (N.D. Ind. July 10, 2017):

In the end, this case is far removed from the circumstances presented in Jardines. The Supreme Court in Jardines concluded that a dog sniff became a search due to the physical intrusion onto the defendant’s constitutionally protected property. 133 S. Ct. at 1417-18. No such intrusion occurred here. The officers, and the drug detection dog, were in a place in which they had a lawful right to be. Ultimately, even the result in Whitaker relied heavily on the fact that it involved “a search of a home,” 820 F.3d at 853, thus distinguishing its holding from Caballes. There being no alignment with the facts in Jardines or Whitaker with respect to the location where the police led the dog to perform a sniff, the Court finds that this case turns on Caballes. The sniff was not capable of revealing any “information other than the location of a substance that no individual has any right to possess.” Caballes, 543 U.S. at 410. Accordingly, the Defendant’s expectations about perfectly lawful activity—which would have been legitimate and protected—were not implicated. The Defendant, undoubtedly, desired that his illegal activity inside the hotel room remain private. But “[t]he test of legitimacy is not whether the individual chooses to conceal assertedly ‘private’ activity. Rather, the correct inquiry is whether the government’s intrusion infringes upon the personal and societal values protected by the Fourth Amendment.” Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170, 182-83, 104 S. Ct. 1735, 80 L. Ed. 2d 214 (1984) (footnote omitted).

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