CA11: Duplex driveway here wasn’t curtilage

The district court did not err in finding defendant’s driveway of a duplex was not curtilage under the Dunn factors in light of Collins. United States v. Stephen, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 24803 (11th Cir. Aug. 6, 2020):

We find no clear error in the district court’s application of these factors to determine that the portion of the driveway where Stephen was detained and searched was not part of the home’s curtilage. Based on photographs of the home and driveway attached to Stephen’s motion to suppress, the house was a one-story duplex with an unfenced front yard and a single driveway. The driveway ran in a straight line from the street to the wall of the house between the two front doors and appeared to serve both units of the duplex. The car in which Stephen sat was parked close to the street, but because the driveway was short (about three or four car lengths long), the car was also not far from the house. The first Dunn factor therefore provides some support for Stephen’s argument.

But the remaining factors weigh against him. The driveway was not gated, covered, enclosed, or partly enclosed. It did not appear that any portion of the driveway was used as a porch or patio or otherwise served as an extension of Stephen’s home-to the contrary, the driveway appeared to be a common area used by the residents of both units solely for parking cars. And the occupants of the home had made no effort to conceal the driveway from passersby. Furthermore, the driveway formed part of the path that visitors would naturally take to walk to the front door-a pathway led from the upper end of the driveway to the front porch. In short, nothing in the record indicates that the deputies entered an area harboring the “intimate activity associated with the sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of life” when they approached Stephen in his driveway.

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