Post details: SCOTUS decides Jardines: Dog sniff at the door of the home is a "search" under Jones

03/26/13

Permalink 11:30:54 am, by fourth, 512 words, 998 views   English (US)
Categories: General

SCOTUS decides Jardines: Dog sniff at the door of the home is a "search" under Jones

Florida v. Jardines, 2013 U.S. LEXIS 2542, 2013 WL 1196577 (U.S. March 26, 2013): Dog sniff at the door of a home is a "search" under Jones requiring probable cause and a warrant.

The syllabus:

Police took a drug-sniffing dog to Jardines’ front porch, where the dog gave a positive alert for narcotics. Based on the alert, the officers obtained a warrant for a search, which revealed marijuana plants; Jardines was charged with trafficking in cannabis. The Supreme Court of Florida approved the trial court’s decision to suppress the evidence, holding that the officers had engaged in a Fourth Amendment search unsupported by probable cause.

Held: The investigation of Jardines’ home was a “search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Pp. 3–10.
(a) When “the Government obtains information by physically intruding” on persons, houses, papers, or effects, “a ‘search’ within the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment” has “undoubtedly occurred.” United States v. Jones, 565 U. S. ___, ___, n. 3. Pp. 3–4.
(b) At the Fourth Amendment’s “very core” stands “the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion.” Silverman v. United States, 365 U. S. 505, 511. The area “immediately surrounding and associated with the home”—the curtilage—is “part of the home itself for Fourth Amendment purposes.” Oliver v. United States, 466 U. S. 170, 180. The officers entered the curtilage here: The front porch is the classic exemplar of an area “to which the activity of home life extends.” Id., at 182, n. 12. Pp. 4–5.
(c) The officers’ entry was not explicitly or implicitly invited. Officers need not “shield their eyes” when passing by a home “on public thoroughfares,” California v. Ciraolo, 476 U. S. 207, 213, but “no man can set his foot upon his neighbour’s close without his leave,” Entick v. Carrington, 2 Wils. K. B. 275, 291, 95 Eng. Rep. 807, 817. A police officer not armed with a warrant may approach a home in hopes of speaking to its occupants, because that is “no more than any private citizen might do.” Kentucky v. King, 563 U. S. ___, ___. But the scope of a license is limited not only to a particular area but also to a specific purpose, and there is no customary invitation to enter the curtilage simply to conduct a search. Pp. 5–8.
(d) It is unnecessary to decide whether the officers violated Jardines’ expectation of privacy under Katz v. United States, 389 U. S. 347. Pp. 8–10.

73 So. 3d 34, affirmed.

SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which THOMAS, GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. KAGAN, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which GINSBURG and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and KENNEDY and BREYER, JJ., joined.

I figured this outcome because of the higher protection of the home running from Payton to Kyllo. I did not think it would be 5-4, nor did I think Breyer would dissent nor Thomas be in the majority. (I thought it would be 6-3 with Roberts, Alito, and Thomas dissenting. Kennedy truly is a loose cannon.)

And, my friends in Florida say the name is pronouced "Har-day-nis."

This case is important on curtilage.

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