Category Archives: Curtilage

D.Minn.: Ion scan of apartment doorknob and lock did not violate curtilage

State officers conducted an ion scan of defendant’s apartment doorknob and lock which was legal under state law. This violated no reasonable expectation of privacy because the doorknob in an apartment hallway is not part of the curtilage. United States … Continue reading

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M.D.Ala.: The validity of the appointment of a special judge for 180 days does not matter under the good faith exception

A specially appointed circuit judge for 180 days signed a search warrant during his tenure. The legality of the appointment doesn’t matter because the good faith exception applies to execution of the warrant. United States v. Broaden, 2024 U.S. Dist. … Continue reading

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OH2: Police responding to report of shot dog who heard an animal had exigency to enter the curtilage

“Based upon the evidence presented, we conclude the trial court did not err in denying the motion to suppress. The search of the home and surrounding premises was reasonable because the officers believed an injured animal was on the premises … Continue reading

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FL5: Use of flashlight to look in screened-in porch was unreasonable violation of curtilage

Officers came to defendant’s home which was next door to a murder crime scene. They were looking for potential witnesses. They knocked on the screened-in porch door and got no answer. It was dark inside. The screened-in porch was a … Continue reading

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AK: Police aerial flyover with telephoto lens of rural property violates state right of privacy

Under the Alaska Constitution, an aerial flyover with a telephoto lens of rural property in a “sparsely populated area” in the woods north of Fairbanks produced evidence of a grow operation. In a long (and sensitive opinion), the Alaska Supreme … Continue reading

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CA10: SW for house included detached garage next to it without even mentioning it

The search warrant for defendant’s house included the detached garage on the curtilage without having to mention it. United States v. Ronquillo, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 5489 (10th Cir. Mar. 7, 2024). “And the Department of Homeland Security officers did … Continue reading

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CA10: City driveway shared with house next door not curtilage

A driveway shared with the house next door was not curtilage. A driveway in a city usually isn’t anyway. United States v. Vasquez, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 75 (10th Cir. Jan. 3, 2024). Defendant’s objection to the R&R that the … Continue reading

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M.D.Pa.: Police continually banging on def’s door to come out was seizure; no exigency applies; suppressed

Defendant fled from the police in his car in a highspeed chase. They went to his house and came on to defendant’s curtilage, his porch, and shined flashlights through the windows. This was a search on a constitutionally protected area. … Continue reading

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W.D.Ky.: Protective sweep unjustified on facts; rural area not enough

The protective sweep here wasn’t justified by any current facts justifying it. The government first relied on it being a rural area, but that’s rejected because it would render most of the country a zone where protective sweeps could always … Continue reading

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E.D.Wis.: No REP in common area of apt building, despite state law to contrary

Rejecting state law to the contrary, the district court holds that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in the common area of an apartment building under the Fourth Amendment. United States v. Love, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186921 (E.D. … Continue reading

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NBC New York: NYPD using drones to monitor NYC backyard Labor Day parties, spurring privacy concerns

NBC New York: NYPD using drones to monitor NYC backyard Labor Day parties, spurring privacy concerns by Jake Offenhartz (“The New York City police department plans to pilot the unmanned aircrafts over large gatherings in an effort to enhance security … Continue reading

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D.Minn.: Govt’s learning of another potential crime from “sneak and peak” SW wasn’t entrapment

The government suspected defendant of acquiring a pill press and got a sneak and peak warrant to look around and photograph inside his place. Later, they got a search warrant for the place and seized drugs. The government’s knowledge of … Continue reading

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OR: All electronic devices seized to be searched require PC showing

The affidavit for warrant did not show justification for search of all the electronic devices that were seized and then searched. State v. Cannon, 299 Ore. App. 616, 450 P.3d 567 (2019). (Probable cause was conceded as to some devices.) … Continue reading

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D.Ariz.: No REP in shared folder on computer open on eMule program

The government’s “pre-search” of a shared folder on defendant’s computer available through eMule was not subject to a reasonable expectation of privacy and was reasonable. United States v. Johnson, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146664 (D. Ariz. Aug. 21, 2023), adopting … Continue reading

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ND: Opening door of a parked and running semi when driver didn’t wake up was to gather information and was unreasonable

“Thus, we conclude law enforcement was acting outside the scope of the community caretaking function when opening the semi door and stepping onto the running boards in an attempt to gather information without first attempting to get a response from … Continue reading

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D.C.Cir.: ‘“Let me see your waistband’–amounted to a show of authority.”

“Here, Officer Tejada initially approached Gamble and asked him a question: ‘Ain’t got no gun on you, man?’” ‘“Let me see your waistband’–amounted to a show of authority.” United States v. Gamble, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 19695 (D.C.Cir. Aug. 1, … Continue reading

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IN: 3 am entry into backyard to look for weapon when no one around couldn’t be justified by exigency

“There was no emergency here. Officer Eber and the trial court expressed concern that a firearm might have been lying in Hinton’s backyard and could be accessed by a child or other person. But, even if so, there was no … Continue reading

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N.D.Ohio: Photo of premises in SW showed detached garage, and it was included because on curtilage

The warrant was particular when it showed a picture of the premises with the address. The photograph showed the detached garage on the curtilage. That was covered by the warrant, too. When the government raised standing in response to defendant’s … Continue reading

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MA: Driveway used for parking is not curtilage when car visible to all

Defendant’s vehicle was not parked within the curtilage of his home. The officer’s observations of the vehicle did not constitute a search under the Fourth Amendment or the Mass. Const. Decl. Rights art. 14. Defendant’s house was set back from … Continue reading

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LA5: Unenclosed driveways are not part of the curtilage

“Louisiana jurisprudence has indicated that unenclosed driveways, like the driveway in the instant case, are not part of the curtilage with respect to Fourth Amendment cases.” State v. Bourgeois, 2023 La. App. LEXIS 901 ( La. App. 5 Cir May … Continue reading

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