Category Archives: Open fields

Stuttgart Daily Leader: Mid-South Conference: Panel to discuss Fourth Amendment, warrantless search of private lands

Stuttgart Daily Leader: Mid-South Conference: Panel to discuss Fourth Amendment, warrantless search of private lands (“The Institute for Justice recently found that nearly 96 percent of all private land in the country, which is about 1.2 billion acres, is essentially … Continue reading

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CA3: Nexus doesn’t require positive evidence; inference will do

Nexus doesn’t require positive evidence defendant has drugs at home; an inference suffices. United States v. Green, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 1737 (3d Cir. Jan. 25, 2024). “Kirik’s particularity challenges are unavailing. With respect to Kirik’s challenge to the articulation … Continue reading

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Reason: Connecticut Couple Challenges Warrantless Surveillance of Their Property by Camera-Carrying Bears

Reason: Connecticut Couple Challenges Warrantless Surveillance of Their Property by Camera-Carrying Bears by Jacob Sullum (“The lawsuit looks iffy in light of the Supreme Court’s ‘open fields’ doctrine.”):

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MI: Trees on undeveloped land were not “effects” for 4A

A city ordinance regulating trees was not a Fourth Amendment seizure because the trees were not on the curtilage of a home and weren’t independently subject to the Fourth Amendment. (Otherwise, a taking occurred, and that’s way outside the scope … Continue reading

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W.D.N.C.: Traffic stop for expired tags went right to criminal history and was overlong

The court adopts the R&R and finds that the traffic stop was initially justified, but the officer got way off track from it into investigating other things without reasonable suspicion. Instead, the officer was investigating defendant’s criminal history for 46 … Continue reading

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OH5: Drone flyover found car hidden in def’s open fields

Defendant owned a vehicle police suspected was involved in an accident, and suspected it was hidden on his somewhat rural property. They used a drone to fly over the property seeing what was likely the car and then got a … Continue reading

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D.S.C.: Lack of nexus to def isn’t grounds for motion to suppress; that’s a trial question

Lack of nexus between drugs and the defendant is an evidentiary question for trial, not a motion to suppress. The search is legal in any event. United States v. Cunningham, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43510 (D.S.C. Mar. 14, 2023). The … Continue reading

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S.D.Miss.: Even suppressed drugs can be figured into drug weight for sentencing

Even if a motion to suppress had been pursued and defendant prevailed, suppressed drug weight can be used at sentencing. United States v. Coleman, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10826 (S.D. Miss. Jan. 23, 2023). Pro se plaintiffs fail to state … Continue reading

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D.S.D.: SW for shallow grave didn’t describe location well enough to easily find it, but GFE applies

The warrant’s direction to search for a shallow grave was not particularly described, and it was found a mile away from where the warrant directed. The attachment wasn’t incorporated. Still, however, the good faith exception applies. This was negligent at … Continue reading

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OH3: In flyover case, def carries burden of showing a “search” and violation of FAA rules

In a helicopter flyover case, defendant carried the burden of showing that the police conducted a “search” that violated his reasonable expectation of privacy by flying too low in violation of FAA rules. He didn’t here; remanded. State v. Jordan, … Continue reading

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MI: REP in def’s barns despite being a distance from home

Defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in two barns on his farm, one locked and one unlocked with the door partially open. Curtilage to the home doesn’t matter. A later search warrant only described the home and not the … Continue reading

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D.Neb.: Officer’s personal knowledge of the accused and the place to be searched is sufficient for PC

“In short, if the source of the information here had been a citizen-informant rather than a law enforcement officer, this assertion of personal knowledge by a known informant, under oath and personally present before the clerk-magistrate, combined with corroborating details … Continue reading

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MS: Open fields covered by state const.; warrant required for administrative search

A warrant is required for administrative searches under the Mississippi constitution, which also protects all land owned by the complainant, including open fields. Plain view is inapplicable here. The exclusionary rule applies to this administrative search and seizure. Okhuysen v. … Continue reading

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CA8: A car with a flat tire is still inherently mobile for automobile exception

“The officers indisputably had probable cause to search Short’s vehicle, and an easily repairable flat tire did not cause the vehicle to lose its inherent mobility.” United States v. Short, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 19242 (8th Cir. June 29, 2021). … Continue reading

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CA4: Baltimore’s aerial surveillance program doesn’t violate 4A

Baltimore PD’s Aerial Investigative Research program (AIR) does not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy of Baltimore residents, and denial of the preliminary injunction is affirmed on appeal. Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle v. Baltimore Police Dep’t, 2020 U.S. App. … Continue reading

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D.C.Cir.: Alleged seizure of open fields not a 4A claim, but it is a 5A claim

The North American Butterfly Association sued the federal government over a part of the Mexican border wall on their butterfly preserve being Fourth and Fifth Amendment claims. Their Fourth Amendment claim is dismissed because it involves alleged seizure of open … Continue reading

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techdirt: Fourth Circuit Appeals Court Seems Skeptical That Baltimore’s Aerial Surveillance System Violates The Fourth Amendment

techdirt: Fourth Circuit Appeals Court Seems Skeptical That Baltimore’s Aerial Surveillance System Violates The Fourth Amendment by Tim Cushing (“The legal fight over Baltimore’s aerial surveillance system continues. Airplanes armed with powerful cameras fly constantly over the city, allowing law … Continue reading

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St. Louis Public Radio: Baltimore’s Aerial Surveillance Could Offer Preview For St. Louis

St. Louis Public Radio: Baltimore’s Aerial Surveillance Could Offer Preview For St. Louis by Emily Woodbury (“Last October on St. Louis on the Air, the CEO of the Ohio-based company Persistent Surveillance Systems described his wish to bring the company’s … Continue reading

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CNN: Police used drones to monitor nudity at a Minnesota beach

CNN: Police used drones to monitor nudity at a Minnesota beach by Jay Croft (“Police near Minneapolis used drones last week to check if sunbathers at a lakeside beach were breaking the law by going nude or topless. The Golden … Continue reading

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Nat’l L. Rev.: The Constitution Protects Faces in the Crowd

Nat’l L. Rev.: The Constitution Protects Faces in the Crowd by Theodore F. Claypoole (“Unlimited law enforcement application of facial recognition software to surveillance footage is an unreasonable search and a violation of Constitutional rights for people in a peaceful … Continue reading

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