Essay on The Fourth Amendment Protection Coverage

Essay on The Fourth Amendment Protection Coverage

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Of the various places and things the Fourth Amendment protects, “the home is first among equals.” Florida v. Jardines, 133 S.Ct. 1409, 1414 (2013). For Fourth Amendment purposes, places and things protected includes the home and its curtilage, which is the area “immediately surrounding and associated with the home.” Id. Where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, there is no Fourth Amendment protection coverage. See Katz v. United States, 88 S. Ct. 507 (1967). To determine whether a legitimate expectation of privacy exists, the court must determine whether an individual possessed 1) an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy in the place or thing searched; and 2) whether the expectation is objective, one that society recognizes as reasonable. Grymes v. State, Md. App. 70, 83 (2011).
When the government obtains information by physically intruding on persons, houses, papers, or effects, a search has occurred. Florida v. Jardines, 133 S.Ct. 1409 (2013). In Jardines, police officers took a drug-sniffing dog to the defendant’s front porch and the dog later gave a positive alert for narcotics. Id. at 1413. Following the alert, officers obtained a search warrant and located narcotics inside the defendant’s home. Id. The Supreme Court held officers’ use of the drug-sniffing dog to investigate the home and its curtilage constituted a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Id. at 1417-18. The Court reasoned that officers physically intruded onto defendant’s property when they entered upon the curtilage of the defendant’s home to gather incriminating evidence. Id. at 1417.
Absent a reasonable expectation of privacy there is no Fourth Amendment protection coverage. Katz v. United States, 88 S. Ct. 507 (1967). The Fou...


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...ection dog’s entry into the common hallway of Appellant’s apartment building to conduct a scan of Appellant’s door for narcotics is not a violation of the Appellant’s Fourth Amendment rights. (T2 - November 5, 2014). From Grymes, it is safe to reason that the Appellant possessed no reasonable expectation of privacy in the hallway of his apartment building. Subjectively, the Appellant possessed no reasonable expectation of privacy in the hallway, as tenants and tenants’ guests all used the hallway. Objectively, the Appellant possessed no reasonable expectation to privacy in the hallway as he did not enjoy exclusive possession. Thus, Officers did not trespass by entering into the hallway of Appellant’s apartment building for a dog sniff because Appellant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the hallway as the hallway is not constitutionally protected curtilage.

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