Fourth Amendment Exceptions

Fourth Amendment Exceptions

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The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states that people have the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” but the issue at hand here is whether this also applies to the searches of open fields and of objects in plain view and whether the fourth amendment provides protection over these as well. In order to reaffirm the courts’ decision on this matter I will be relating their decisions in the cases of Oliver v. United States (1984), and California v. Greenwood (1988) which deal directly with the question of whether a person can have reasonable expectations of privacy as provided for in the fourth amendment with regards to objects in an open field or in plain view.
     The differentiation between open fields and private property must be made before one can proceed to form an opinion regarding the constitutionality of a warrantless search of an open field. Oliver v. United States is a case in which police officers, acting on reports from neighbors that a patch of marijuana was being cultivated on the Oliver farm, entered on to private property ignoring “No Trespassing” signs, and on to a secluded open portion of the Oliver property without a warrant, discovered the marijuana patch and then arrested Oliver without an arrest warrant. The Maine Judicial Court held that “No Trespassing” signs posted around the Oliver property “evinced a reasonable expectation of privacy,” and therefore the court held that the “open fields” doctrine was not applicable to the Oliver case.
     Upon hearing the case, the Supreme Court argues that the special protections accorded by the fourth amendment do not extend to open fields. “Open fields do not provide the setting for those intimate activities that the Amendment is intended to shelter from government interference or surveillance.” The court refers to the case of Hester v. United States (1924) which set the precedent for “open field cases” and interprets that case to imply that “an individual may not legitimately demand privacy for activities conducted out of doors in fields, except in the area immediately surrounding the home.” The patch of marijuana being no where near the Oliver home, and in an open field, regardless of its visibility from public access, left the court affirming Oliver v. United States, and reversing the case of Thornton v. Maine, and in essence reaffirming that

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Related Searches

warrantless searches of open fields are not violations of an individual’s constitutional rights, but are simply acts of common-law trespassing, which the court finds does not exceed the governments need to protect the public from illegal activity which may occur on privately owned open fields, and any expectation of privacy to mask these illegal activities are most definitely not provided for under the constitution.
California v. Greenwood deals with the issue of whether or not the Fourth Amendment prohibits “the warrantless search and seizure of garbage left for collection outside the curtilage of a home.” California v. Greenwood is a case in which police received reports that Greenwood was involved in narcotics trafficking. A warrantless search of the respondents trash developed evidence which corroborated this and led to Greenwood’s arrest, bail, future arrest, and conviction. In this case, the lower courts and the Supreme Court agree that the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the warrantless search and seizure of garbage outside a private residence.
     The court states that the respondent “could have had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the inculpatory items they discarded.” The court states that “Furthermore. . . the police cannot reasonably be expected to avert their eyes from evidence of criminal activity that could have been observed by any member of the public.” Therefore, objects in plain view can not be accorded for under the Fourth Amendment for any reasonable expectation of privacy simply because of the fact that their former owner would discard these items or expose them to public view without any attempt to maintain the privacy of their discarded personal effects. The court argues that the only way in which the Fourth Amendment could provide protection over discarded personal effects would be if the respondent was able to manifest some expectation of privacy that society could find “objectively reasonable,” and while the petitioner and respondent agree, they could not manifest such an expectation.
     These exceptions are indeed consistent with the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure for the previously stated reasons; With regards to open field searches the court finds that the Fourth Amendment only protects the privacy of the individual and their property within a close proximity to the curtilage of their home, and warrantless search of an open field amounts to little more than trespassing rather than a violation of a constitutional right. With regards to the search of objects in plain view, the court has held that objects in plain view have lost any reasonable expectation of privacy simply, and clearly because of the fact that the owner of these personal effects has not afforded the kind of privacy over these effects as society would expect. In California v. Greenwood the Justices clearly states that unless the respondent could manifest some reasonable expectation of privacy for discarded effects that society would find objectively reasonable, than the Fourth Amendment can not and will not protect the privacy of the individual with regards to objects in plain view.
     In the future, one can expect to see an increase in these types of cases simply because with the advancement of technology it is becoming increasingly easier for law enforcement and government to perform more in-depth and thorough types of surveillance without the knowledge of the private citizen. While the same constitutional rights exist for the individual citizen, those rights will be infringed upon at a greater frequency with the advancement of surveillance technologies, and knew precedents will inevitably have to be set by the Supreme Court as these cases are heard, one by one.     The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states that people have the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” but the issue at hand here is whether this also applies to the searches of open fields and of objects in plain view and whether the fourth amendment provides protection over these as well. In order to reaffirm the courts’ decision on this matter I will be relating their decisions in the cases of Oliver v. United States (1984), and California v. Greenwood (1988) which deal directly with the question of whether a person can have reasonable expectations of privacy as provided for in the fourth amendment with regards to objects in an open field or in plain view.
     The differentiation between open fields and private property must be made before one can proceed to form an opinion regarding the constitutionality of a warrantless search of an open field. Oliver v. United States is a case in which police officers, acting on reports from neighbors that a patch of marijuana was being cultivated on the Oliver farm, entered on to private property ignoring “No Trespassing” signs, and on to a secluded open portion of the Oliver property without a warrant, discovered the marijuana patch and then arrested Oliver without an arrest warrant. The Maine Judicial Court held that “No Trespassing” signs posted around the Oliver property “evinced a reasonable expectation of privacy,” and therefore the court held that the “open fields” doctrine was not applicable to the Oliver case.
     Upon hearing the case, the Supreme Court argues that the special protections accorded by the fourth amendment do not extend to open fields. “Open fields do not provide the setting for those intimate activities that the Amendment is intended to shelter from government interference or surveillance.” The court refers to the case of Hester v. United States (1924) which set the precedent for “open field cases” and interprets that case to imply that “an individual may not legitimately demand privacy for activities conducted out of doors in fields, except in the area immediately surrounding the home.” The patch of marijuana being no where near the Oliver home, and in an open field, regardless of its visibility from public access, left the court affirming Oliver v. United States, and reversing the case of Thornton v. Maine, and in essence reaffirming that warrantless searches of open fields are not violations of an individual’s constitutional rights, but are simply acts of common-law trespassing, which the court finds does not exceed the governments need to protect the public from illegal activity which may occur on privately owned open fields, and any expectation of privacy to mask these illegal activities are most definitely not provided for under the constitution.
California v. Greenwood deals with the issue of whether or not the Fourth Amendment prohibits “the warrantless search and seizure of garbage left for collection outside the curtilage of a home.” California v. Greenwood is a case in which police received reports that Greenwood was involved in narcotics trafficking. A warrantless search of the respondents trash developed evidence which corroborated this and led to Greenwood’s arrest, bail, future arrest, and conviction. In this case, the lower courts and the Supreme Court agree that the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the warrantless search and seizure of garbage outside a private residence.
     The court states that the respondent “could have had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the inculpatory items they discarded.” The court states that “Furthermore. . . the police cannot reasonably be expected to avert their eyes from evidence of criminal activity that could have been observed by any member of the public.” Therefore, objects in plain view can not be accorded for under the Fourth Amendment for any reasonable expectation of privacy simply because of the fact that their former owner would discard these items or expose them to public view without any attempt to maintain the privacy of their discarded personal effects. The court argues that the only way in which the Fourth Amendment could provide protection over discarded personal effects would be if the respondent was able to manifest some expectation of privacy that society could find “objectively reasonable,” and while the petitioner and respondent agree, they could not manifest such an expectation.
     These exceptions are indeed consistent with the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure for the previously stated reasons; With regards to open field searches the court finds that the Fourth Amendment only protects the privacy of the individual and their property within a close proximity to the curtilage of their home, and warrantless search of an open field amounts to little more than trespassing rather than a violation of a constitutional right. With regards to the search of objects in plain view, the court has held that objects in plain view have lost any reasonable expectation of privacy simply, and clearly because of the fact that the owner of these personal effects has not afforded the kind of privacy over these effects as society would expect. In California v. Greenwood the Justices clearly states that unless the respondent could manifest some reasonable expectation of privacy for discarded effects that society would find objectively reasonable, than the Fourth Amendment can not and will not protect the privacy of the individual with regards to objects in plain view.
     In the future, one can expect to see an increase in these types of cases simply because with the advancement of technology it is becoming increasingly easier for law enforcement and government to perform more in-depth and thorough types of surveillance without the knowledge of the private citizen. While the same constitutional rights exist for the individual citizen, those rights will be infringed upon at a greater frequency with the advancement of surveillance technologies, and knew precedents will inevitably have to be set by the Supreme Court as these cases are heard, one by one.     The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states that people have the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” but the issue at hand here is whether this also applies to the searches of open fields and of objects in plain view and whether the fourth amendment provides protection over these as well. In order to reaffirm the courts’ decision on this matter I will be relating their decisions in the cases of Oliver v. United States (1984), and California v. Greenwood (1988) which deal directly with the question of whether a person can have reasonable expectations of privacy as provided for in the fourth amendment with regards to objects in an open field or in plain view.
     The differentiation between open fields and private property must be made before one can proceed to form an opinion regarding the constitutionality of a warrantless search of an open field. Oliver v. United States is a case in which police officers, acting on reports from neighbors that a patch of marijuana was being cultivated on the Oliver farm, entered on to private property ignoring “No Trespassing” signs, and on to a secluded open portion of the Oliver property without a warrant, discovered the marijuana patch and then arrested Oliver without an arrest warrant. The Maine Judicial Court held that “No Trespassing” signs posted around the Oliver property “evinced a reasonable expectation of privacy,” and therefore the court held that the “open fields” doctrine was not applicable to the Oliver case.
     Upon hearing the case, the Supreme Court argues that the special protections accorded by the fourth amendment do not extend to open fields. “Open fields do not provide the setting for those intimate activities that the Amendment is intended to shelter from government interference or surveillance.” The court refers to the case of Hester v. United States (1924) which set the precedent for “open field cases” and interprets that case to imply that “an individual may not legitimately demand privacy for activities conducted out of doors in fields, except in the area immediately surrounding the home.” The patch of marijuana being no where near the Oliver home, and in an open field, regardless of its visibility from public access, left the court affirming Oliver v. United States, and reversing the case of Thornton v. Maine, and in essence reaffirming that warrantless searches of open fields are not violations of an individual’s constitutional rights, but are simply acts of common-law trespassing, which the court finds does not exceed the governments need to protect the public from illegal activity which may occur on privately owned open fields, and any expectation of privacy to mask these illegal activities are most definitely not provided for under the constitution.
California v. Greenwood deals with the issue of whether or not the Fourth Amendment prohibits “the warrantless search and seizure of garbage left for collection outside the curtilage of a home.” California v. Greenwood is a case in which police received reports that Greenwood was involved in narcotics trafficking. A warrantless search of the respondents trash developed evidence which corroborated this and led to Greenwood’s arrest, bail, future arrest, and conviction. In this case, the lower courts and the Supreme Court agree that the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the warrantless search and seizure of garbage outside a private residence.
     The court states that the respondent “could have had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the inculpatory items they discarded.” The court states that “Furthermore. . . the police cannot reasonably be expected to avert their eyes from evidence of criminal activity that could have been observed by any member of the public.” Therefore, objects in plain view can not be accorded for under the Fourth Amendment for any reasonable expectation of privacy simply because of the fact that their former owner would discard these items or expose them to public view without any attempt to maintain the privacy of their discarded personal effects. The court argues that the only way in which the Fourth Amendment could provide protection over discarded personal effects would be if the respondent was able to manifest some expectation of privacy that society could find “objectively reasonable,” and while the petitioner and respondent agree, they could not manifest such an expectation.
     These exceptions are indeed consistent with the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure for the previously stated reasons; With regards to open field searches the court finds that the Fourth Amendment only protects the privacy of the individual and their property within a close proximity to the curtilage of their home, and warrantless search of an open field amounts to little more than trespassing rather than a violation of a constitutional right. With regards to the search of objects in plain view, the court has held that objects in plain view have lost any reasonable expectation of privacy simply, and clearly because of the fact that the owner of these personal effects has not afforded the kind of privacy over these effects as society would expect. In California v. Greenwood the Justices clearly states that unless the respondent could manifest some reasonable expectation of privacy for discarded effects that society would find objectively reasonable, than the Fourth Amendment can not and will not protect the privacy of the individual with regards to objects in plain view.
     In the future, one can expect to see an increase in these types of cases simply because with the advancement of technology it is becoming increasingly easier for law enforcement and government to perform more in-depth and thorough types of surveillance without the knowledge of the private citizen. While the same constitutional rights exist for the individual citizen, those rights will be infringed upon at a greater frequency with the advancement of surveillance technologies, and knew precedents will inevitably have to be set by the Supreme Court as these cases are heard, one by one.
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