Florida v. Jardines

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http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-564_5426.pdf :

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

Syllabus

FLORIDA v. JARDINES

CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA

No. 11-564. Argued October 31, 2012--Decided March 26, 2013

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 withthe 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 ofspeaking to its occupants, because that is "no more than any private citizen might do." Kentucky v. King, 563 U. S. ___, ___. But the scopeof 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 curtilagesimply 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.

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This page contains a single entry by Kris Kirby published on March 29, 2013 6:20 AM.

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