Final Exam Notes
March 30, 2017
th th th
4 Amendment Exemptions- where the 4 amendment simply does not apply whereas 4
amendment exceptions allow the police to at least do something.
- Plain View: if a police officer is lawfully present and they see something, seen as
contraband, they can seize it.
- Open Fields: covers searches that can occur in places that are neither open nor fields.
Open fields is everything that is not curtilage.
o Hester vs. U.S. (1924)
▪ First case to say that the curtilage is protected in some way, there was no
o U.S. vs. Dunn (1987)
▪ Court defines curtilage.
▪ When there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in an area, then it is in
the curtilage. How do we define what this area is? The Dunn Test.
o Oliver vs. U.S. (1984)
▪ Made the point that there is no magic number. The distance alone is not
enough to say if something is curtilage.
o California vs. Civaolo (1986)
o Kyllo vs. U.S. (2001)
o Common Law- Curtilage: the protection that you have in your home is more than
just your house. It also includes the area immediately surrounding the house
(close to it). Can include the following:
▪ Out buildings- buildings not connected to the house.
▪ Fenced areas: fenced areas alone are not enough to say that something is
• Easement: sidewalk in front of your house is your property but you
can’t tell people they can’t walk there and you can’t block it off.
o The city has a right to let the public use it.
▪ Common areas
▪ Aerial view
▪ Locked gate and no trespassing signs- what is the police think that
someone is growing pot in their locked fence with no trespassing signs and
they go over the fence and find the pot and charge you? Is that evidence
and did they violate the fourth amendment? No. The fourth amendment
didn’t apply. Even though there was a fence, is was not part of the
curtilage because of how it was being used.
o Today- Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
- Abandoned property Dunn Test: Kind of like totality of the circumstances. Take all four parts and put them together.
- Proximity: closer something is to the house the more likely it is to be considered in the
- Enclosure: if the area is inside an enclosure that also includes the house. Ex. House on
corner of street and have a white picket fence around, more likely to be considered
- What steps have been taken to conceal the area to prevent people from coming into your
- Nature/use of area: what is the area used for? “Are there intimate activities associated
with domestic life?”- what the court said. If there are intimate activities associated with
domestic life, more likely to be curtilage.
Abandoned Property- if it is abandoned there is no 4 amendment protection.
- California vs. Greenwood (1988)
o If the trash is still on your propert