Friday, April 5, 2013

Florida v. Jardines

     In the Florida v. Jardines case, an anonymous call was made to the Miami-Dade crime stoppers tip-line that there might be marijuana being grown inside the house next to them. So about a month later the Miami-Dade police department and DEA arrived at the house at 7am with a drug dog. After the drug dog confirmed that marijuana was being grown inside the house, the detectives filed for a search warrant and got one about an hour later. So they went back to the house and went inside that marijuana was being grown and arrested Joelis Jardines. Jardines' motion to suppress evidence that was obtained from his home was granted by the court. Jardine was trying to claim that what the police did was an intrusion of his home since they used the dog to search the house before they had a warrant. The government's use of trained police dogs to investigate the home and its immediate surroundings is a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, and Supreme Court of Florida affirmed that.

     "Justice Scalia's majority opinion, joined by Justices Kagan, Thomas, Ginsburg and Sotomayor, did not focus on the right to privacy, which is implicated by most modern-day Fourth Amendment cases. Rather, the decision hinged on the basis of a citizen's property rights. It followed the 2012 precedent from United States v. Jones, that when police physically intrude on persons, houses, papers, or effects for the purpose of obtaining information, "a 'search' within the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment" has "undoubtedly occurred." At the "very core" of the Fourth Amendment, the Court said, stands "the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion." The area "immediately surrounding and associated with the home" — the curtilage — is "part of the home itself for Fourth Amendment purposes." Scalia cited case law as far back as 1765, from Entick v. Carrington, a case before England's Court of King's Bench, quoting, "[O]ur law holds the property of every man so sacred, that no man can set his foot upon his neighbor's close without his leave."

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