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K-9 Tactics - Criminal Justice and Emergency Service Professionals
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Criminal Justice & Emergency Services
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K-9 Tactics - Criminal Justice and Emergency Service Professionals

U.S. SUPREME COURT RULES
IN FLORIDA v. JARDINES

On March 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of Florida v. Jardines:

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 with the 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 neighbor'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 of speaking to its occupants, because that is "no more than any private FLORIDA v. JARDINES Syllabus citizen might do." Kentucky v. King, 563 U. S. ___, ___. But the scope of 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 curtilage simply 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.

Read the full text opinion here:
Florida v. Jardines Opinion


U.S. SUPREME COURT RULES
IN FLORIDA v. HARRIS

On February 19, 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of Florida v. Harris:

Held: Because training and testing records supported Aldo's reliability in detecting drugs and Harris failed to undermine that evidence, Wheetley had probable cause to search Harris's truck. Pp. 5–11.

(a) In testing whether an officer has probable cause to conduct a search, all that is required is the kind of "fair probability” on which "reasonable and prudent [people] act." Illinois v. Gates, 462 U. S. 213, 235. To evaluate whether the State has met this practical and commonsensical standard, this Court has consistently looked to the totality of the circumstances and rejected rigid rules, bright-line tests, and mechanistic inquiries. Ibid.

(b) The record in this case amply supported the trial court's determination that Aldo's alert gave Wheetley probable cause to search the truck.

Because training records established Aldo's reliability in detecting drugs and Harris failed to undermine that showing, we agree with the trial court that Wheetley had probable cause to search Harris's truck. We accordingly reverse the judgment of the Florida Supreme Court.

Read the full text opinion here:
www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-817_5if6.pdf


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