Open fields doctrine essay

How to Write a Summary of an Article? The Owyhee Mountains fill the west portion of Owyhee County. From the Mud Flat road, a person enters the Mud Flat through the locked gate or through another, unlocked, gate.

Open fields doctrine essay

In each of these consolidated cases, police officers, ignoring clearly visible "No Trespassing" signs, entered upon private land in search of evidence of a crime.

Open fields doctrine essay

At a spot that could [p] not be seen from any vantage point accessible to the public, the police discovered contraband, which was subsequently used to incriminate the owner of the land.

In neither case did the police have a warrant authorizing their activities. The Court holds that police conduct of this sort does not constitute an "unreasonable search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.

The Court reaches that startling conclusion Open fields doctrine essay two independent analytical routes. First, the Court argues that, because the Fourth Amendment, by its terms, renders people secure in their "persons, houses, papers, and effects," it is inapplicable to trespasses upon land not lying within the curtilage of a dwelling.

Second, the Court contends that "an individual may not legitimately demand privacy for activities conducted out of doors in fields, except in the area immediately surrounding the home. Because I cannot agree with either of these propositions, I dissent.

I The first ground on which the Court rests its decision is that the Fourth Amendment "indicates with some precision the places and things encompassed by its protections," and that real property is not included in the list of protected spaces and possessions.

This line of argument has several flaws. Most obviously, it is inconsistent with the results of many of our previous decisions, none of which the Court purports to overrule.

For example, neither a public telephone booth Open fields doctrine essay a conversation conducted therein can fairly be described as a person, house, paper, or effect, [n1] yet we have held that the Fourth Amendment forbids the police without a warrant to eavesdrop on such a conversation. United States, U.

Nor can it plausibly [p] be argued that an office or commercial establishment is covered by the plain language of the Amendment; yet we have held that such premises are entitled to constitutional protection if they are marked in a fashion that alerts the public to the fact that they are private.

The Court rules that the curtilage, a zone of real property surrounding a dwelling, is entitled to constitutional protection. We are not told, however, whether the curtilage is a "house" or an "effect" -- or why, if the curtilage can be incorporated into the list of things and spaces shielded by the Amendment, a field cannot.

The Court's inability to reconcile its parsimonious reading of the phrase "persons, houses, papers, and effects" with our prior decisions, or even its own holding, is a symptom of a more fundamental infirmity in the Court's reasoning.

The Fourth Amendment, like the other central provisions of the Bill of Rights that loom large in our modern jurisprudence, was designed not to prescribe with "precision" permissible and impermissible activities, but to identify a fundamental human liberty that should be shielded forever from government intrusion.

That freedom would be incompletely protected if only government conduct that impinged upon a person, house, paper, or effect were subject to constitutional scrutiny. Accordingly, we have repudiated the proposition that the Fourth Amendment applies only to a limited set of locales or kinds of property.

United States, we expressly rejected a proffered locational theory of the coverage of the Amendment, holding that it "protects people, not places. Since that time, we have consistently adhered [p] to the view that the applicability of the provision depends solely upon whether the person invoking its protection can claim a "justifiable," a "reasonable," or a "legitimate expectation of privacy" that has been invaded by government action.

Open fields doctrine essay

But the Court's conclusion cannot withstand scrutiny. As the Court acknowledges, we have traditionally looked to a variety of factors in determining whether an expectation of privacy asserted in a physical space is "reasonable.

Though those factors do not lend themselves to precise taxonomy, they may be roughly grouped into three categories.

First, we consider whether the expectation at issue is rooted in entitlements defined by positive law. Second, we consider the nature of the uses to which spaces of the sort in question can be put. Third, we consider whether the person claiming a privacy interest manifested that interest to the public in a way that most people would understand and respect.

A We have frequently acknowledged that privacy interests are not coterminous with property rights. However, because property rights reflect society's explicit recognition [p] of a person's authority to act as he wishes in certain areas, [they] should be considered in determining whether an individual's expectations of privacy are reasonable.

That fact alone provides considerable support for their assertion of legitimate privacy interests in their woods and fields. But even more telling is the nature of the sanctions that Oliver and Thornton could invoke, under local law, for violation of their property rights.

In Kentucky, a knowing entry upon fenced or otherwise enclosed land, or upon unenclosed land conspicuously posted with signs excluding the public, constitutes criminal trespass.

The law in Maine is similar. An intrusion into any place from [p] which [the intruder] may lawfully be excluded and which is posted in a manner prescribed by law or in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders or which is fenced or otherwise enclosed is a crime.

Under these circumstances, it is hard to credit the Court's assertion that Oliver's and Thornton's expectations of privacy were not of a sort that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable. B The uses to which a place is put are highly relevant to the assessment of a privacy interest asserted therein.

If, in light of our shared sensibilities, those activities are of a kind in which people should be able to engage without fear of intrusion by private persons or government officials, we extend the protection of the Fourth Amendment to the space in question, even in the absence of any entitlement derived from positive law.

Many landowners like to take solitary walks on their property, confident that they will not be confronted in their rambles by strangers or policemen. Others conduct agricultural businesses on their property.In the case where Officer Nelson seized the drugs, the doctrine of open fields applies.

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Doctrine of Open Fields is another exemption from the general requirement of search warrant, probable cause, or even legal justification (Ferdico, , p. ). CRIMINAL PROCEDURE-OLIVER AND THE OPEN FIELDS DOCTRINE-Oliver v. United States, -U.S.

-, S. Ct. (). INTRODUCTION In recent years, uncertainty has arisen concerning the vitality. The historical underpinnings of the open fields doctrine also demonstrate that the doctrine is consistent with respect for "reasonable expectations of privacy." As Justice Holmes, writing for the Court, observed in Hester, U.S.

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at 59, the common law distinguished "open fields" from the "curtilage," the land immediately surrounding and. The open fields doctrine holds that items in open fields are not protected by the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures, so they can properly be taken by an officer without a warrant or probable cause (Criminal Procedure: Law and Practice ).

Open Fields Doctrine One of the exceptions to the search and seizure law which enables police officers to conduct warrantless search and seizure proceedings, especially in criminal cases, is . Excerpt from Research Paper: Open Field Doctrine The Fourth Amendment is one of the most important and hotly contested and debated amendment within the Bill of Rights to the United State Constitution.

Many people focus on the First and Second amendment.

Plain View/ Open Fields Case Study , Sample of Research papers