Curtilage? (Open Thread)

© Miri WTPOTUS March 27, 2013

Crowing_pains-PD_Looney_Tunes-_barnyard_dawg_-_George_P._Dog - Copy

So this morning I read about a recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States: [emphasis added]

The Supreme Court ruled … that police cannot bring drug-sniffing police dogs onto a suspect’s property to look for evidence without first getting a warrant for a search, a decision which may limit how investigators use dogs’ sensitive noses to search out drugs, explosives and other items hidden from human sight, sound and smell.

The high court split 5-4 on the decision to uphold the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling throwing out evidence seized in the search of Joelis Jardines’ Miami-area house. That search was based on an alert by Franky the drug dog from outside the closed front door. 

Justice Antonin Scalia said … 

The police cannot, without a warrant based on probable cause, hang around on the lawn or in the side garden, trawling for evidence and perhaps peering into the windows of the home,” Justice Antonin Scalia said for the majority. “And the officers here had all four of their feet and all four of their companion’s, planted firmly on that curtilage — the front porch is the classic example of an area intimately associated with the life of the home.”

He was joined in his opinion by Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

What’s this curtilage, we wondered, Precious?

The area, usually enclosed, encompassing the grounds and buildings immediately surrounding a home that is used in the daily activities of domestic life.

A garage, barn, smokehouse, chicken house, and garden are curtilage if their locations are reasonably near to the home. The determination of what constitutes curtilage is important for purposes of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures of a person and of his or her home or property. Courts have construed the word home to include curtilage so that a person is protected against unlawful searches and seizures of his or her curtilage.

Having in mind our recent concern over aerial drones, especially miniature ones, we then wondered, Precious, whether the authorities can use the air space around our homes, over our property, to spy on our curtilage.  California v. Ciraolo appears to state that they cannot: [emphasis added]

… Santa Clara Police received an anonymous telephone tip that marijuana was growing in respondent’s backyard. Police were unable to observe the contents of respondent’s yard from ground level because of a 6-foot outer fence and a 10-foot inner fence completely enclosing the yard. Later that day, Officer Shutz, who was assigned to investigate, secured a private plane and flew over respondent’s house at an altitude of 1,000 feet, within navigable airspace … From the overflight, the officers readily identified marijuana plants … they photographed the area with a standard 35mm camera. 

… Officer Shutz obtained a search warrant on the basis of an affidavit describing the anonymous tip and their observations; a photograph depicting respondent’s house, the backyard, and neighboring homes was attached to the affidavit as an exhibit. The warrant was … executed the next day, and 73 plants were seized; it is not disputed that these were marijuana.

After the trial court denied respondent’s motion to suppress the evidence of the search, respondent pleaded guilty to a charge of cultivation of marijuana. The California Court of Appeal reversed, however, on the ground that the warrantless aerial observation of respondent’s yard which led to the issuance of the warrant violated the Fourth Amendment. 161 Cal.App.3d 1081, 208 Cal.Rptr. 93 (1984). That court held first that respondent’s backyard marijuana garden was within the “curtilage” of his home, under Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170 (1984). The court emphasized that the height and existence of the two fences constituted “objective criteria from which we may conclude he manifested a reasonable expectation of privacy by any standard.” 161 Cal.App.3d at 1089, 208 Cal.Rptr. at 97.

…  the court then found it “significant” that the flyover was not the result of a routine patrol conducted for any other legitimate law enforcement or public safety objective, but was undertaken for the specific purpose of observing this particular enclosure within [respondent’s] curtilage.

Now, I’m no lawyer and there are likely many other cases pertinent to the issue of air space and use thereof to observe us as we go about our business in our own curtilage.  However, it’s comforting to know that there ARE precedents, which can be used to protect our right to be free from spying aerial drones.


139 responses to “Curtilage? (Open Thread)

    • Sure they did. They requested it last year, too, under the guise of concern for their safety. They had something like 2 SS agents per “student”. imho, it’s a “vital news interest” because of sequestration.

  1. Zullo on next.

    • Member of SEAL Team 6 killed, another SEAL injured in parachute accident

      A Navy SEAL from the elite SEAL TEAM 6 was killed and another SEAL injured Thursday night during a parachute training accident in Marana, Arizona, the military said. Details of the accident are not immediately available.

      One SEAL was pronounced dead on arrival at the University of Arizona Hospital after the accident near Pinal Airpark. The second remains hospitalized in stable condition.

      The deceased SEAL was identified as Special Warfare Operator Chief Brett D. Shadle, 31, the Naval Special Warfare Command announced. A resident of Elizabethville, Pa., Shadle was assigned to a Naval Special Warfare unit based on the East Coast.

      Members of SEAL TEAM 6 carried out the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. All SEAL teams receive extensive parachute training, which is often required for hostage rescue or anti-terrorist operations.

      The name of the second SEALS injured in the training mishap has not been released. He remained in stable condition on Saturday. The incident is under investigation.”

      Nothing to see here, folks. MOVE ON. Just another coinkidink. No organized “hit” going on as retribution or jihad or whatever.

  2. GORDO…. thanks…. what a GOOD FRIDAY!!!!! YES … pass the
    word… Money talks…. but we must get it in the right hands…..
    DONATE…BIG (2 our donut fund) funny….
    25 Red States + need to hear what they have.. Pushing the TRUTH!!

  3. Rosemary Woodhouse

    And that’s a post ^^^ to which I can add my amen.

    • Rosemary Woodhouse

      ^^^ re: the LC post. When she’s spot on shes….spot on.

    • “They believe America was a terror state in making wars, bombing people and jailing terrorists under George W. Bush. They believe America is a righteous state in making three times the wars, bombing three times the people and jailing three times the terrorists under Barack Hussein Obama.

      They believe in confiscating firearms for defense, but liberating criminals to commit crimes.”

      That’s just a good part of a great post. Spot on, LC!

  4. What a CROCK….. FREE-SPEECH….$$$$$ We don’t think SO!
    Dr CARLSON….. is banned…. say what?

  5. this is from AT So TRUE….SO TRUE!!!! story will follow…

    Here, a word of caution to the gay marriage enthusiasts: the Democratic Party is prepared to give you same-sex marriage gift-wrapped and with a pretty bow on it. This is the same party that, in addition to locking up the gay vote, is also trying to solidify their grip on the Muslim vote, going so far as to speak deferentially about sharia law. Ask yourself: how secure would gays be under sharia law? Should any community in our country ever come under the control of that uncompromising agenda, you will soon find yourself wishing for the good old days when traditionalists and Christians were willing to respect your right to be you and to leave you alone, even if they didn’t go so far as to embrace same-sex marriage.

    • That’s bizarre, isn’t it? Going by the lying liars in the lamestream and the poll-taking organizations, we in the US are now to the LEFT of Russia and France!

  6. What a great time to have Obummbles, Ketsup Kerry and Chuckie Hagel in office. 🙄

    • Do they compete in synchronized swimming? They seem to have synchrony down pat. WWBD? What will Barry do? Huh? Capitulate?

  7. Nonetheless, biology dictates. As I wrote last year for American Thinker:

    Marriage and parenting aren’t invented, but evolved institutions. They evolved from human nature, from millions of years of human (and before that hominid) adaptations to the environment. Heterosexual marriage and parenting are conformities to nature; they are time-tested as the most efficacious ways to nurture children to adulthood.

    • Yes, and there’s just one instance where the leftists DO NOT BELIEVE IN SCIENCE.

    • I of course am against GAY Marriage…it will do no good and no good can come from it. But, here’s an idea…let’s require a sex change operation for gay couples, at their expense of course, then they will fit neatly into the requirement as man and woman…..problem solved! Or maybe Monsanto can divise a genetically modified food that will reconcile the problem till genetically all gay couple wishing to get married will genetically actually be legally male or female …..I mean we’re almost there anyway aren’t we? If Monsanto sees another market for their pervers activities, the’ll jump to meet the demand, they might even help persuade the supreme court to make it law that unless they’ve visited one of Monsanto’s Gay Wedding Planner’s outlets, they can’t get married.

  8. Here’s the article from above / Ted Olson’s FAULTY Polygamy rant …

  9. RUSH Limbaugh…. You’d think God had Spoken ….. say what????

  10. Vote Holds firm in Africa ….

    Kenya court upholds Uhuru Kenyatta’s poll win
    Supporters of runner-up Raila Odinga protest court decision that said March 4 presidential polls were fair and credible.

  11. Will this be the case that brings Obama down? Prayers for Judge Roy Moore!

    Obama eligibility appeal in Roy Moore’s court
    Newly elected state chief justice has expressed doubt about qualification
    March 30, 2013 Snip

    Many cases challenging Barack Obama’s presidential eligibility have come and gone, but now an appeal has been filed with a state Supreme Court led by a newly elected chief justice who has expressed doubt about Obama’s qualification for office.

    Roy Moore was elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court last November, a decade after he defied a federal order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building.

    Now, 2012 Constitution Party presidential nominee Virgil Goode and Alabama Republican Party leader Hugh McInnish are asking the state’s highest court to force Secretary of State Beth Chapman to verify that all candidates on the state’s 2012 ballot were eligible to serve. Attorney Larry Klayman, founder of the Washington, D.C.-watch dog Judicial Watch and now head of Freedom Watch, filed the appeal Tuesday with the Alabama Supreme Court, asking for oral arguments. “We are hopeful that Chief Justice Moore and the rest of the jurists on the Alabama Supreme Court will follow the law,” Klayman told WND.
    The complaint argues Chapman failed her constitutional duty as secretary of state to verify the eligibility of candidates.

    Moore is on the record questioning Obama’s eligibility.

    In an interview with WND in 2010, he defended Lt. Col Terrence Lakin’s demand that President Obama prove his eligibility as commander in chief as a condition of obeying deployment orders. Moore said he had seen no convincing evidence that Obama is a natural-born citizen and much evidence that suggests he is not. Moore said Lakin “not only has a right to follow his personal convictions under the Constitution, he has a duty.”“And if the authority running the efforts of the war is not a citizen in violation of the Constitution, the order is unlawful,” he said.

  12. Beckwith at “The Obama File”:

    “Bullies: How the Left’s culture of fear and intimidation silences America”

    “Jamie Glazov says Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Ben Shapiro, an attorney and writer and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is the author of the new book, Bullies: How The Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America.

    FP: Ben Shapiro, welcome to Frontpage Interview and congratulations on your new book.

    FP: How can we fight back? What can we do to make a change? As you reveal in your book, Andrew Breitbart had some of the best ideas and tactics in this regard, yes?

    Shapiro: Andrew was a warrior. He recognized that if we’re going to win, we have to walk toward the fire. The left will attack us no matter what. We have to embrace that and tell them that their slings and arrows mean nothing. When they call us racist, sexist bigots, they have no arguments — they are showing their weakness. All we have to do is turn those arguments back on them. If they lie about us, we will tell the truth about them. …

    FP: Final thoughts?

    Shapiro: We cannot win unless we see this as a war. The left does. We’ve seen this as a hobby, because we always figured that the status quo of capitalism and family values would carry the day. That’s no longer the status quo. William F. Buckley famously said that it was our job to stand athwart the rails of history yelling stop. That’s no longer true. The train ran us over awhile back. Now it’s our job to get another train — a bigger train — and run it down those tracks at higher speed. We have to derail the left’s agenda, and then push the country back in the right direction.”
    “Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro: We’re Going to Vet Obama Except His Forged Selective Service Registration and Forged Birth Certificate”

    • What the heck with ‘vetting’. He is no longer being considered for something. Now it is “expose’. Vetting for what? His third term?

  13. Know thy Enemy …. the “Morning Star King” Kim Jong Un…
    Skip thru … some important trates are explained…. “food for fighting”

  14. Texas …. killings…. Massive Manhunt…
    3 down….. graveyard DEAD!!!!! ???

    • “… The only law enforcement entity which has investigated is the Cold Case Posse and they have concluded that birth certificate fraud and forgery, selective service fraud and forgery, and social security number fraud have taken place. With the help of those government agencies. And this is why I got involved in this issue publicly. This is NOT just rogue Obama people tricking the public. We’re talking about GOVERNMENT ENTITIES AT LOCAL, STATE, And FEDERAL LEVELS not only covering up Obama’s crimes but COMMITTING CRIMES THEMSELVES to aid and abet him in deceiving the American public.

      And we’ve got one of the R Presidential primary candidates (overheard by Larry Sellin) saying that nobody will touch the eligibility issue because they know it goes WAY deeper than anybody wants to delve. IOW, we’ve got Congress refusing to do anything about it because they know it is treachery and they are afraid to find out how deep the treachery goes. We already know it stretches through all levels of US government; to get any deeper it has to go into foreign elements… Like, maybe, the Saudi prince who funded Obama’s Harvard degree – which he only used for the 2 planks of the Cloward-Piven Plan to destroy America from within.

      Or like, maybe, the world Islamists that Ghadaffi publicly said had contributed to Obama’s campaign – and which Obama felt the need to beg for patience from just a year after taking office, when he privately told the Egyptian ambassador that the Muslim world needed to be patient with him while he got Obamacare passed and then he would focus on the Muslim agenda, which he supports because he was and still is a Muslim. …”

    • from comment at butterdezillion’s: “This comment is from this youtube video here Sheriff Joe Arpaio; Obama’s Fraudulent Identity Documents Violation of Law

      Karen Page 20 hours ago

      The laws of the State of Hawaii explicitly forbid the Hawaiian Dept. of Health from issuing .pdf images of vital records. Furthermore, federal law prohibits the reproduction of vital records in digital (.pdf) image format. The very presence of a .pdf image of Obama’s birth certificate, by default, means that a crime has been committed because the Hawaiian Dept. of Health DID NOT authorize or issue the .pdf version. A forger created it. Only brainless Obots don’t understand this.

      Is this true?”

      From comments at YouTube:

      ” Karen Page 1 day ago

      If you are looking at a .pdf image of a vital record alleged to have been issued by the state of Hawaii, a crime has been committed. The laws of the State of Hawaii do not permit the issuance or reproduction of vital records in .pdf format. The fact that a .pdf image of Obama’s alleged BC has been publicly displayed is an indication that a crime has been committed. The evidence is plainly displayed at for anyone with a pulse to witness.”

      butterdezillion’s response:

      “I don’t know of any place that the HI statues forbid the HDOH from issuing pdf images of vital records. CERTIFIED COPIES of vital records have to be on paper, though, because the certification itself involves prescribed paper with prescribed authenticating marks including a raised (3D) seal.

      If federal law prohibits the reproduction of vital records in digital image formats, then nearly all of the states are in violation of that, because they have the scans of vital records stored on WORM (write once, read many) discs so that paper copies of the originals can be made and certified. In 1976 Hawaii’s HDOH Administrative Rules were altered to include the allowance of electronic means for issuing ABBREVIATED certificates (the computerized printouts). I can’t remember what year DAGS came up with their requirements for digital records storage.

      The Administrative Rules say that standard (long-form) copies must be made by typewriter, microfilm reproduction, or photocopy reproduction. Abbreviated (short-form) copies are allowed to be computer printouts. I’m not sure if a scan would count as photocopy, or as a computer printout. The WORM format is supposed to make the copying process secure, unable to be tampered with, so that it is the electronic version of a microfilm. [So this seems to indicate that Barry’s so-called LFCOLB cannot be authentic BECAUSE it’s NOT a copy from microfilm reproduction–it’s modified; it’s not a true copy.]

      If federal law prohibits individuals from making PDF’s of their vital records then I am in violation of the law, because I’ve posted posts here that contain scans from my family’s vital records and to post it I had to have it in PDF format.”

  15. EXPOSURE….. as ~ PPSimmons ~ Carl Gallups ~ Lt. Mike Zullo..

    TALK & TALK & TALK ~ disclosing NEW info.. in the FRAUD CASE

    Against ~ “BABY BARRY”…. the EXPOSURE….. is getting 2 them!!!

  16. “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”…Barack Obama

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