Skip to comments.Supreme Court Says It's Illegal For A Police Drug Dog To Sniff Your Porch
Posted on 03/26/2013 9:39:18 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies
The Supreme Court has ruled that police use of a drug-sniffing dog on a homeowner's porch is a violation of the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. [...]
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Because a cop can, intentionally or unintentionally, cause a dog to give a false positive, the use of a dog should not be sufficient evidenct to enter without a warrant. The court did well here.
Score one for the Constitution.
What about the F’ing police dogs with wings in the skies?
So when will they rule that cops have no right to chase people into their homes for the act of photographing them in public?
Scalia wrote the per curiam opinion.
Scalia, Thomas, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor for; Alito, Roberts, Kennedy, and Breyer against.
Yep, but we've a long way to go.
Porch is curtilage.
Shouldn’t have even been a question about the warrant requirement.
Bringing the dog onto the property is a search.
OTOH, there were some grow operations that I could smell from three doors down. Didn’t need a dog, but I still went and got a warrant.
How ‘bout the dogs at the border. When they hit on a vehicle the feds often literally dismantle the thing into a pile of scrap. I wonder what the ‘false positive’ rate is there. The dogs are very very good at their job, much better than Napolitano for sure.
Don’t I know it! Have a good day!
Cops routinely misuse police dogs in all sorts of situations as a pretext for further intrusions. I don’t buy the Dr. Dolittle routine.
Good decision, especially now that the police state is booming.
"According to the Court, ho wever, the police officer in this case, Detective Bartelt, committed a trespass because he was accompanied during his otherwise lawful visit to the front door of respondents house by his dog, Franky. Where is the authority evidencing such a rule? Dogs have been domesticated for about 12,000 years; they were ubiquitous in both this country and Britain at the time of the adoption of the Fourth Amendment; and their acute sense of smell has been used in law enforcement for centuries. Yet the Court has been unable to find a single casefrom the United States or any other common-law nationthat supports the rule on which its decision is based. Thus, trespass law provides no support for the Courts holding today."
Not surprised that Roberts would support such action, but Alito? That caught me offguard.
IOW, using the dogs to sniff was the equivalent of a cop walking up to the window and doing the “peeping tom” thing.
Scalia and Thomas respect the Constitution. I’m never sure about any of the others. Sometimes it works out OK.
Interesting breakdown of the votes:
Majority (Supporters of 4th Amendment)- Scalia, Thomas, Sotomayor, Ginsberg, Kagan
Dissent - Alito, Kennedy, Breyer, Benedict Roberts.
With this vote, after his Obamacare vote, Roberts is turning out to be a total disaster.
They won't because the city is going to write a big check before the case goes to trial.
I would think this ruling might set a precedent for future rulings on searches/spying by drones, or at least give an inidcation on where the current Supreme Court members might stand on the issue.
This was a real eye opener to me.
And I have not touched weed since 1977.
I can see both sides of the argument, but since the Bill of Rights is a constraint on government that was a condition for the adoption of the Constitution, I think it good that we set some pretty high barriers to government action. Good call by the Court.
Except when Scalia is putting Wickard v Filburn on steroids to fight the demon weed: "Where necessary to make a regulation of interstate commerce effective, Congress may regulate even those intrastate activities that do not themselves substantially affect interstate commerce." - GONZALES V. RAICH (03-1454) 545 U.S. 1 (2005) (concurring)
What if it's just one of those things dogs do?
No, he put it where it belonged, in the unlawful search category vice a trespass issue. The former requires a warrant or at least reasonable suspicion/probable cause which is much more specific than a simple matter of trespass.
In my mind, bringing a police dog on to my property is a de facto search. They exist for specific reasons, attack/hold, search. A dog in the control of a LEO is either a weapon or a search device, nothing more, nothing less. A cop and a dog standing on the right of way are fine, step on to my property/within my curtilage, and you’d better have a warrant! The dog exists for no other purpose. Police don’t get to bring Fuzzy the pet along for personal comfort.
Scalia’s vote on South Dakota v Dole was bad too.
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Another day and proof positive the ultra inferior, not supreme, court proves once again they are nothing but political hacks.
Now before you go and attack me because you agree with the decision please note SO DO I.
5-4 decision. Just how inferior are these black robed morons that there seem to be 4 who can never agree what a very short document with back up in the form of the Federalist papers, means when it comes to REQUIRING a warrant?
All it will take is for one more of these morons to retire and the NAPA in the White Hut to appoint another traitor to the constitution.
The 4 who voted against this should be immediately removed, tried for treason, and receive the proper penalty for said treason.
How much longer are we going to allow the government to erode the rights WE DID NOT give them?
We allowed them to conduct warrantless searches in airports, train stations, government buildings so they INFRINGED on the 4th Amendment and we did nothing.
This decision is simply a bump in the road for this government until the NAPA in the White House can tilt the court towards communism.
“The dogs are very very good at their job, much better than Napolitano for sure.”
Then why is it not illegal for a police drug dog to sniff your car?
Could have been the “fake” stuff you burn to educate people what it smells like instead of the real thing . How did you know ?
They also “illegally” sniff your ass when you go through customs.
Decades ago when I was still enlisted I was in my barracks room on a day off. It was around noon and I was making a ham and cheese sandwich at my desk.
Law Enforcement came through the barracks with the drug dog and it went nuts at my door. The cop encouraged the dog to enter and it came over to me. The cop tried to get the dog to sniff around and give the "alert" again but it had smelled the ham and placed his head on my leg and begged me for a bite.
I guess that would be a false positive.
Not from the dog's point of view.
I think if it’s true a cop can on purpose or unintentionally cause a dog to give a false positive, they should NEVER be able to use them without a warrant, ANYWHERE.
We’ve all known they can do this with their dogs and there is an incredible harassment power with it. Do not think the power has not been abused, or that it won’t be worse in the future. And there are plenty of cops who aren’t above planting a baggie somewhere then the dog “finds” it. And there goes your freedom, vehicle, and you’re done.
He’s more than a search tool. You don’t get “murdering an officer” for destroying a search tool. Cops get nothing done to them for using the dog “search tool” incorrectly either.
I’m glad to see the precedent set now, because in another few years the police will be able to fly a humming bird size drone complete with microphone, infrared, thermal and night vision camera right up to your windows and watch what your doing.
That’s a really odd combination of justices on both sides.
IMHO the ruling was too narrow. They should have ruled that it isn't only illegal for a police dog to sniff your porch but to hump your leg as well..........
That is an excellent summary. The purpose of the police dog is very clear. There can be no question that it is a pet.
The original paper: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10071-010-0373-2/fulltext.html (amusing discussion of same at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-backroom/2991974/posts?page=114#114 and following)
What a handsome boy.
A border inspection doesn’t require any level of suspicion. They are using dogs to screen which vehicle they choose to search. Having a clean car dismantled is a raw deal, but a lot of times these days they will run it through a back scatter X-ray first.
When someone files a suit against a Law Enforcement Agency that does this.