Tuesday, October 15, 2013

California v. Greenwood

Case Name: California v. Greenwood

Year: 1988

Result: 6-2, favor California

Related Constitutional Issue/Amendment: Amendment IV, Search and Seizure

Civil Rights or Civil Liberties: Civil Liberties

Significance/Precedent: Greenwood did not think the police should have been able to search the trash on his curb without a warrant. They did and then searched his house because they found drugs. This Supreme Court ruling expanded the police's right to search what they consider to be public spaces without a search warrant.

Quote from Majority Opinion: "An expectation of privacy does not give rise to Fourth Amendment protection, however, unless society is prepared to accept that expectation as objectively reasonable."  

Summary of Dissent: The dissent believed that searching the garbage bags without a warrant violated Greenwood's right to privacy.
Quote: "Thus, as the Court observes, if Greenwood had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the bags that he placed on the curb would remain private, the warrantless search of those bags violated the Fourth Amendment."

Six-word Summary: Expectations of privacy are not reality

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