543 U.S. 405 (2005), 03-923, Illinois v. Caballes

Docket NºNo. 03-923
Citation543 U.S. 405, 125 S.Ct. 834, 160 L.Ed.2d 842, 73 U.S.L.W. 4111
Party NameILLINOIS, Petitioner, v. Roy I. CABALLES.
Case DateJanuary 24, 2005
CourtUnited States Supreme Court

Page 405

543 U.S. 405 (2005)

125 S.Ct. 834, 160 L.Ed.2d 842, 73 U.S.L.W. 4111

ILLINOIS, Petitioner,

v.

Roy I. CABALLES.

No. 03-923

United States Supreme Court

January 24, 2005

Argued November 10, 2004.

CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS

[125 S.Ct. 835] Syllabus [*]

After an Illinois state trooper stopped respondent for speeding and radioed in, a second trooper, overhearing the transmission, drove to the scene with his narcotics-detection dog and walked the dog around [125 S.Ct. 836] respondent's car while the first trooper wrote respondent a warning ticket. When the dog alerted at respondent's trunk, the officers searched the trunk, found marijuana, and arrested respondent. At respondent's drug trial, the court denied his motion to suppress the seized evidence, holding, inter alia, that the dog's alerting provided sufficient probable cause to conduct the search. Respondent was convicted, but the Illinois Supreme Court reversed, finding that because there were no specific and articulable facts to suggest drug activity, use of the dog unjustifiably enlarged a routine traffic stop into a drug investigation.

Held:

A dog sniff conducted during a concededly lawful traffic stop that reveals no information other than the location of a substance that no individual has any right to possess does not violate the Fourth Amendment. Pp. 837-838.

207 Ill.2d 504, 280 Ill.Dec. 277, 802 N.E.2d 202, vacated and remanded.

STEVENS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which O'CONNOR, SCALIA, KENNEDY, THOMAS, and BREYER, JJ., joined. SOUTER, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 838. GINSBURG, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SOUTER, J., joined, post, p. 843. REHNQUIST, C. J., took no part in the decision of the case.

COUNSEL

Christopher A. Wray, for the United States as amicus curiae, by special leave of the Court, supporting the petitioner.

Lisa Madigan, Attorney General of Illinois, Gary Feinerman, Counsel of Record, Solicitor General, Linda D. Woloshin, Mary Fleming, Assistant Attorneys General, Chicago, IL, for petitioner.

Ralph E. Meczyk, Counsel of Record, Lawrence H. Hyman, Chicago, IL, for respondent.

OPINION

STEVENS, Justice.

Page 406

Illinois State Trooper Daniel Gillette stopped respondent for speeding on an interstate highway. When Gillette radioed the police dispatcher to report the stop, a second trooper, Craig Graham, a member of the Illinois State Police Drug Interdiction Team, overheard the transmission and immediately headed for the scene with his narcotics-detection dog. When they arrived, respondent's car was on the shoulder of the road and respondent was in Gillette's vehicle. While Gillette was in the process of writing a warning ticket, Graham walked his dog around respondent's car. The dog alerted at the trunk. Based on that alert, the officers searched the trunk, found marijuana, and arrested respondent. The entire incident lasted less than 10 minutes.

Page 407

Respondent was convicted of a narcotics offense and sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment and a $256,136 fine. The trial judge denied his motion to suppress the seized evidence and to quash his arrest. He held that the officers had not unnecessarily prolonged the stop and that the dog alert was sufficiently reliable to provide probable cause to conduct the search. Although the Appellate Court affirmed, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed, concluding that because the canine sniff was performed without any " 'specific and articulable facts' " to suggest drug activity, the use of the dog "unjustifiably [125 S.Ct. 837] enlarg[ed] the scope of a routine traffic stop into a drug investigation." 207 Ill.2d 504, 510, 280 Ill.Dec. 277, 802 N.E.2d 202, 205 (2003).

The question on which we granted certiorari, 541 U.S. 972, 124 S.Ct. 1875, 158 L.Ed.2d 466 (2004), is narrow: "Whether the Fourth Amendment requires reasonable, articulable suspicion to justify using a drug-detection dog to sniff a vehicle during a legitimate traffic stop." Pet. for Cert. i. Thus, we proceed on the assumption that the officer conducting the dog sniff had no information about respondent except that he had been stopped for speeding; accordingly, we have omitted any reference to facts about respondent that might have triggered a modicum of suspicion.

Here, the initial seizure of respondent when he was stopped on the highway was based on probable cause and was concededly lawful. It is nevertheless clear that a seizure that is lawful at its inception can violate the Fourth Amendment if its manner of execution unreasonably infringes interests protected by the Constitution. United States v. Jacobsen, 466 U.S. 109, 124, 104 S.Ct. 1652, 80 L.Ed.2d 85 (1984). A seizure that is justified solely by the interest in issuing a warning ticket to the driver can become unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete that mission. In an earlier case involving a dog sniff that occurred during an unreasonably prolonged traffic stop, the Illinois Supreme Court held that use of the dog and the subsequent discovery Page 408

of contraband were the product of an unconstitutional seizure. People v. Cox, 202 Ill.2d 462, 270 Ill.Dec. 81, 782 N.E.2d 275 (2002). We may assume that a similar result would be warranted in this case if the dog sniff had been conducted while respondent was being unlawfully detained.

In the state-court proceedings, however, the judges carefully reviewed the details of Officer Gillette's conversations with respondent and the precise timing of his radio transmissions to the dispatcher to determine whether he had improperly extended the duration of the stop to enable the dog sniff to occur. We have not recounted those details because we accept the state court's conclusion that the duration of the stop in this case was entirely justified by the traffic offense and the ordinary inquiries incident to such a stop.

Despite this conclusion, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the initially lawful traffic stop became an unlawful seizure solely as a result of the canine sniff that occurred outside respondent's stopped car. That is, the court characterized the dog sniff as the cause rather than the consequence of a constitutional violation. In its view, the use of the dog converted the citizen-police encounter from a lawful traffic stop into a drug investigation, and because the shift in purpose was not supported by any reasonable suspicion that respondent possessed narcotics, it was unlawful. In our view, conducting a dog sniff would not change the character of a traffic stop that is lawful at its inception and otherwise executed in a reasonable manner, unless the dog sniff itself infringed respondent's constitutionally protected interest in privacy. Our cases hold that it did not.

Official conduct that does not "compromise any legitimate interest in privacy" is not a search subject to the Fourth Amendment. Jacobsen, 466 U.S., at 123, 104 S.Ct. 1652. We have held that any interest in possessing contraband cannot be deemed "legitimate," and thus, governmental conduct that only reveals the possession of contraband "compromises no legitimate privacy interest." Ibid. This is because the expectationPage 409

"that certain facts will not come to the attention of the authorities" is not the same as an interest [125 S.Ct. 838] in "privacy that society is prepared to consider reasonable." Id., at 122, 104 S.Ct. 1652 (punctuation omitted). In United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696, 103 S.Ct. 2637, 77 L.Ed.2d 110 (1983), we treated a canine sniff by a well-trained narcotics-detection dog as "sui generis " because it "discloses only the presence or absence of narcotics, a contraband item." Id., at 707, 103 S.Ct. 2637; see also Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32, 40, 121 S.Ct. 447, 148 L.Ed.2d 333 (2000). Respondent likewise concedes that "drug sniffs are designed, and if properly conducted are generally likely, to reveal only the presence of contraband." Brief for Respondent 17. Although respondent argues that the error rates, particularly the existence of false positives, call into question the premise that drug-detection dogs alert only to contraband, the record contains no evidence or findings that support his argument. Moreover, respondent does not suggest that an erroneous alert, in and of itself, reveals any legitimate private information, and, in this case, the trial judge found that the dog sniff was sufficiently reliable to establish probable cause to conduct a full-blown search of the trunk.

Accordingly, the use of a well-trained narcotics-detection dog--one that "does not expose noncontraband items that otherwise would remain hidden from public view," Place, 462 U.S., at 707, 103 S.Ct. 2637--during a lawful traffic stop, generally does not implicate legitimate privacy interests. In this case, the dog sniff was performed on the exterior of respondent's car while he was lawfully seized for a traffic violation. Any intrusion on respondent's privacy expectations does not rise to the level of a constitutionally cognizable infringement.

This conclusion is entirely consistent with our recent decision that the use of a thermal-imaging device to detect the growth of marijuana in a home constituted an unlawful search. Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27, 121 S.Ct. 2038, 150 L.Ed.2d 94 (2001). Critical to that decision was the fact that the device was capable of detecting lawful activity--in that case, intimate details in a Page 410

home, such as "at what hour each night the lady of the house takes her daily sauna and bath." Id., at 38, 121 S.Ct. 2038. The legitimate expectation that information about perfectly lawful activity will remain private is categorically distinguishable from respondent's hopes or expectations concerning the nondetection of contraband in the trunk of his car. A dog sniff conducted during a concededly lawful traffic stop that reveals...

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2040 practice notes
  • United States v. Gaffney, 022714 IWNDC, 13-CR-2035-LRR
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit
    • February 27, 2014
    ...required to complete' its purpose." United States v. Peralez, 526 F.3d 1115, 1119 (8th Cir. 2008) (quoting Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 407 (2005)). Whether the length of a traffic stop is reasonable depends on the specific facts of a case, "and there is no per se time limi......
  • 373 S.W.3d 392 (Ark.App. 2010), CA CR 09-152, Cain v. State
    • United States
    • Arkansas Court of Appeals of Arkansas
    • January 13, 2010
    ...v. State, 362 Ark. 436, 208 S.W.3d 785 (2005); Hoey v. State, 73 Ark.App. 118, 42 S.W.3d 564 (2001). The State cites Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 125 S.Ct. 834, 160 L.Ed.2d 842 (2005), where the Supreme Court held that the use of a well-trained dog during a lawful traffic stop does n......
  • 9 So.3d 1 (Fla.App. 3 Dist. 2008), 3D07-1615, State v. Jardines
    • United States
    • Florida Florida Court of Appeals Third District
    • October 22, 2008
    ...third, the evidence seized would inevitably have been discovered. A Canine Sniff Is Not A Fourth Amendment Search In Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 408, 125 S.Ct. 834, 160 L.Ed.2d 842 (2005), the United States Supreme Court expressly rejected the notion that a " dog sniff itself i......
  • 348 P.3d 496 (Hawai'i App. 2015), CAAP-12-0000838, State v. Alvarez
    • United States
    • Hawaii Court of Appeals of Hawai'i Intermediate
    • April 8, 2015
    ...does not compromise any legitimate interest in privacy is not a search subject to the Fourth Amendment." Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 408, 125 S.Ct. 834, 160 L.Ed.2d 842 (2005) (citation and quotation marks omitted). Alvarez has made no substantive argument that he possesse......
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1995 cases
  • United States v. Gaffney, 022714 IWNDC, 13-CR-2035-LRR
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit
    • February 27, 2014
    ...required to complete' its purpose." United States v. Peralez, 526 F.3d 1115, 1119 (8th Cir. 2008) (quoting Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 407 (2005)). Whether the length of a traffic stop is reasonable depends on the specific facts of a case, "and there is no per se time limi......
  • 373 S.W.3d 392 (Ark.App. 2010), CA CR 09-152, Cain v. State
    • United States
    • Arkansas Court of Appeals of Arkansas
    • January 13, 2010
    ...v. State, 362 Ark. 436, 208 S.W.3d 785 (2005); Hoey v. State, 73 Ark.App. 118, 42 S.W.3d 564 (2001). The State cites Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 125 S.Ct. 834, 160 L.Ed.2d 842 (2005), where the Supreme Court held that the use of a well-trained dog during a lawful traffic stop does n......
  • 9 So.3d 1 (Fla.App. 3 Dist. 2008), 3D07-1615, State v. Jardines
    • United States
    • Florida Florida Court of Appeals Third District
    • October 22, 2008
    ...third, the evidence seized would inevitably have been discovered. A Canine Sniff Is Not A Fourth Amendment Search In Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 408, 125 S.Ct. 834, 160 L.Ed.2d 842 (2005), the United States Supreme Court expressly rejected the notion that a " dog sniff itself i......
  • 348 P.3d 496 (Hawai'i App. 2015), CAAP-12-0000838, State v. Alvarez
    • United States
    • Hawaii Court of Appeals of Hawai'i Intermediate
    • April 8, 2015
    ...does not compromise any legitimate interest in privacy is not a search subject to the Fourth Amendment." Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 408, 125 S.Ct. 834, 160 L.Ed.2d 842 (2005) (citation and quotation marks omitted). Alvarez has made no substantive argument that he possesse......
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3 firm's commentaries
  • Good Faith Exception to Exclusionary Rule Saves Conviction Based on Illegal Search
    • United States
    • JD Supra United States
    • February 22, 2018
    ...Circuit first examined several pre-Rodriguez Supreme Court decisions concerning the duration of traffic stops. See Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 407 (2005) (dog sniff); Arizona v. Johnson, 555 U.S. 323, 333 (2009) (questioning of a passenger by a different officer). In light of these ......
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    • United States
    • JD Supra United States
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    ...were not viewed by anyone; the mere objective of the sniff was to determine the presence or absence of narcotics. In Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405 (2005), where a car was stopped for a routine traffic stop, a search by a police canine was not deemed a protected search because the motor......
  • Drug-Sniffing Dogs & Probable Cause: Supreme Court Considers When 'A Sniff Is Up To Snuff'
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    • Mondaq United States
    • March 4, 2013
    ...can produce the probable cause that justifies a police search. But should that always be the case? In his dissent in Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405 (2005) Justice Souter wrote, "The infallible dog ... is a creature of legal fiction." Was Justice Souter right? Are there circums......
66 books & journal articles
  • Common scents: the intersection of the 'plain smell' and 'common enterprise' doctrines.
    • United States
    • American Criminal Law Review Vol. 50 Nbr. 3, June 2013
    • June 22, 2013
    ...would consent to the discovery of the very evidence necessary to seal their legal demise"). (2.) See Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 409 (2005) (holding that a well-trained narcotics-detection dog could be used during a lawful traffic stop to establish probable cause to search beca......
  • To sniff or not to sniff: making sense of past and recent state and federal decisions in connection with drug-detection dogs - where do we go from here?
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    • Albany Law Review Vol. 78 Nbr. 4, June - June 2015
    • June 22, 2015
    ...(227) Id. at 559-60. (228) LATZER, supra note 38, [section] 3:5, at 3-42 (quoting Martin, 626 A.2d at 560). (229) Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405 (2005). (230) Id. at 406. (231) Id. (232) Id. (233) Id. (234) Id. at 406-07. (235) Orin S. Kerr, Four Models of Fourth Amendment Protection, i......
  • The extended Traffic stop, 0715 SCBJ, SC Lawyer, July 2015, #19
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    • South Carolina Bar Journal Nbr. 2015, January 2015
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    ...[5] Id. at "15 (citation omitted). [6] See Arizona v. Johnson, 555 U.S. 323, at 327-28 (2009). [7] See Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, at 406-408 (2005). [8] See id. [9] See United States v. Farrior, 535 F.3d 210, 220 (4th Cir. 2008) (citing United States v. Alexander, 448 F3d 1014......
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    • March 1, 2013
    ...do not measurably extend the duration of the stop."). (128.) Sec Harris, supra note 124, at 546. (129.) Sec Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405 (2004); United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696 (1983). (130.) Atwater v. City of Lago Vista, 532 U.S. 318 (2001). (131.) For extensive data on se......
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