569 U.S. 1 (2013), 11-564, Florida v. Jardines

Docket Nº:11-564
Citation:569 U.S. 1, 133 S.Ct. 1409, 185 L.Ed.2d 495, 81 U.S.L.W. 4209, 24 Fla.L.Weekly Fed. S 117
Opinion Judge:Scalia, Justice
Party Name:FLORIDA, Petitioner v. JOELIS JARDINES
Attorney:Gregory G. Garre argued the cause for petitioner. Nicole A. Saharsky argued the cause for the United States, as amicus curiae, by special leave of court. Howard K. Blumberg argued the cause for respondent.
Judge Panel:Scalia, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Thomas, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, JJ., joined, post, p.___. Kagan, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which Ginsburg and Sotomayor, JJ., joined. Alito, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Roberts, C. J., and Kennedy and Breyer, J...
Case Date:March 26, 2013
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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569 U.S. 1 (2013)

133 S.Ct. 1409, 185 L.Ed.2d 495, 81 U.S.L.W. 4209, 24 Fla.L.Weekly Fed. S 117

FLORIDA, Petitioner

v.

JOELIS JARDINES

No. 11-564

United States Supreme Court

March 26, 2013

Argued October 31, 2012

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA

Jardines v. State, 73 So.3d 34 (Fla., 2011)

SYLLABUS

[185 L.Ed.2d 498] [133 S.Ct. 1411] Police took a drug-sniffing dog to Jardines' front porch, where the dog gave a positive alert for narcotics. Based on the alert, the officers obtained a warrant for a search, which revealed marijuana plants; Jardines was charged with trafficking in cannabis. The Supreme Court of Florida approved the trial court's decision to suppress the evidence, holding that the officers had engaged in a Fourth Amendment search unsupported by probable cause.

[133 S.Ct. 1412] Held: The investigation of Jardines' home was a " search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Pp. ___ - ___, 185 L.Ed.2d, at 500-504.

(a) When " the Government obtains information by physically intruding" on persons, houses, papers, or effects, " a 'search' within the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment" has " undoubtedly occurred." United States v. Jones, 565 U.S. 400, 406-407, n. 3, 132 S.Ct. 945, 181 L.Ed.2d 911, 919. Pp. ___ - ___, 185 L.Ed.2d, at 500-501.

(b) At the Fourth Amendments " very core" stands " the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreason-able governmental intrusion." Silverman v. United States, 365 U.S. 505, 511, 81 S.Ct. 679, 5 L.Ed.2d 734. The area " immediately surrounding and associated with the home" --the curtilage--is " part of the home itself for Fourth Amendment purposes." Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170, 180, 104 S.Ct. 1735, 80 L.Ed.2d 214. The officers entered the curtilage here: [185 L.Ed.2d 499] The front porch is the classic exemplar of an area " to which the activity of home life extends." Id., at 182, n. 12, 104 S.Ct. 1735, 80 L.Ed.2d 214. Pp. ___ - ___, 185 L.Ed.2d, at 501.

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(c) The officers' entry was not explicitly or implicitly invited. Officers need not " shield their eyes" when passing by a home " on public thoroughfares," California v. Ciraolo, 476 U.S. 207, 213, 106 S.Ct. 1809, 90 L.Ed.2d 210, but " no man can set his foot upon his neighbour's close without his leave," Entick v. Carrington, 2 Wils. K. B. 275, 291, 95 Eng. Rep. 807, 817. A police officer not armed with a warrant may approach a home in hopes of speaking to its occupants, because that is " no more than any private citizen might do." Kentucky v. King, 563 U.S. 452, 469, 131 S.Ct. 1849, 179 L.Ed.2d 865, 881. But the scope of a license is limited not only to a particular area but also to a specific purpose, and there is no customary invitation to enter the curtilage simply to conduct a search. Pp. ___ -___, 185 L.Ed.2d, at 501-503.

(d) It is unnecessary to decide whether the officers violated Jardines' expectation of privacy under Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 88 S.Ct. 507, 19 L.Ed.2d 576. Pp. ___ - ___, 185 L.Ed.2d, at 503-504.

73 So.3d 34, affirmed.

Gregory G. Garre argued the cause for petitioner.

Nicole A. Saharsky argued the cause for the United States, as amicus curiae, by special leave of court.

Howard K. Blumberg argued the cause for respondent.

Scalia, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Thomas, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, JJ., joined, post, p.___. Kagan, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which Ginsburg and Sotomayor, JJ., joined. Alito, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Roberts, C. J., and Kennedy and Breyer, JJ., joined, post, p.___.

OPINION

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[133 S.Ct. 1413] Scalia, Justice

We consider whether using a drug-sniffing dog on a homeowner's porch to investigate the contents of the home is a " search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.

I

In 2006, Detective William Pedraja of the Miami-Dade Police Department received an unverified tip that marijuana was being grown in the home of respondent Joelis Jardines. One month later, the department and the Drug Enforcement Administration sent a joint surveillance team to Jardines' home. Detective Pedraja was part of that team. He watched the home for 15 minutes and saw no vehicles in the driveway or activity around the home, and could not see inside because the blinds were drawn. Detective Pedraja then approached Jardines' home accompanied by Detective Douglas Bartelt, a trained canine handler who had just arrived

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at the scene with his drug-sniffing dog. The dog was trained to detect the scent of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and several other drugs, indicating the presence of any of these substances through particular behavioral changes recognizable by his handler.

Detective Bartelt had the dog on a 6-foot leash, owing in part to the dog's " wild" nature, App. to Pet. for Cert. A-35, and tendency to dart around erratically while searching. As the dog approached Jardines' front porch, he apparently sensed one of the odors he had been trained to detect, and began energetically exploring the area for the strongest point source of [185 L.Ed.2d 500] that odor. As Detective Bartelt explained, the dog " began tracking that airborne odor by . . . tracking back and forth," engaging in what is called " bracketing," " back and forth, back and forth." Id., at A-33 to A-34. Detective Bartelt gave the dog " the full six feet of the leash plus whatever safe distance [he could] give him" to do this--he testified that he needed to give the dog " as much distance as I can." Id., at A-35. And Detective Pedraja stood back while this was occurring, so that he would not " get knocked over" when the dog was " spinning around trying to find" the source. Id., at A-38.

After sniffing the base of the front door, the dog sat, which is the trained behavior upon discovering the odor's strongest point. Detective Bartelt then pulled the dog away from the door and returned to his vehicle. He left the scene after informing Detective Pedraja that there had been a positive alert for narcotics.

On the basis of what he had learned at the home, Detective Pedraja applied for and received a warrant to search the residence. When the warrant was executed later that day, Jardines attempted to flee and was arrested; the search revealed marijuana plants, and he was charged with trafficking in cannabis.

At trial, Jardines moved to suppress the marijuana plants on the ground that the canine investigation was an unreasonable

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search. The trial court granted the motion, and the Florida Third District Court of Appeal reversed. On a petition for discretionary review, the Florida Supreme Court quashed the decision of the Third District Court of Appeal and approved the trial court's decision to suppress, holding (as relevant here) that the use of the trained narcotics dog to investigate Jardines' home was a Fourth Amendment search unsupported by probable cause, rendering invalid the warrant based upon information gathered in that search. 73 So.3d 34 (2011).

[133 S.Ct. 1414] We granted certiorari, limited to the question whether the officers' behavior was a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. 565 U.S. 1104, 132 S.Ct. 995, 181 L.Ed.2d 726 (2012).

II

The Fourth Amendment provides in relevant part that the " right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." The Amendmentestablishes a simple baseline, one that for much of our history formed the exclusive basis for its protections: When " the Government obtains information by physically intruding" on persons, houses, papers, or effects, " a 'search' within the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment has " undoubtedly occurred." United States v. Jones, 565 U.S. 400, 406-407, n. 3, 132 S.Ct. 945, 181 L.Ed.2d 911, 919 (2012). By reason of our decision in Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 88 S.Ct. 507, 19 L.Ed.2d 576 (1967), property rights " are not the sole measure of Fourth Amendment violations," Soldal v. Cook County, 506 U.S. 56, 64, 113 S.Ct. 538, 121 L.Ed.2d 450 (1992)but though Katz may add to the baseline, it does not subtract anything from the Amendment's protections " when the Government does engage in [a] physical intrusion of a constitutionally protected area," United States v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276, 286, 103 S.Ct. 1081, 75 L.Ed.2d 55 (1983) (Brennan, J., concurring in judgment).

[185 L.Ed.2d 501] That principle renders this case a straightforward one. The officers were gathering information in an area belonging

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to Jardines and immediately surrounding his house--in the curtilage of the house, which we have held enjoys protection as part of the home itself. And they gathered that information by physically entering and occupying the area to engage in conduct not explicitly or implicitly permitted by the homeowner.

A

The Fourth Amendment " indicates with some precision the places and things encompassed by its protections" : persons, houses, papers, and effects. Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170, 176, 104 S.Ct. 1735, 80 L.Ed.2d 214 (1984). The Fourth Amendment does not, therefore, prevent all investigations conducted on private property; for example, an officer may (subject to Katz ) gather information in what we have called " open fields" --even if those fields are privately owned--because such fields are not enumerated in the Amendment's text. Hester v. United States, 265 U.S. 57, 44 S.Ct. 445, 68 L.Ed. 898 (1924).

But when it comes to the Fourth Amendment, the home is first among equals. At the Amendment's " very core" stands " the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion."...

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