Bond v. United States, No. 98-9349.

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtRehnquist
Citation529 U.S. 334
PartiesBOND v. UNITED STATES
Docket NumberNo. 98-9349.
Decision Date17 April 2000

529 U.S. 334

BOND
v.
UNITED STATES

No. 98-9349.

United States Supreme Court.

Argued February 29, 2000.

Decided April 17, 2000.


CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
529 U.S. 335

Rehnquist, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Stevens, O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, and Ginsburg, JJ., joined. Breyer, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Scalia, J.,joined, post, p. 339.

M. Carolyn Fuentes argued the cause for petitioner. With her on the briefs were Lucien B. Campbell and Henry J. Bemporad.

Jeffrey A. Lamken argued the cause for the United States. With him on the brief were Solicitor General Waxman, Assistant Attorney General Robinson, and Deputy Solicitor General Dreeben.*

Chief Justice Rehnquist delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case presents the question whether a law enforcement officer's physical manipulation of a bus passenger's carry-on luggage violated the Fourth Amendment's proscription against unreasonable searches. We hold that it did.

Petitioner Steven Dewayne Bond was a passenger on a Greyhound bus that left California bound for Little Rock, Arkansas. The bus stopped, as it was required to do, at the permanent Border Patrol checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas. Border Patrol Agent Cesar Cantu boarded the bus to check the immigration status of its passengers. After reaching the back of the bus, having satisfied himself that the passengers were lawfully in the United States, Agent Cantu began walking toward the front. Along the way, he squeezed the soft luggage which passengers had placed in the overhead storage space above the seats.

529 U.S. 336

Petitioner was seated four or five rows from the back of the bus. As Agent Cantu inspected the luggage in the compartment above petitioner's seat, he squeezed a green canvas bag and noticed that it contained a "brick-like" object. Petitioner admitted that the bag was his and agreed to allow Agent Cantu to open it.1 Upon opening the bag, Agent Cantu discovered a "brick" of methamphetamine. The brick had been wrapped in duct tape until it was oval-shaped and then rolled in a pair of pants.

Petitioner was indicted for conspiracy to possess, and possession with intent to distribute, methamphetamine in violation of 84 Stat. 1260, 21 U. S. C. § 841(a)(1). He moved to suppress the drugs, arguing that Agent Cantu conducted an illegal search of his bag. Petitioner's motion was denied, and the District Court found him guilty on both counts and sentenced him to 57 months in prison. On appeal, he conceded that other passengers had access to his bag, but contended that Agent Cantu manipulated the bag in a way that other passengers would not. The Court of Appeals rejected this argument, stating that the fact that Agent Cantu's manipulation of petitioner's bag was calculated to detect contraband is irrelevant for Fourth Amendment purposes. 167 F. 3d 225, 227 (CA5 1999) (citing California v. Ciraolo, 476 U. S. 207 (1986)). Thus, the Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of the motion to suppress, holding that Agent Cantu's manipulation of the bag was not a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. 167 F. 3d, at 227. We granted certiorari, 528 U. S. 927 (1999), and now reverse.

The Fourth Amendment provides 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 . . . ." A traveler's personal luggage is clearly an "effect" protected by the Amendment. See United States v.

Place, 462 U. S. 696, 707 (1983). Indeed, it is undisputed here that petitioner possessed a privacy interest in his bag

But the Government asserts that by exposing his bag to the public, petitioner lost a reasonable expectation that his bag would not be physically manipulated. The Government relies on our decisions in California v. Ciraolo, supra, and Florida v. Riley, 488 U. S. 445 (1989), for the proposition that matters open to public observation are not protected by the Fourth Amendment. In Ciraolo, we held that police observation of a backyard from a plane flying at an altitude of 1,000 feet did not violate a reasonable expectation of privacy. Similarly, in Riley, we relied on Ciraolo to hold that police observation of a greenhouse in a home's curtilage from a helicopter passing at an altitude of 400 feet did not violate the Fourth Amendment. We reasoned that the property was "not necessarily protected from inspection that involves no physical invasion," and determined that because any member of the public could have lawfully observed the defendants' property by flying overhead, the defendants' expectation of privacy was "not reasonable and not one `that society is prepared to honor.' " See Riley, supra, at 449 (explaining and relying on Ciraolo `s reasoning).

But Ciraolo and Riley are different from this case because they involved only visual, as opposed to tactile, observation. Physically invasive inspection is simply more intrusive than purely visual inspection. For example, in Terry v. Ohio, 392 U. S. 1, 16-17 (1968), we stated that a "careful tactile exploration of the outer surfaces of a person's clothing all over his or her body" is a "serious intrusion upon the sanctity of the person, which may inflict great indignity and arouse strong resentment, and it is not to be undertaken lightly." Although Agent Cantu did not "frisk" petitioner's person, he did conduct a probing tactile examination of petitioner's carry-on luggage. Obviously, petitioner's bag was not part of his person. But travelers are particularly concerned

529 U.S. 338
about their carry-on luggage; they generally use it to transport personal items that, for whatever reason, they prefer to keep close at hand

Here, petitioner concedes that, by placing his bag in the overhead compartment, he could expect that it would be exposed to certain kinds of touching and handling. But petitioner argues that Agent Cantu's physical manipulation of his luggage "far exceeded the casual contact petitioner could have expected from other passengers." Brief for Petitioner 18-19. The Government counters that it did not.

Our Fourth Amendment analysis embraces two questions. First, we ask whether the individual, by his conduct, has exhibited an actual expectation of privacy; that is, whether he has shown that "he sought to preserve something as private." Smith v. Maryland, 442 U. S. 735, 740 (1979) (internal quotation marks omitted). Here, petitioner...

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395 practice notes
  • Altman v. City of High Point, N.C., No. 02-1178.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • May 20, 2003
    ...Supreme Court concluded that personal luggage was an "effect" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. See also Bond v. United States, 529 U.S. 334, 336-37, 120 S.Ct. 1462, 146 L.Ed.2d 365 (2000). While Place obviously does not hold that the term "effects" is coterminous with the univers......
  • Ward v. City of Hobbs, No. CIV 18-1025 JB\KRS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • July 31, 2019
    ...has also noted that "[p]hysically invasive inspection is simply more intrusive than purely visual inspection." Bond v. United States, 529 U.S. 334, 337, 120 S.Ct. 1462, 146 L.Ed.2d 365 (2000). Moreover, the Supreme Court, in Florida v. Jardines, suggested that the trespass-based analysis ap......
  • Reid v. Pautler, No. CIV 13-0337 JB/KBM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • July 31, 2014
    ...has also noted that "[p]hysically invasive inspection is simply more intrusive than purely visual inspection." Bond v. United States, 529 U.S. 334, 337 (2000). Moreover, the Supreme Court in Florida v. Jardines suggested that the trespass-based analysis applies only when the trespass occurs......
  • People v. Camacho, No. S075720.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 27, 2000
    ...objectively reasonable, that is, is the expectation that one society is willing to recognize as reasonable? (Bond v. United States (2000) 529 U.S. 334, 337-338, 120 S.Ct. 1462, 1465, 146 L.Ed.2d 365, 370 (Bond); California v. Ciraolo (1986) 476 U.S. 207, 211, 106 S.Ct. 1809, 90 L.Ed.2d 210 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
392 cases
  • Altman v. City of High Point, N.C., No. 02-1178.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • May 20, 2003
    ...Supreme Court concluded that personal luggage was an "effect" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. See also Bond v. United States, 529 U.S. 334, 336-37, 120 S.Ct. 1462, 146 L.Ed.2d 365 (2000). While Place obviously does not hold that the term "effects" is coterminous with the univers......
  • Ward v. City of Hobbs, No. CIV 18-1025 JB\KRS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • July 31, 2019
    ...has also noted that "[p]hysically invasive inspection is simply more intrusive than purely visual inspection." Bond v. United States, 529 U.S. 334, 337, 120 S.Ct. 1462, 146 L.Ed.2d 365 (2000). Moreover, the Supreme Court, in Florida v. Jardines, suggested that the trespass-based analysis ap......
  • Reid v. Pautler, No. CIV 13-0337 JB/KBM
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • July 31, 2014
    ...has also noted that "[p]hysically invasive inspection is simply more intrusive than purely visual inspection." Bond v. United States, 529 U.S. 334, 337 (2000). Moreover, the Supreme Court in Florida v. Jardines suggested that the trespass-based analysis applies only when the trespass occurs......
  • People v. Camacho, No. S075720.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 27, 2000
    ...objectively reasonable, that is, is the expectation that one society is willing to recognize as reasonable? (Bond v. United States (2000) 529 U.S. 334, 337-338, 120 S.Ct. 1462, 1465, 146 L.Ed.2d 365, 370 (Bond); California v. Ciraolo (1986) 476 U.S. 207, 211, 106 S.Ct. 1809, 90 L.Ed.2d 210 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • A Roadblock Too Far?
    • United States
    • Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice Nbr. 19-2, May 2003
    • May 1, 2003
    ...Law Review,32, 823-835.Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321 (1987).Atwater v. City of Lago Vista, 532 U.S. 318 (2001).Bond v. United States, 529 U.S. 334 (2000).Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986).Brown,J. O., Parmet, W. E., & O’Connell, M. E. (1999). The rugged feminism of San-dra Day O’Conn......
  • The Rehnquist Court and Criminal Justice
    • United States
    • Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice Nbr. 19-2, May 2003
    • May 1, 2003
    ...of MichiganPress.Baum, L. (1989). The Supreme Court (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: CongressionalQuarterly Press.Bond v. United States, 529 U.S. 334 (2000).Carmell v. Texas, 529 U.S. 513 (2000).Clayton, C. (1999). Law, politics, and the Rehnquist Court: Structural influences onSupreme Court deci......

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