United States v. Dunn (1987) Case analysisPlace Your Order Now
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United States v. Dunn (1987) Assignment
United States v. Dunn (1987) Case Study
The pertinent facts are that intent on reporting a broken window, Mrs. Dixon called the police and took them upstairs to investigate upon which the officers observed a marijuana garden neatly planted beside the house next door. The garden was hidden behind privacy fences, hence blocking the officers' view of it from the street. The day after, the officers obtained a warrant to search the yard where they had observed the marijuana. They arrest Busby, the homeowner and confiscated the growing marijuana. Busby’s lawyer claims that the warrant should not have been issued since the officers had no warrant to search the curtilage around Busby’s house when they peered from Dixon’s window.
The first issue is whether the yard area on which the marijuana grew and which the officers searched constituted a curtilage and hence required a separate search warrant.
Curtilage means the enclosed area which immediately surrounds a dwelling or house. According to the US Supreme Court in United States v. Dunn (1987), a curtilage refers to the area immediately surrounding a residence and harboring one's privacies of life and their intimate activities. Just like a house, the Fourth Amendment protects curtilage from unreasonable searches and seizures.
The legal criteria for determining whether an area falls within curtilage as stated in United States v. Dunn (1987) are the steps that the resident has taken to ensure that the area is protected from observation by passers-by, the nature of the use to which the owner has put the area under curtilage, the extent to which the area is included within an enclosure that surrounds the residence, and the proximity of the area that the owner claims to be a curtilage. Courts also consider the distance from the home to the area that the owner claims to be curtilage (Ferguson 1285). The Fourth Amendment applies to this curtilage area by requiring that officers obtain warrants before searching it (Shaw 129).............GET A PLAGIARISM FREE COPY