a.         Owner appears to have relinquished rights to property


b.         Example is trash; If a person throws personal property during foot chase in a public place; personal property is assumed abandoned if dropped or thrown away and if person denies ownership.


Vehicle – unmoved for long period of time or left running at end of a pursuit.


Premises – extended period of no occupancy, no maintenance, no payment of taxes.


c.         None needed – You may, without a warrant, seize and search property you think is abandoned.




            a.         The amount of privacy considered appropriate by society




                        1)         How close to house?

                        2)         Is it within enclosure around house?

                        3)         How area is used?

4)         What did resident do to protect the area around house from observation?


c.         Area outside the curtilage, area where there is no expectation of privacy.


d.         None for public area


e.         Generally, law enforcement officers may board bused to conduct cursory investigations of loaded buses for drugs.  Drug Dogs may be brought on to the bus as well.  Absent justification to conduct a search, officers are not allowed to handle luggage more than would be expected by luggage handlers or other passengers.  In a recent case, U.S. v. Bond 167 F.3d 225, reversed (2000), the Supreme Court held that squeezing of a soft-sided bag in an “exploratory manner” goes beyond the reasonable handling expected by a passenger when placing a piece of luggage on an overhead rack in a bus or other public conveyance.


            Note:  distinction is made between this situation and a Minnesota v. Dickerson 508 U.S. 366 (1993) “plain feel” because authority to frisk justifies that squeezing.


f.          Certain public places such as public restroom and phone booths are not open fields because a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy while using them as long as they are using the area for its intended purpose.


g.         When they are using that facility for purposes other than intended


h.         When you are not on curtilage and use unaided senses or can use what an average citizen would use – example – binoculars.




a.         As long as the officer is in a place he has a right to be, items in plain view may be seized if they are immediately recognized as contraband or evidence of a crime.


            b.         Probable cause certainty that item is evidence or contraband.


            c.         Keep watch on area and get search warrant to enter.




            a.         None


b.         Follow up searches may not exceed the scope of the original private search.


            c.         Violation of the Fourth Amendment, evidence may be suppressed.