1. a. You must show that it was reasonable to believe that the ownership of the property had been relinquished.
b. Personal property can be assumed abandoned if it has been dropped or thrown away in a public place as an officer approaches or during a pursuit, if it is in the trash in a non-curtilage area, or if, when asked, the owner states he/she is not the owner.
A vehicle left unmoved in a public place for an extended period of time may be assumed to be abandoned. So, too, may a vehicle left running at the end of a pursuit as the occupants attempt to escape on foot.
It is very difficult to establish abandonment for premises, as it is not unusual to leave a home or business for an extended period with no intention of giving up ownership. Generally, an extended period of no occupancy, with no maintenance, and no payment of property taxes may be assumed to establish reasonable belief of abandonment.
c. See handouts -
“Searches and Seizures at a Glance.”
Also see text - page 7:17 (1.).
2. a. See glossary definition of the term “reasonable expectation of privacy.”
b. See glossary definition of the terms “open field,” “curtilage,” “public area,” “quasi-public area,” and “private property”
c. See text - pages
Also see handouts - “Curtilage.”
d. See handouts - “Searches and Seizures at a Glance.”
e. Generally, law enforcement officers may board buses 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 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. - g. Certain public areas such as public rest room stalls and phone booths are not “open fields” because a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy while using them. This reasonable expectation of privacy only exists as long as the area is being used for its intended purpose. See text - pages 8:2 (middle) - 8:3 (top).
h. Such surveillance is reasonable if the officers are not on the curtilage and use unaided senses. Such aids as would readily be available to the average citizen, such as binoculars, may also be used. See text - pages 8:1 - 8:4 (A).
The text refers obliquely to a Supreme Court case on the 1998-1999 docket regarding peeking into windows (page 8:3). This case, Minnesota v. Carter 119 S.Ct. 469 (1998), was decided without the Court addressing this issue. At this point it must be assumed that peeking into windows, where the officer must be on curtilage to do so, or must use means not available to the common citizen passing by, will be considered a Fourth Amendment violation.
3. a. See
handouts - “Searches and Seizures at a Glance.”
Also see text - pages 7:190- 7:20 (4. & 5.)
b. You must have probable cause.
c. In this case, impound the property and seek a search warrant to make the entry.
4. a. - c. See text - pages 7:22 - 7:23 (7. – 9.).
b. See handouts - “Searches and Seizures at a Glance.”