Name: Liz DeVleming lesson: Search & Seizure through a “Jigsaw” Case Study source



Download 53.56 Kb.
Date conversion13.05.2016
Size53.56 Kb.
NAME: Liz DeVleming

LESSON: Search & Seizure through a “Jigsaw” Case Study

SOURCE: Fourth Amendment; Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001); Florida v. Riley, 488 U.S. 445 (1989); California v. Greenwood, 486 U.S. 35 (1988); Greenwood case summary adapted from “The Case of Billy Greenwood.”

TIME AND DAY: One 50-hour class period

MATERIALS: 4th Amendment text (and summary) to hand out as reference. Handouts for the jigsaw activity: Case summaries with empty 4th Amendment charts (one per student) and filled-in charts with holdings and relevant arguments (one per student).


  1. GOALS - Studying search and seizure law in a “jigsaw” case study format helps students:

  1. Understand the Fourth Amendment’s privacy protections

  2. Be able to define when a Fourth Amendment search has occurred

C. Step into the role of the Supreme Court through applying a given legal standard (“reasonable expectation of privacy”) to a set of facts to arrive at a conclusion, then comparing prediction to the case’s actual result

D. Stay engaged and accountable in reaching the above goals




  1. OBJECTIVES

A. Knowledge – As a result of this class, students will be better able to:

1. Learn the key facts and holdings of three real cases

2. Understand and develop arguments about what constitutes a 4th Amendment search

3. Understand that the Constitution and other laws are open to different interpretations and applications

4. Develop a more concrete understanding of the “reasonable expectation of privacy” standard for a 4th Amendment search
B. Skills – As a result of this class, students will be better able to:

1. Develop critical thinking skills through analyzing hypotheticals 2 Identify the key facts in a given case

3. Apply a given legal standard to facts to predict the outcome

4. Identify reasons for and against a particular outcome in a case

5. Share opinions in a clear, concise, and respectful manner

6. Listen attentively to be able to summarize and report on the arguments made by others

C. Attitude – As a result of this class, students will be better able to feel:

1. The study of our constitutional rights can be interesting

2. The study of our constitutional rights is applicable to situations that we can readily envision

3. Knowledge of the law can help us protect our own rights, such as the right to privacy

4. Because laws are open to different interpretations and applications, different perspectives enhance our understanding of what the “law” is

5. Respecting and understanding others’ viewpoints is instrumental to the learning process




  1. CLASSROOM METHODS

  1. Write the class outline on the board.

    1. Intro: What is a Fourth Amendment “search?”

    2. Activity: Application to facts

      1. Expert group: single case

      2. New group: three case experts

    3. Discussion / debriefing

  2. Trash bag exercise! Hand out little slips of paper and ask each student to write something that they wouldn’t want anyone to find and associate with them (appropriate to be read aloud in a high school classroom). Collect slips in trash bag and read them aloud to class to talk about what privacy means to them.

  3. Begin opening discussion of search and seizure

    1. Hand out the included copy of the text of the Fourth Amendment to students as a reference point during discussion.

    2. Explain that today we will be really focusing in on what the word “search” means in the Fourth Amendment context. Have students circle the word “search” in the text.

    3. Present hypotheticals to lead students to their own conclusions on where a search exists, and what unites Fourth Amendment searches: An invasion of privacy.

      1. Where in your home do you have a privacy interest?

        1. In your bedroom?

        2. In your backyard? Front yard? What if there’s a high fence? What if there’s no fence?

        3. What about on your driveway? What about on the curb just beyond your driveway?

      2. Does the Fourth Amendment protect against a robber entering your home or a neighbor invading your privacy? In other words, would such scenarios constitute searches under the Fourth Amendment?

    4. Explain to the students that an important case that has defined what a “search” means under the Fourth Amendment is Katz. Explain the facts from Katz, the Court’s holding, and the legal standard established: “reasonable expectation of privacy.”

  4. Introduce the activity: “Search and Seizure Jigsaw”

    1. Tell students that they will have the opportunity to apply Fourth Amendment concepts to the facts of a real case.

    2. Tell students that perspectives about permissible police behavior under the Fourth Amendment can often create controversy, and that they will be participating in an activity that will help them discuss the issue. The goal is for students to learn about and articulate both sides of the issue so that they can come to their own informed conclusions.

E. Divide the students

a. Have students divide into expert groups by counting off in 3’s.

b. Assign each expert group a case, hand out the case summaries, and have them read silently or out loud as a group.

c. Instruct students to brainstorm with their group what the relevant facts in the case are, discuss the facts in light of the standard discussed in Katz, and determine whether they think that the defendant in their case had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Have them fill out the empty 4th Amendment charts attached to their case summaries.



    1. Go around the groups to check on their progress. Once students have some of their own ideas, announce to the class that you will be passing out filled-in charts that summarize the actual decision the Court made, the number of votes on each side, and a clear written holding.

    2. Have the students again count off to __ (# of people in each expert group) and meet with the other two students assigned to that #.

    3. Ask students to take turns sharing their cases, including a brief discussion of the facts and the holding, and whether they agree with the Court’s conclusion. Once each student has shared their case, have them discuss openly until all the groups are finished.

    4. Bring all the students back together into a large group discussion about the cases and the students’ opinions on them: Did the Court get it right in all three? If so, why? If not, why not?

  1. Class debrief

          1. Ask students what they thought about the activity?

          2. Theme of conversation: This is a controversial area of law. Do you agree with the Court’s determination in these cases?

      1. Ask where the California v. Greenwood experts are.

        1. Do you agree with the Court in Greenwood? What about the things you stuck in the trash at the beginning of class – would it be okay with you if your trashman gave the police permission to search your trash?

      2. Same for Kyllo:

        1. Was the Supreme Court correct in determining that the reasonable expectation of privacy extends to use of particular devices that are not in general public use?

        2. What devices do we not have a reasonable expectation of privacy against? Flashlights, as in Rose? Binoculars?

        3. Has their expectation of privacy changed as a result of their discussion?

      3. Same for Riley:

        1. What about the Court in Riley – did they get it right? Would it not be reasonable to expect privacy from surveillance from 400 feet? Are helicopters really in public use? What about if you lived in an urban area with a restricted airspace limitation where flying below 400 feet is illegal?

        2. What about a neighbor standing on a ladder to see girls sunbathing next door – wouldn’t that be an infringement on their expectation of privacy, even though it is easily visible from above?

      4. Share with the students some examples from Washington law.

        1. In the 1994 case of State v. Young (123 Wash.2d 173), the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the use of an infrared thermal detection device to perform a warrantless surveillance of a home was a violation of the Washington Constitution and the 4th Amendment. The evidence from the surveillance had to be excluded. Note that this case was very similar to Kyllo.

        2. In the 1996 case of State v. Rose (128 Wash.2d 338), the Washington Supreme Court declined to exclude evidence of marijuana inside of a home obtained when a police officer used a flashlight to look through an unobstructed window. (You could ask students whether they believe it was the use of a common flashlight or the presence of an unobstructed window – or both – that distinguishes this case from Kyllo.)

        3. Recent Ohio (2009) & CA cell phone search cases.


IV. EVALUATION

A. Active listening and participation during the activity

B. Thoughtfulness of response to the homework assignment (below). Students should be able to clearly and concisely express their opinions.
V. ASSIGNMENT DUE NEXT CLASS

A. In one page or less, discuss one or more of the three cases from today’s jigsaw activity: Kyllo, Greenwood, or Riley. What was your initial opinion of the case? What would you have ruled before hearing how the Court held? After going through the whole activity? Did your position change as a result of the discussion with your small group? Make sure to explain the best arguments for your position or against the other position.


FOURTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
The 4th Amendment says:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”


The Supreme Court has said searches and seizures are unreasonable if:

(1) the individual "has exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy," and

(2) society is prepared to recognize that this expectation is (objectively) reasonable, then there is a right of privacy in the given circumstance.
This means a search is an intrusion by the government into a place where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
THE FOURTH AMENDMENT BANS:
· UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
· BY THE GOVERNMENT
· OF AREAS THAT FALL WITHIN AN EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY…
· THAT IS LEGITIMATE (or REASONABLE).

General Rule: Searches (and seizures) without a warrant are unreasonable unless the search falls within an exception to the warrant requirement. We will cover exceptions to the warrant requirement another day.

(California v. Greenwood was a case decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1988.)

Billy Greenwood lived in Laguna Beach, California. Early in 1984, police there received information that Greenwood was a drug dealer. The information came from a federal drug enforcement agent who had been told by a criminal suspect that a large shipment of narcotics was on its way to Greenwood’s house in a truck. In addition, one of Greenwood’s neighbors complained to police of a large number of vehicles passing through the neighborhood late and night and stopping briefly at the Greenwood residence. The police watched Greenwood’s house and verified what the neighbor had said. Police saw a truck leave the house and followed it to another residence that they had previously investigated as a drug dealing location. The police did not believe that they could get a search warrant without further evidence, however. The criminal informant was not seen as reliable.

On April 6, 1984, a police investigator who had been working on the case for several months asked the trash collector in Greenwood’s neighborhood to pick up the opaque, sealed trash bags that Greenwood placed on the curb in front of his house and to give her the bags without mixing their contents with refuse from other houses. The trash collector complied with this request. When the investigator searched through Greenwood’s trash, she found items related to use of narcotics. She used this information to obtain a search warrant to search Greenwood’s home, where they discovered quantities of cocaine and hashish. Greenwood and another person were arrested on felony narcotics charges.

Greenwood’s lawyer argued that the search of Greenwood’s trash was unconstitutional and that the evidence obtained from the trash search and the later search of the house should be excluded from the trial court. He said that police would not have had probable cause for a warrant to search his house if they had not first obtained evidence illegally by searching his trash. Greenwood also said that the trash collector was acting as an agent of the police and at the request of the police when he singled out Greenwood’s trash from other trash.

The State of California argued that Greenwood’s trash was collected on the street where it had been left for the trash collector. Under these circumstances Greenwood had left his trash in plain sight and had no reason to expect that his trash would remain private. Therefore, the State of California claimed that its case against Greenwood was valid and so was the evidence.

Unless an established exception applies, the Fourth Amendment requires the government to have a warrant in order to conduct a search or seize evidence.  Was the trash search involved in this case a Fourth Amendment “search” that required a warrant?


4TH AMENDMENT FACTOR



YOUR RESPONSE


UNREASONABLE SEARCH OR SEIZURE?

Yes (no recognized exception).


BY THE GOVERNMENT?






OF AN AREA THAT FALLS WITHIN AN EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY?






THAT IS LEGITIMATE (or REASONABLE)?






Greenwood Holdings


4TH AMENDMENT FACTOR



YOUR RESPONSE


UNREASONABLE

SEARCH OR SEIZURE?



Yes, it was a search of Greenwood’s trash and did not fall within a recognized exception.



BY THE GOVERNMENT?



Yes. Because the trash collector was instructed to deliver Greenwood’s garbage to the police, the trash collector was acting as a gov’t agent.



OF AN AREA THAT FALLS WITHIN AN EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY?




Yes: Greenwood claimed, and the gov’t did not contest, that he expected his trash to go to the dump without being searched.


THAT IS LEGITIMATE (or REASONABLE)?


No, not according to the court. The fact that his trash was placed outside his home, on the curb, where any person or animal could get into it meant his expectation of privacy was not reasonable.


(Kyllo v. United States was a case decided by the United States Supreme Court in 2001.)

           

In 1991, a federal agent came to suspect that an individual named Danny Lee Kyllo was growing marijuana in his home.  Indoor marijuana growth typically requires the use of high-intensity lamps.  Early one morning in January 1992, the federal agent and his partner parked outside of Kyllo’s home armed with a thermal-imaging device.  A thermal-imaging device can detect relative amounts of infrared radiation; virtually all objects emit such radiation, even though it is not visible to the naked eye.  At the time, these devices were used by law enforcement but not by the public.  


            From their car across the street, the federal agents used the thermal-imaging device to scan Kyllo’s home.  The imager converted the radiation from the home into images based on relative degrees of warmth – black was cool, white was hot, and shades of gray indicated other differences in heat.  In that respect, the imaging device operated somewhat like a video camera showing heat images.  The agents’ scan of Kyllo’s home took only a few minutes.  It showed that the roof over the garage and a side wall of Kyllo’s home were relatively hot compared to the rest of the home.  Also, his home was substantially warmer than neighboring homes.   
            Based on the scan, the federal agents concluded that Kyllo was using high-intensity lamps to grow marijuana in his home.  The information from the thermal-imaging scan contributed to a judge’s decision to issue a warrant to search the inside of Kyllo’s home.  The agents who searched the home found more than 100 marijuana plants inside.  Kyllo was charged with one count of manufacturing marijuana in violation of a federal law.  At his trial, he asked the district court to suppress the marijuana evidence because the agents had conducted the thermal-imaging scan without a warrant.  He argued that the thermal-imaging scan itself was a search.   
Unless an established exception applies, the Fourth Amendment requires the government to have a warrant in order to conduct a search or seize evidence.  Was the thermal-imaging scan of Kyllo’s home a Fourth Amendment “search” that required a warrant?



4TH AMENDMENT FACTOR



YOUR RESPONSE


UNREASONABLE SEARCH OR SEIZURE?

Yes (no recognized exception).


BY THE GOVERNMENT?






OF AN AREA THAT FALLS WITHIN AN EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY?






THAT IS LEGITIMATE (or REASONABLE)?







Kyllo Holdings



4TH AMENDMENT FACTOR



YOUR RESPONSE


UNREASONABLE SEARCH OR SEIZURE?


Yes, it was a search of the home for heat levels and did not fall within a recognized exception.


BY THE GOVERNMENT?



Yes, explicitly by federal government agents.


OF AN AREA THAT FALLS WITHIN AN EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY?



The resident probably did not expect anyone to test their walls for heat, so they expected privacy.


THAT IS LEGITIMATE (or REASONABLE)?



The court held that the fact that thermal imaging equipment is not in public use [and/or because it could be argued that it invades the interior of the home] meant that Kyllo’s expectation of privacy from this type of intrusion was reasonable.



(Florida v. Riley was a case decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1989.) 
           In August of 1984, Deputy Kurt Gell, a police officer with Florida’s Pasco County Sheriff's Office received an anonymous tip that Michael A. Riley was growing marijuana on his five acres of rural land. Deputy Gell examined the area on foot and found a greenhouse located 10-20 feet behind a mobile home. The home and greenhouse were surrounded by a fence, and the only two sides of the greenhouse that were not enclosed were hidden by trees and the mobile home. A wire fence surrounding the mobile home and the greenhouse was posted with a “DO NOT ENTER” sign.
In order to see what the greenhouse contained, Deputy Gell flew a helicopter over the property at an altitude of approximately 400 feet. The greenhouse was covered by corrugated roofing panels, some translucent and some opaque. At the time, two of the panels, amounting to approximately 10% of the roof area, were missing. As such, Gell was able to see inside, and he identified the plants inside the greenhouse as marijuana plants. Although Gell took pictures of the greenhouse, he testified that he was able to see inside the greenhouse and identify the plants as marijuana with his naked eye. No other details of the inside of the home were observed, and there was no undue noise, wind, dust, or threat of injury associated with Deputy Gell’s observation of the greenhouse.
Based on these observations, Gell went to a judge to get a warrant to search Riley's property. Forty-four marijuana plants were found in the greenhouse, and Riley was charged with possession of marijuana. At trial, Riley moved to suppress the marijuana evidence, arguing that the aerial search of his property was a violation of the Fourth Amendment and that, as such, the evidence found (the marijuana) should be excluded at trial.

Unless an established exception applies, the Fourth Amendment requires the government to have a warrant in order to conduct a search or seize evidence.  Was the search from the air involved in this case a Fourth Amendment “search” that required a warrant?


4TH AMENDMENT FACTOR



YOUR RESPONSE


UNREASONABLE SEARCH OR SEIZURE?



Yes (no recognized exception).


BY THE GOVERNMENT?






OF AN AREA THAT FALLS WITHIN AN EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY?






THAT IS LEGITIMATE (or REASONABLE)?










Riley Holdings



4TH AMENDMENT FACTOR



YOUR RESPONSE

[UNREASONABLE] SEARCH OR SEIZURE?


It was a search in that the police were looking for something inside the property and is not covered by an exception.


BY THE GOVERNMENT?




Yes, Deputy Gell was a police officer.


OF AN AREA THAT FALLS WITHIN AN EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY?



Yes, he clearly expected no one to see.


THAT IS LEGITIMATE (or REASONABLE)?



No, the Supreme Court concluded that this expectation was not reasonable, because the general public could also fly over the yard and see in if they wanted to.


“In an age where private and commercial flight in the public airways is routine, it is unreasonable for respondent to expect that his marijuana plants were constitutionally protected from being observed with the naked eye from an altitude of 1,000 feet. The Fourth Amendment simply does not require the police traveling in the public airways at this altitude to obtain a warrant in order to observe what is visible to the naked eye.”

CA v. Ciraolo


The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
send message

    Main page