Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
The extent of the curtilage is determined by factors that bear upon whether an individual reasonably may expect that the area in question should be treated as the home itself. The following factors are relevant: 1) the proximity of the area claimed to be curtilage to the home, 2) whether the area is included within an enclosure surrounding the home, 3) the nature of the uses to which the area is put, and 4) the steps taken by the resident to protect the area from observation by people passing by. These factors are useful analytical tools only to the degree that, in any given case, they bear upon the centrally relevant consideration, whether the area in question is so intimately tied to the home itself that it should be placed under the home's umbrella of U.S. Const. amend. IV protection.
Appellant, the United States, filed an indictment against appellee Kevin Reilly and charged appellee with manufacture of marijuana. In addition, appellant sought criminal forfeiture of the property used to grow the marijuana. The lower court granted appellee's motion to suppress the marijuana evidence, holding that the search invaded appellee’s curtilage. Appellant sought review and contended that the search did not invade appellee's curtilage and that, even if the search occurred on appellee's curtilage, the resultant evidence fell within the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule.
The Court rejected both contentions of the government and affirmed the lower court's decision. In reaching its decision, the Court held that the lower court correctly defined curtilage and determined that the police officers invaded appellee's curtilage in conducting the search. Moreover, the Court held that the resultant evidence did not fall within the good faith exception, because the police officers failed to provide sufficient information about the search to the judge in the affidavit in support of the search warrant.