RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Adult Store
DOCKET NO.: 77-1722
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
CITATION: 441 US 238 (1979)
ARGUED: Jan 09, 1979 / Jan 10, 1979
DECIDED: Apr 18, 1979
Mr. Andrew L. Frey -
Louis A. Ruprecht - for petitioner
Facts of the case
Media for Dalia v. United States
- Opinion Announcement - April 18, 1979
- Oral Argument - January 10, 1979
- Oral Argument - January 09, 1979
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 09, 1979 in Dalia v. United States
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - April 18, 1979 in Dalia v. United States
Lewis F. Powell, Jr.:
The second case 77-1722, Dalia against the United States is before us on a writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
The question presented is whether Court's consistent with the Constitution and with Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 may approve covert entries onto private premises for the purpose of installing electronic eavesdropping equipment.
Petitioner, Dalia, was convicted of conspiracy and receiving stolen goods.
The incriminating evidence was obtained largely from an electronic bug planted in the ceiling of his office by FBI agents who secretly entered and installed the device.
In the courts below, petitioner contended as he does here that this evidence was inadmissible because the law enforcement officers acted unlawfully and thus entering his office.
The District Court and the Court of Appeals both rejected petitioner's argument.
In an opinion filed today with the clerk of the Court, we agree and affirm the judgment of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
We conclude first that Congress in Title III granted Court's the power in certain circumstances to authorize surreptitious entries for the purpose of installing electronic surveillance equipment.
We agree with the courts below that the District Court's order authorizing the surveillance of petitioner's conversations a valid order under Title III, implicitly and necessarily also authorized the secret entry to install the bug.
We hold further that the Fourth Amendment neither forbids such entries per se nor requires explicit rather than implicit judicial approval of the entry and of the exact means of installing the bug.
Mr. Justice Brennan has filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part in which Mr. Justice Stewart joins except as to Part I.
Mr. Justice Stevens has filed a dissenting opinion in which Mr. Justice Brennan and Mr. Justice Marshall have joined.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you, Mr. Justice Powell.