Facts of the case
On November 3, 2006, the Miami-Dade Police Department received an unverified crime stopperstip that the home of Joelis Jardines was being used to grow marijuana. On December 6, 2006, two detectives, along with a trained drug detection dog, approached the residence. The dog handler accompanied the dog to the front door of the home. The dog signaled that it detected the scent of narcotics. The detective also personally smelled marijuana.The detective prepared an affidavit and applied for a search warrant, which was issued. A search confirmed that marijuana was being grown inside the home. Jardines was arrested and charged with trafficking cannabis. Jardines moved to suppress the evidence seized at his home on the theory that the drug dog’s sniff was an impermissible search under the Fourth Amendment and that all subsequent evidence was fruit of the poisonous tree.The trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing and subsequently ruled to suppress the evidence. The state appealed the suppression ruling and the state appellate court reversed, concluding that no illegal search had occurred since the officer had the right to go up to the defendant’s front door and that a warrant was not necessary for the drug dog’s sniff. The Florida Supreme Court reversed the appellate court’s decision and concluded that the dog’s sniff was a substantial government intrusion into the sanctity of the home and constituted a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The state of Florida appealed the Florida Supreme Court’s decision.
On March 26, 2013, by a 5-4 margin, the Supreme Court held that the government’s use of trained police dogs to investigate the home and its immediate surroundings is a searchwithin the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, thus affirming the Florida Supreme Court. While an officer not armed with a warrant could approach a home and knock, because any private citizen might do so, introducing a trained police dog to explore the area around the home in hopes of discovering incriminating evidence was something else. There was no customary invitation to do that. That the officers learned what they learned only by physically intruding on defendant’s property to gather evidence was enough to establish that a Fourth Amendment search occurred.
- Advocates: Gregory G. Garre for the petitioner Nicole A. Saharsky Assistant to the Solicitor General, Department of Justice, for the United States, as amicus curiae, supporting the petitioner Howard K. Blumberg for the respondent
- Petitioner: State of Florida
- Respondent: Joelis Jardines
- DECIDED BY:Roberts Court
- Location: A Private Residence
|Citation:||569 US 1 (2013)|
|Granted:||Jan 6, 2012|
|Argued:||Oct 31, 2012|
|Decided:||Mar 26, 2013|