Plain View/Open Fields
February 7, 2010
In our readings the plain view doctrine states “that items that are within the sight of an officer who is legally in a place from which the view is made may properly be seized without a warrant—as long as such items are immediately recognizable as subject to seizure”. There are some requirements of the plain view doctrine. One requirement is the awareness of the items solely through the officer’s sight. Another requirement is that the officer must be legally in the place of where the item is seen. There are a few ways the officer could be there legally which are; while serving a search warrant, while in pursuit of a suspect, entry with a valid consent, and while making a valid arrest. The last requirement is item must be immediately seized. The items seized are only admissible as evidence if all three requirements are met. The plain view doctrine is not covered in the fourth amendment. In our reading it states “the open field’s doctrine holds that items in open fields are not protected by the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures, so they can properly be taken by an officer without a warrant or probable cause.” There are certain areas that are not included in the open field’s doctrine. One place is a house; houses are protected under the fourth amendment. Other places would be our curtilage. Curtilage is defined as “the area to which extends the intimate activity associated with the ‘sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of life”. Some examples of cartilage are yards, fenced areas, apartment houses, barns, and garages. In the scenario the officers were pursuing a suspect that robbed a purse. During the pursuit the suspect dropped the pursuit but the officers kept on pursuing. The officers lost the suspect and headed back to the purse. While returning to the purse the officers heard screaming behind a brick-walled backyard. The officer looked through the wall...
References: CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: LAW & PRACTICE COPYRIGHT © 2004 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning Chp 9
United States v. Sedillo laws. findlaw.com/us/496/151.html
Harris v. United States laws. findlaw.com/us/390/234.html
Please join StudyMode to read the full document