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Search and Seizure Case Study

Search and Seizure Case Study

10940Case Study: In the Los Angeles Brentwood neighborhood, neighbors have notified the police that they have seen vehicles coming and going from one specific home. The incidents occur between 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. The neighbors believe drug activity may be taking place. The local police division assigns officers Williams and Martinez to investigate possible drug activity at that location.
Officer Williams contacts the neighborhood’s regular trash collection service and asks it to put the contents of the subject’s (defendant’s) garbage left at the curb in plastic bags so as to not mix the subject’s garbage with others. He also asked the trash collector to turn the subject’s bags over to him at the end of trash day collections. The trash collector did as Officer Williams requested. Officer Williams’s partner, Officer Martinez, searched through the garbage and found items indicative of narcotics use. Officer Williams and Officer Martinez then listed the information obtained from the trash in an affidavit to support a warrant to search the defendant’s home. Officer Martinez and Officer Williams encountered the defendant at the house later that day upon execution of the warrant. The officers found quantities of cocaine and heroin during the search and arrested the defendant on felony narcotics charges.

Note: As you complete this assignment, it will be helpful to you to read the actual case on which this case study is based: California v. Greenwood.

Instructions
Write a three- to four-page analysis of this case study in which you:

1.Explain in your own words the Fourth Amendment, which governs the officers’ actions.
2.Determine which of the following doctrines apply to this case study: plain view, abandonment, open fields, or border searches.
3.Be sure to support your determination by citing specific case law and/or contemporary cases.
You may find the CQ Supreme Court Collection database useful as you conduct your research.
4. Assess the constitutionality of the officers’ actions in the case study.

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