Thursday, March 22, 2012
Joseph Magrisso has posted Protecting Apartment Dwellers from Warrantless Dog Sniffs (University of Miami Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This article argues that when the United States Supreme Court decides Florida v. Jardines, No. 11-564, it should hold that a dog sniff for drugs of the exterior of a home is a search under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. The Florida Supreme Court had held that a dog sniff of the exterior of a house is a search requiring probable cause and a warrant. However, the Florida Supreme Court did not extend its holding to dog sniffs of the exteriors of apartments and similar dwellings in multi-unit structures. Faced with precedent from other jurisdictions that interprets United States Supreme Court case law to hold that a dog sniff is never a search, the Florida Supreme Court nonetheless endeavored to preserve the sanctity of the home from the intrusion posed by warrantless dog sniffs. Once determined on that path, the Florida Supreme Court should have extended Fourth Amendment protection from warrantless dog sniffs to types of homes other than houses. This article argues that, as homes, apartments and similar dwellings harbor expectations of privacy just as reasonable as those attached to houses, so that if houses receive protection, so should they. The Florida Supreme Court left its task incomplete, but Jardines has presented the United States Supreme Court with an opportunity to revisit its dog sniff jurisprudence, and to preserve the sanctity of the home.