CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, July 8, 2013

"14 days video surveillance of defendant’s back yard by a pole camera unreasonable, but [good-faith exception] applies" excerpts this interesting case from the Eastern District of Tennessee. In part:

Although the precise length of reasonable warrantless video surveillance has not been established, the Sixth Circuit in Anderson-Bagshaw has suggested that three weeks is too long. No. 12-3074, 2012 WL 6600331, at *7 (observing that "few people ... would expect that the government can constantly film their backyard for over three weeks" without a search warrant); see also Jones, 132 S.Ct. at 964 (Alito, J., concurring in jmt) (observing that the Court "need not identify with precision the point at which the tracking of this vehicle became a search, for the line was surely crossed before the 4-week mark"). Additionally, the Court has no information that the agents attempted to limit the intrusiveness of the video surveillance, other than limiting monitoring of the camera primarily to "daylight hours." [Doc. 15, Doc. 17, Exh. 4, p.11, ¶14] For example, neither the testimony at the hearings nor Agent Dobbs' affidavits state that the agents stopped monitoring the camera when others besides the Defendant and his brother Rocky Houston were at the property.

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