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Ever heard of the "Open Fields" rulings?

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by Bps1691, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Bps1691

    Bps1691 Monkey++

    I thought that the fourth amendment was really pretty self-explanatory:<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com[​IMG]
    FOURTH AMENDMENT [U.S. Constitution] - 'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.'

    I ran across something today while I was researching something else, that really caused me some consternation.

    I found that the courts have granted government agents (including game wardens) what I consider to be "extra ordinary privileges" when it comes to our Fourth Amendment Rights to enter my property without cause and warant. I had never heard of the Government’s Open Fields rulings.

    The second reference I found really honks me off.


    "Open Fields".—In Hester v. United States,285 the Court held that the Fourth Amendment did not protect "open fields" and that, therefore, police searches in such areas as pastures, wooded areas, open water, and vacant lots need not comply with the requirements of warrants and probable cause.

    The Court's announcement in Katz v. United States286 that the Amendment protects "people not places" cast some doubt on the vitality of the open fields principle, but all such doubts were cast away in Oliver v. United States.287 Invoking Hester's reliance on the literal wording of the Fourth Amendment (open fields are not "effects") and distinguishing Katz, the Court ruled that the open fields exception applies to fields that are fenced and posted.

    "[A]n individual may not legitimately demand privacy for activities conducted out of doors in fields, except in the area immediately surrounding the home."288 Nor may an individual demand privacy for activities conducted within outbuildings and visible by trespassers peering into the buildings from just outside.289 Even within the curtilage and notwithstanding that the owner has gone to the extreme of erecting a 10-foot high fence in order to screen the area from ground-level view, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy from naked-eye inspection from fixed-wing aircraft flying in navigable airspace"

    This one really got my attention-



    Posting and fencing an open field does not necessarily alter its character so as to create a protected Fourth Amendment privacy interest in the field. While posting a field puts an outsider on notice that he is about to commit a trespass, the facts of Hester make clear that the "open fields" doctrine is based on the lack of privacy expectation in the field and does not depend on whether or not the police officer is aware that he is trespassing. The posting of "No Trespass" signs, as a practical matter, gives a landowner little assurance that outsiders will not enter his property; indeed, state statutes typically give law enforcement officials, such as game wardens, specific authority to enter private posted lands to monitor compliance with state wildlife laws.
    See, e.g., Fla. Stat. Ann.
    Section 372.07(1) and (2)(a) (West 1974).

    What were the founding fathers thinking giving us the right to Freedom from the illegal and unsupported (warantless) search activities of our private proprities by the authorities????


  2. enough

    enough Monkey++

    The Michigan DNR will regularly trespass onto your property to look for baiting, and will disrupt you in your deer blind to inspect for blaze orange. Its all without probable cause. They actually have more power than a state trooper around here.

    I can't cite the exact wording anymore, but its on the book. :sad:
  3. GunshowNick

    GunshowNick Did you get your tickets?

    If the area (field) can be viewed from the road way or air it's not protected.
  4. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer


    4th was ruled againt by scotus anyway...just more scribbling on an old document :( ...
    Supreme Court Rules Against Fourth Amendment

    Kurt Nimmo
    January 15, 2009
    As the Democrats in Congress methodically plot against the Second Amendment, the Supreme Court works in unison against the Fourth Amendment. On January 14, the Court ruled that evidence obtained through illegal searches may be used to prosecute criminal defendants.
    <table width="416" align="left" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody><tr> <td height="16">[​IMG]</td> <td width="16">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="400">[​IMG]</td> <td>[​IMG]</td> </tr> <tr> <td height="8">
    </td> <td>
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="photo-caption" valign="top" width="400" align="left">The Supremes rule against the Fourth Amendment. </td> <td> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> According to Mark Sherman of the Associated Press, the justices split 5-4 along “ideological lines.” In other words, the ideology of the majority of the Supreme Court is apparently arrayed against the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas rule against the exclusionary rule, which requires evidence to be suppressed if it results from a violation of a suspect’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches or seizure.
    Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens dissented. Bader Ginsburg said the ruling leaves the suspect in the case, Bennie Dean Herring of Alabama who was illegally convicted on drug and weapon charges, “and others like him, with no remedy for violations of their constitutional rights.”
    “The most serious impact of the court’s holding will be on innocent persons wrongfully arrested based on erroneous information carelessly maintained in a computer database,” wrote Ginsberg.
    The “ideological” majority focused on the “societal costs of excluding drugs and other evidence seized,” according to USA Today. In other words, the social bias of Supreme Court “conservatives” against drugs trumps protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment.
    By ruling against the exclusionary rule, the Supremes have rolled American law back to a time before 1789 when English law did not provide as strong an exclusionary rule as the one that later developed under the Fourth Amendment, in part a reaction against English law including the general warrant and the writs of assistance.

    • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
    • [​IMG]
    In a related development, the so-called federal intelligence court, in a “rare public opinion,” according to Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times, “is expected to issue a major ruling validating the power of the president and Congress to wiretap
  5. USMCwife

    USMCwife Monkey++

  6. Bps1691

    Bps1691 Monkey++

    That makes sense, but the part that doesn't is:

    "."288 Nor may an individual demand privacy for activities conducted within outbuildings and visible by trespassers peering into the buildings from just outside"

    It sounds like an agent can climb your fence, walk across your ground, come up to your garage and look through a window into an outbuilding and still not need a warrant.

    I understand there would be times where this would be ligitimate, but shouldn't they at least have probable cause and get a warrant BEFORE they do the deed?

  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Then you ask simply: "Is this land State owned land, or is it my land?"

    Chances are, it is State owned property, as not too many people actually own the land and possess the allodial title. In fact, if you pay "property tax", which is rent to the State for the use of their land, then you do not own your land.

    ANYWAY, I digress.

    In order to exercise a right, one must be afforded the opportunity to do so. The first question to ask whenever a right is in violation is, "Who owns the property?" -If you do not own the property in question, or if it is not public property, then you cannot exercise your rights freely, as this "right" is reserved for the individual(s) who own the property alone.

    Most people own "REAL ESTATE", (from the house up) - not property. Imagine their surprise now.
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