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Oliver v. United States


Narcotic agents, acting on a report that marijuana was being grown on the defendant’s farm, went there to investigate. They drove past the defendant’s house to a locked gate with a “no trespassing” sign, but with a footpath around the gate on one side. The agents walked around the gate and along the footpath and found a field of marijuana over a mile from the defendant’s house.


Whether the officers’ observations were made from the open field?


Yes. The officers’ observations were made from an area in which the defendant did not have the ability to challenge.


Steps taken to protect privacy, such as planting the marijuana on secluded land and erecting fences and “No Trespassing” signs around the property, do not necessarily establish an expectation of privacy in an open field. Open fields do not provide the setting for those intimate activities that the Fourth Amendment is intended to shelter from government intrusion or surveillance.


466 U.S. 170, 104 S. Ct. 1735 (1984)

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