State appealed from order of the Superior Court which dismissed drug
charges against defendants. The California Court of Appeal, 182
Cal.App.3d 729, 227 Cal.Rptr. 539, affirmed, and certiorari was
granted. The Supreme Court, Justice White, held that defendants did
not have reasonable expectation of privacy protected by the Fourth
Amendment in garbage which they placed in opaque bags outside their
house for collection by trash collector.
Reversed and remanded.
Justice Brennan dissented and filed an opinion in which Justice
Marshall joined.
Justice Kennedy did not participate.
WHITE, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which REHNQUIST,
BRENNAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which MARSHALL, J.,
joined, post, p. —-. KENNEDY, J., took no part in the consideration
or decision of the case.
Michael J. Pear argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the
briefs were Cecil Hicks and Michael R. Capizzi.
Michael Ian Garey, by appointment of the Court, 484 U.S. 808, argued
the cause for respondents and filed a brief for respondent Greenwood.
Richard L. Schwartzberg filed a brief for respondent Van Houten.*
* Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed for the State of
California et al. by John K. Van de Kamp, Attorney General of
California, Steve White, Chief Assistant Attorney General, John H.
Sugiyama, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Ronald E. Niver and
Laurence K. Sullivan, Supervising Deputy Attorneys General, and by the
Attorneys General for their respective States as follows: Robert
Butterworth of Florida, Warren Price III of Hawaii, Linley E. Pearson
of Indiana, David L. Armstrong of Kentucky, Hubert H. Humphrey III of
Minnesota, LeRoy S. Zimmerman of Pennsylvania, Travis Medlock of South
Carolina, W.J. Michael Cody of Tennessee, Kenneth O. Eikenberry of
Washington, Donald J. Hanaway of Wisconsin, and Joseph B. Meyer of
Wyoming; and for Americans for Effective Law Enforcement, Inc., et al.
by Fred E. Inbau, Wayne W. Schmidt, James P. Manak, David Crump,
Courtney A. Evans, Daniel B. Hales, and Jack E. Yelverton.
Justice WHITE delivered the opinion of the Court.
The issue here is whether the Fourth Amendment prohibits the
warrantless search and seizure of garbage left for collection outside
the curtilage of a home. We conclude, in accordance with the vast
majority of lower courts that have addressed the issue, that it does
In early 1984, Investigator Jenny Stracner of the Laguna Beach Police
Department received information indicating that respondent Greenwood
might be engaged in narcotics trafficking. Stracner learned that a
criminal suspect had informed a federal drug enforcement agent in
February 1984 that a truck filled with illegal drugs was en route to
the Laguna Beach address at which Greenwood resided. In addition, a
neighbor complained of heavy vehicular traffic late at night in front
of Greenwoods single-family home. The neighbor reported that the

Get Your Essay

Cite this page

Justice White And Michael J. Pear. (April 15, 2021). Retrieved from