US Supreme Court To Argue Use Of K9 Search Outside Your Home

Infowars – by Donna Anderson

They’re already allowed to search your car, your crotch and your luggage. Now, man’s best friend is about to be allowed to sniff around outside your home, too. And if they smell something they don’t like, you’re going to jail. Your Constitutional right to secure your home against unreasonable search and seizure is about to be erased.

Gregory Garre, an attorney representing the state of Florida, argues that it’s perfectly legal to use drug-detection dogs to sniff around your outside house and if the dog alerts they can use that to justify entering your home to conduct a search. He compares it to Trick-or-Treaters on Halloween night:

“The police ‘did the same thing that millions of Americans will do on Halloween night, which is walk up to the front steps, knock on the door, and while they were there, they took in the air and the dog alerted to the smell of illegal narcotics.’”

The difference is, Americans don’t have to open their doors to Trick-or-Treaters if they don’t want to, but we all know what happens if you deny entry to a cop.

At issue is a 2006 case involving Joelis Jardines. After receiving an anonymous crime-stoppers tip that Jardines was conducting illegal drug activity in his home, police officers showed up on his doorstep with Franky, their drug-sniffing dog. When Franky alerted for drugs – outside the home, on the front porch – police officers got a warrant, searched Jardines’ home, found marijuana, and arrested him.

Jardines’ lawyer, Public Defender Howard Blumberg, argued that the dog sniff constituted illegal search and seizure and the Florida Supreme Court agreed.

“The entire history of the Fourth Amendment really is based on the fact that the home is different,” says Jardines’ lawyer, Howard Blumberg. “It goes all the way back to the early 1600s and the saying that a man’s home is his castle.”

The case now stands before the US Supreme Court where justices will be asked to decide if allowing a dog to perform a drug-sniff at the front door is a Fourth Amendment search requiring probable cause. Blumberg warns that if the use of drug-sniffing dogs outside the home is not deemed to be a search the “real-life consequences could be profound.”

“Police would be free ‘to walk up and down suburban neighborhoods, go up to each door, and see if the dog alerts to contraband.’ And they could do the same thing in apartment houses, checking out each apartment door ‘based on nothing, or on an anonymous tip, or because that’s what they want to do that day.’”

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says: “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.”

In 2001 Justice Antonin Scalia ruled that police could not use heat-detection devices outside a home to detect marijuana grow lights, calling it an invasion of privacy because the technology could also detect innocent details of the homeowner’s life, such as “the hour at which the lady of the house takes her bath.”

Of course, the state argues that the police have much better things to do with their time than walk their drug-sniffing dogs around homes and apartment buildings if they don’t have probable cause. They also argue that their dogs only alert to drugs, so what’s the problem?

The problem is, when it comes to drug sniffing dogs you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you don’t allow the search you’re automatically assumed guilty. If you do, those dogs are going to find something and you’re either going to jail or the cops are going to confiscate whatever they find.

Under current laws, law enforcement agencies are allowed to seize assets they suspect are tied to illegal activity. Once the property has been seized it’s up to the owner to prove he obtained those assets legally. In about 80 percent of forfeiture cases the property owner is never charged with a crime, and he never gets the property back.

Consider the 2010 case of Jerome Chennault who lost $22,870 in a traffic stop. While traveling between South Carolina and his home in Henderson, Nev., Chennault was pulled over in Edwardsvill, Ill. for following another car too closely. The officer thought he had an “inappropriate laugh” and asked Chennault if he could search his car. Of course, Chennault said yes, what else could he say?

The officer found $22,870 in a side pocket of Chennault’s travel bag. A narcotics dog was called to the scene and the dog gave a positive alert when it sniffed the cash.

When Chennault was questioned further, he told officials that he had withdrawn $28,000 from an account in Las Vegas “and had left home with it three or four months prior intending to buy a house in South Carolina while staying with a nephew,” according to the complaint.

Chennault then had to spend more than $2,000 in court and attorney fees to get his money back. Madison County Public Defender John Rekowski said, “To forfeit when there is a crime is one thing. To say that you have to come in and post, in this case, more than $2,000 with the court to get back the $22,000 that they took from you because they felt like taking it, is ridiculous.”

In a 2005 case, Illinois v. Caballes, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that having a K9 cop sniff the outside of a vehicle during a routine traffic stop does not violate the Fourth Amendment. However, Justice David Souter dissented, pointing out the mounting evidence that drug-sniffing dogs aren’t always reliable, noting that an Illinois study found the dogs failed 12.5 to 60 percent of the time.

Dogs are bred and trained to please their human owners and they can easily be manipulated to alert whenever their handler wants them to. Even the most conscientious handler can inadvertently use body language that he’s suspicious of something and the dog will alert simply because that’s the way he’s been trained.

In 2011, the Chicago Tribune published a review of drug searches which found that, over a 3-year period, only 44 percent of dog alerts led to the discovery of actual illegal drugs. The report also stated that for Hispanic drivers the success rate was only 27 percent, making it even more obvious that drug-sniffing dogs are responding to the biases of their handlers.

The Huffington Post showed video of a traffic stop to K-9 expert, Gene Papet, the Executive Director of K9 Resources.

“Just before the dog alerts, you can hear a change in the tone of the handler’s voice. That’s troubling. I don’t know anything about this particular handler, but that’s often an indication of a handler that’s cuing a response.” In other words, it’s indicative of a handler instructing the dog to alert, not waiting to see whether the dog will alert.”

“You also hear the handler say at one point that the dog alerted from the front of the car because the wind is blowing from the back of the car to the front, so the scent would have carried with the wind,” Papet says. “But the dog was brought around the car twice. If that’s the case, the dog should have alerted the first time he was brought to the front of the car. The dog only alerted the second time, which corresponded to what would be consistent with a vocal cue from the handler.

The Florida case is expected to be presented to the U.S. Supreme Court in December.

23 thoughts on “US Supreme Court To Argue Use Of K9 Search Outside Your Home

  1. Simple solution.
    Just sprinkle around your home snuff tobacco! & see the K9 sneezing to his heart content!
    After this treatment this K9 will only make a house pet!

    1. Try Duke #330 Traps. Even if a human gets caught by the leg or arm, it’ll take 2 buddies & a hacksaw/hand grinder to get the b*tch off if they don’t have a set tool. Kills dogs on the spot with a head grab.

      1. Huh BentSpear, I use to have a trap line when I was a kid – that is one way I made extra money – and I used to use conabear and jump traps. I never heard of those Duke #330 traps. Traps are very good if used approriately. I will have to check out one of those Duke # 330`s. Thanks BentSpear.

    2. Wonder if they’d charge you for not having a “fur bearers” license? I’ll have to check the DNR’s web site for dog season.

  2. Take some real cheap mexican pot, brought into this country by the CIA, and grind it up really fine and sperad though out your town…Spread cyan pepper around your house…Problem solved!!

  3. I see this as having two goals: 1. an increase in the seizure of property and assets to boost local and federal funds. 2. another way to bolster the prison population to provide slave labour for the corporate players and keep up the high profits of the private prison industry.
    We have already seen articles where people have had money seized by the police after a positive reaction by police sniffer dogs, even though it’s acknowledged that a very high percentage of bank notes in general circulation are tainted… not that many of the general population know that of course, which is something they rely on!
    I have also noticed a shift over the last decade or two, whereby the idea of innocence until proven guilty no longer counts, and it is up to the individual now to prove innocence, rather than the police to prove guilt.

  4. All money in this country smells like drugs. That’s a proven fact. So dogs will alert to cash, even if the person holding it has no drugs. The cops use this as an excuse, but they do it intentionally anyway, and people lose their things when they did nothing wrong at all.

  5. Hmmmm

    Just remember that the police cannot enter your property without your permission or probable cause and a warrant signed by a Judge. So unless you say OK or they have already have evidence of a crime and have a warrant signed by a Judge THE DOGS CANNOT “SNIFF” AROUND YOUR HOUSE!!!!!! You see police are just citizens they are not super citizens. The Constitution and Biill of RIghts does NOT grant police special rights above other citizens despite all the rhetoric to the contrary.

    SO if someone enters your property without your permission you have the legal right to demand that they leave. And if they don’t leave, you have the legal right to protect your person and property by forcing them to leave.


    1. Nope DDearborn you are wrong. All a cop needs is suspicion that a crime/felony is being commited and they can break down your door just because they have reason to believe. I know – they did that to me back in the 90`s. All they need is to find something they consider wrong or illeagle. Also they will say that there was no time to obtain a search warrent.

      1. “All a cop needs is suspicion that a crime/felony is being commited and they can break down your door just because they have reason to believe.”

        Wasn’t that at one time “Plausible Cause”? That there had to be something factual (Instead of a “believe” something that might or might not be true.), like a scream indicating direct and imminent danger for someone behind that door?
        I don’t think they can get away with, that in a house, in the middle of a 10 acre piece of property, they smelled a small baggie of weed hidden behind a desk in the attic. IE a made up claim, that substantiated itself by the recovery of the evidence of a long gone time, where someone in the family experienced with drugs in the attic.

        “Also they will say that there was no time to obtain a search warrant.”

        And the judge didn’t throw it out of court?


        If a government actor conducts an illegal search (one that violates the Fourth Amendment), the government cannot present any evidence discovered during that search at trial. Known as the “exclusionary rule”, this rule aims to deter police officers from conducting unreasonable searches. Opponents of the exclusionary rule, however, argue that it lets guilty criminals go free on technicalities.

        In addition, evidence obtained through illegal searches cannot lead police to the discovery of other evidence. This legal rule, known as the “fruit of the poisonous tree”, is also designed to prevent government actors from invading people’s privacy by conducting unreasonable searches. If police know, so the theory goes, that any evidence they obtain based on what they discover in an illegal search will be thrown out, they won’t conduct illegal searches in the first place.

        Here are a few examples to illustrate the exclusionary rule and the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine:

        Officer Joe suspects that Chris is selling drugs. Without a warrant, Officer Joe walks into Chris’ house and finds drugs and a scale on the kitchen table. Officer Joe arrests Chris, but the judge throws out the evidence of the drugs and scale on the basis of the exclusionary rule.

        In the example above, instead of finding drugs and a scale, Office Joe finds a map to locations throughout the city where Chris is storing his drugs for sale. Officer Joe collects the drugs and enters both them and the map as evidence. The map is thrown out because of the exclusionary rule, and, because Officer Joe would not have discovered the drugs without the map, the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine prevents the use of the drugs as evidence.

        It is important to note, however, that just because the prosecution can’t use certain evidence at trial, it doesn’t mean that a judge will dismiss a case or that a jury will acquit the defendant. Prosecutors may have enough other evidence to convict the defendant even without the results of the illegal search.

        Plus, while prosecutors can’t use improperly obtained evidence to secure a conviction, that evidence may enter into other areas of the trial. For instance:

        The evidence may become a factor in civil and immigration cases
        Prosecutors can use the evidence to attack the credibility of a witness under certain circumstances
        Judges may consider the evidence when determining a sentence after a conviction

        1. Hmmm

          Actually no the fact that the courts grants police these powers in direct violation of the fourth amendment does not make them Constitutional in any way shape or form . The 4th amendment doesn’t mention the phrase “probable cause”, or even allude to it in any way. This was a made up phrase like “enemy combatants” which was made up by the courts to conn the people into believing what they are doing is legal. Its not. Remember the Supreme Court is NOT the final arbitrator of the law. The US CONSTITUTION IS: And as citizens we have the legal and moral right to decide if and when the Courts have violated that Constitution. In short even the Sumpreme Court ultimately answers to the people. It is just that since WWI people have forgetten. (helped by the media and educational system)

          1. Oh dear. Must be me lying eyes then:


            Amendment IV

            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.

            It says “no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause”

            I see, they made it up.

        2. Nope, they found a pot pipe. My ex was going crazy on me and some one heard her – she was one of them that like to do a lot of bitchin, screaming, and throwing things and that was their original reason to come in. Yep my ex was drunk and obnoxious – she was a mean ol`lady for sure – and that is why they came in. It was legitamized because of my bong.

          1. I had no lawyer TranceAm. If it was a criminal charge I would have had one appointed to me, but because it was a mistermeaner I would have had to obtain one myself and at that time I could not afford one.

  6. How can they legally come on to your property without a warrant?
    Your home is isolated from public property by set backs.
    They cannot breach these setbacks without a warrant in mho.

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