Probable Cause/Plain View

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Probable Cause/Plain View

Postby mcm1211 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:10 am

Hey guys, I'm writing my final college paper for a "Criminal Law" class. I'm supposed to write on a definitional issue of Criminal Law, citing 6 cases using Lexis.

I'm planning to discuss Probable Cause and the Plain View Doctrine. Just wondering if you law students know any fundamental cases pertaining to these issues, or could recommend anything that I should look at?


Anonymous Loser
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Re: Probable Cause/Plain View

Postby Anonymous Loser » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:53 am

For probable cause, Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1983) is a good starting point for your purposes.

For plain view, take a look at Horton v. California, 496 U.S. 128 (1990).

Bear in mind that trying to develop an understanding of 4th Amendment jurisprudence by wading directly into the case law is likely a bad idea, as this is an area of law that is very fact-specific, and exceptions are the rule. You'll be better served searching for recent law review articles or treatises that discuss the issues in which you are interested.

Ignatius J. Reilly
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Re: Probable Cause/Plain View

Postby Ignatius J. Reilly » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:25 pm

Why would you write about the two together? I mean, they are related to an extent, but if you can only do six cases then I would choose one or the other and stick to that. In any case, here are some cases for both in addition to what the previous poster said:

PC: Carroll v. U.S.; Spinelli v. U.S. (even though this is not technically the law anymore, Gates is, it's still important because the prongs are important factors in the TOTC test; plus, you will find a lot of spinoffs of this case and you could probably write your whole paper about the Spinelli prongs re: the test for determining PC when the warrant is based on information from an informant)

Plain view: Arizona v. Hicks; Illinois v. Rodriguez; Maryland v. Buie; Maryland v. Garrison. (Some of these cases aren't the foundational plain view cases--Horton is--but you will see how plain view operates in practice).

Sorry, I do not have the cites for these cases off hand. You can probably just wikipedia them and get them.

edit: I also agree with the previous poster who said to start with law review articles if you don't already have a good fourth amendment foundation. It can be tricky, and if you just dive into plain view you might get lost. Also, you could start with legal encyclopedias or treatises. You will find cases there, too.

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Re: Probable Cause/Plain View

Postby TTT-LS » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:31 pm

Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Probable Cause/Plain View

Postby mcm1211 » Sun May 02, 2010 8:57 pm

I just wanted to thank you guys for the awesome responses! My paper turned out great, so thanks again!

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