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Florine E. Barton
Criminal Law and Procedure
Assignment 06
10 November 2014

Open-field and Procedure

    The meaning of curtilage is a yard, a piece of ground, or garden which adjoins a dwelling house.   The land immediately surrounding and associated with the home. (The Law Dictionary, pp. 97).

    The meaning of open-field is a rule of law that an individual may not legitimately demand privacy, and consequently the guarantee and protection from searches and seizures without a warrant or probable case for activities conducted out of doors in fields, except in the area immediately surrounding the home only the curtilage (q.v.) is included with the Fourth Amendment purposes.   No expectation of privacy legitimately attaches to open-fields. (The Law Dictionary, pp 240).

What are the four factors used in determining if an area is an open-field or curtilage?

    The four factors are:   The first is proximity area to the dwelling or house.   The essential of this is how far the area is from the dwelling or home and whether or not the location is in need of a search warrant. The second is whether the area is in a enclose surrounding of the dwelling or home.   The third is the nature and the use of the area.   Responsible for determining on how the area is used is would be the authorities. The fourth is steps taken to conceal the area to ensure it wouldn’t be seen by the public.

Which 1987 United States Supreme case ruled on this issue?

    The 1987 United States Supreme courts case was the United States v. Dunn.

  Discuss whether items open-fields and curtilage are protected under the Fourth Amendment.

    Open-field is not protected by the Fourth Amendment which means authorities would be able to search and seize or for probable cause without a warrant.   For instance a trash can was place on the street for trash pick-up and a police walking the beat and he notice that noise was coming from the can and decided to investigate and...


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