Like the rest of the Bill of Rights, the Fourth Amendment originally only applied in federal court. However, in Wolf v. Colorado, 338 U.S. 25 (1949), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the rights guaranteed by the text of the Fourth Amendment (sans the exclusionary rule to be discussed below) apply equally in state courts via the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees to the citizen of every state the right to due process and equal protection of the laws. The process by which the Supreme Court has made certain fundamental liberties protected by the Bill of Rights applicable to the states is known as the doctrine of incorporation.
Not every search and seizure that is scrutinized in state and federal court raises a Fourth Amendment issue. The Fourth Amendment only protects against searches and seizures conducted by the government or pursuant to governmental direction. Surveillance and investigatory actions taken by strictly private persons, such as private investigators, suspicious spouses, or nosey neighbors, are not governed by the Fourth Amendment. However, Fourth Amendment concerns do arise when those same actions are taken by a law enforcement official or a private person working in conjunction with law enforcement.
The Fourth Amendment does not apply even against governmental action unless defendants first establish that they had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place to be searched or the thing to be seized. The Supreme Court has explained that what "a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection ... " But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected (see Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 [1967]).
Applying this principle, the Supreme Court has ruled that individuals generally maintain a reasonable expectation of privacy in their bodies, clothing, and personal belongings. Homeowners possess a privacy interest that extends inside their homes and in the curtilage immediately surrounding the outside of their homes, but not in the "open fields" and "wooded areas" extending beyond the curtilage (see Hester v. United States, 265 U.S. 57 [1924]). A business owner's expectation of privacy in commercial property is less than the privacy interest afforded to a private homeowner and is particularly attenuated in commercial property used in "closely regulated" industries (i.e., airports, railroads, restaurants, and liquor establishments), where business premises may be subject to regular administrative searches by state or federal agencies for the purpose of determining compliance with health, safety, or security regulations. Automobile owners have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the cars they own and drive, though the expectation of privacy is less than a homeowner's privacy interest in his or her home.
When the Fourth Amendment Applies
No expectation of privacy is maintained for property and personal effects held open to the public. Things visible in "plain view" for a person of ordinary and unenhanced vision are entitled to no expectation of privacy and thus no Fourth Amendment protection. Items lying in someone's backseat, growing in someone's outdoor garden, or discarded in someone's curb-side garbage all fall within this category. However, items seen only through enhanced surveillance, such as through high-powered or telescopic lenses, may be subject to the strictures of the Fourth Amendment. Public records, published phone numbers, and other matters readily accessible to the general public enjoy no expectation of privacy. Similarly, the Supreme Court has said that individuals do not possess an expectation of privacy in their personal characteristics (see United States v. Dionisio, 410 U.S. 1 [1973]). Thus, the police may require individuals to give handwriting and voice exemplars, as well as hair, blood, DNA, and fingerprint samples, without complying with the Fourth Amendment's requirements.
Finally, to raise a Fourth Amendment objection to a particular search or seizure, a person must have "standing" to do so. Standing in this context means that the rights guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment are personal and may not be asserted on behalf of others. Thus, a passenger may not generally object to a police search of the owner's car and a houseguest may not generally object to a search of the homeowner's premises. These rules can become murky, however, as when a houseguest is actually living with the homeowner or owns things stored on the owner's premises.

Please Make Note

Please make note that I, Jessica Lynn Hepner the creator of What Every Parent Should Know, is not giving legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I am giving you knowledge via first hand experiences.

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Save A Life by Angie Kassabie

Save A Life by Angie Kassabie
I URGE ALL MY FRIENDS TO READ & SHARE THIS; YOU COULD SAVE A LOVED ONES LIFE BY KNOWING THIS SIMPLE INFORMATION!!! Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue: During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this. A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. >>RECOGNIZING A STROKE<< Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE. T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. Chicken Soup) R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. I have done my part. Will you?

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