Criminal Law

Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Criminal Law

Curtilage/4th amendment in NY. I have a private property without

Customer Question
a dwelling. It is enclosed...
Curtilage/4th amendment in NY. I have a private property without a dwelling. It is enclosed but has a natural boundary and the driveway is gated and signed. Inside there is a 40 x 40 workshop (garage) and an open area in front and to the side (yard). I have found cases where a business would have protection (Curtilage) but not for a this particular scenario. I have a code enforcement officer continually coming in unannounced and when I am not there. I have been threatened with jail time for an ordinance violation for too many vehicles so this makes his search a criminal investigation. He continues to enter looking for a new violation.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Criminal Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Answered in 4 minutes by:
11/1/2009
Criminal Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 121,027
Experience: Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
Verified
Actually, code enforcement is one of those things that is a small niche of exemptions under the 4th Amendment protections to search and seizure. The courts have found that in the name of public safety and the enforcement of codes, these code inspectors have rights to enter property for the purpose of inspecting and enforcing these codes (such as building inspectors entering property without a warrant based upon their administrative authority to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the public from the dangers of code violations). These code cases are very difficult to get around on the 4th Amendment defenses since they have a duty to the "protection of the community" through the enforcement of the codes under the health and safety duty a government has to all of its citizens.


I hope you found my answer helpful, please click on the GREEN ACCEPT for my answer. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated!

If you have additional questions, please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.

There can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break.

Use of this service does not create any attorney client relationship. Any information provided is not the practice of law but intended to direct you in finding an attorney in your locale.

You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/profile.aspx?PF=10285032&FID=39 or beginning your question with “For PaulMJD…”

Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
What about this? I have been threatened with Jail time by the Judge on a previous battle ealier this year.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found that a local zoning enforcement officer violated a landowner’s rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by conducting a warrantless search of the landowner’s property for evidence of zoning violations that could lead to future criminal prosecution. Following complaints about a specific property, the zoning enforcement officer investigated and issued notices to the property owner that he was not in compliance with the local code. After an opportunity to cure the violations passed and the property owner did not do so to the satisfaction of the Town, the property owner was sentenced to 30 days in jail. During that time, the zoning enforcement officer began making unannounced visits to the property over a period of time and continued to issue citations for ongoing violations.

The Sixth Circuit characterized the zoning enforcement officer’s investigation of the property as criminal in nature as opposed to administrative, noting that the warrantless searches carried the real threat of criminal sanctions. The Court further noted that the warrantless searches were not routine inspections, rather they were targeted at a particular individual/property and were often conducted without notice. In concluding that the searches violated the Fourth Amendment, the Court said it did not make a difference that the zoning enforcement officer was not a law-enforcement officer and that such a distinction matters little since “it is clearly established that a government official does not have to carry a badge and a gun to be subject to the restrictions on the Fourth Amendment.”

Jacob v. Township of West Bloomfield, 531 F.3d 385 (7/3/2008 ).

The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/08a0243p-06.pdf

Criminal Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 years ago
The problem you have is you are not in the sixth circuit, NY is in the Second Circuit so that opinion is merely advisory and not binding on any NY courts. However, if jail is threatened and not just administrative fines (which is where the exemption lies) then you do have an argument. Additionally, in your case, if the vehicles are outside on the property, Zoning ordinance enforcement you also have to realize that there is the open fields do not provide the setting for those intimate activities that the [Fourth] Amendment is intended to shelter from government interference or surveillance. There is no societal interest in protecting the privacy of those activities, such as the cultivation of crops or the storage of items in the open, that occur in open fields. The asserted expectation of privacy in open fields is not an expectation that "society recognizes as reasonable.
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 121,027
Experience: Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
Verified
Law Educator, Esq. and 87 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Yes, I know there is most certainly some questions about it. I guess mostly what I need is that there is at least some extension of the 4th amendment without an actual dwelling and the area around the building is host to private activities (cook outs, family hanging out etc.) I also found cases that involved even a business would have been protected had they had their private drive back to the building gated as I do, as the natural hegde protected it otherwise from public view or access. I believe I have a reasonable expectation of privacy since it is seculded from public view. This is a very small town, I do not get along with the Judge ( a retired History teacher!) or the officer on a personal level and I know I am being targeted/harassed. I may be able to prove that the normal proceedures are being dismissed to make me have to continually go back to court to fight the violations. Unless in open view from the road, land owners are contacted to schedule a time when the officer would be welcome to meet and inspect if they needed. Here is the other piece I was referring to and THANKS!

Similarly, in United States United States v. Hall,(24) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the property surrounding a business is not curtilage and that property will be given Fourth Amendment protection only if the business takes affirmative steps to bar the public from those premises. In Hall, a U.S. Customs agent drove 40 yards down a private road to a dumpster located near a company parking area. The agent reached into the dumpster and seized a bag containing shredded documents that established probable cause for a subsequently obtained search warrant for that business. The defendant was ultimately indicted and convicted for selling restricted arms to Iran. He appealed his conviction, claiming that the initial search of the dumpster was an unlawful intrusion into his commercial curtilage.

The court determined that, although the road that the agent traveled on was private, there were no signs or barricades that would indicate that the public was prohibited from entering the area. The road appeared to be a public road, and the agent believed it to be so at the time. Because the company had taken no affirmative steps to keep the public out, the court ruled that the company's subjective expectation of privacy in the contents of the trash found on the property was not an expectation that society would accept as objectively reasonable.
Criminal Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 years ago
This argument certainly could fly when there are criminal charges involved, but there were also the line of cases where the government has flown over property and observed the growing of illegal marijuana and it was held that the open fields doctrine still applied as the material was out in the open, which is unlike shredded documents in a dumpster on private property which could not be discerned as illegal until it was retrieved and examined.
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 121,027
121,027 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience

Law Educator, Esq. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends.

NormaPensacola, FL

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

3,194 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

2,063 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

1,862 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Lawyer

1,815 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience

Nate

Nate

Lawyer

1,736 satisfied customers

Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

1,631 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law

AttorneyTom

AttorneyTom

Lawyer

1,242 satisfied customers

Attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Criminal Law Questions
Should an arrestining officer/investigator with sherriffs
Should an arrestining officer/investigator with sherriffs office here in alabama have the felon living with him and having an affair with her before her trial for the felony … read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Doctoral Degree
181 satisfied customers
I am a ex felon of 20yrs drugs and guns where found in my
Good day I am a ex felon of 20yrs drugs and guns where found in my house.I was sentenced to 15yrs 9yrs was suspended that left 6yrs under Va.law I was put on a work release program and made parole pro… read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Doctoral Degree
181 satisfied customers
My wife was just ticketed for carrying a concealed gun on a
My wife was just ticketed for carrying a concealed gun on a military base. 18 USC 930. She has a ticket that orders her to appear in court. She is wondering if she needs a lawyer or just to show up an… read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Doctoral Degree
181 satisfied customers
I have a criminal investigation over my head, but I have no
I have a criminal investigation over my head, but I have no idea what or where. The only reason I no is cause I ran my fingerprints for employment and they wont hire me till I get it settles, but I ha… read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Doctoral Degree
181 satisfied customers
Can an investigative technician 2 investigate me even if
Can an investigative technician 2 investigate me even if they are not inveatigating me … read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner
Doctoral Degree
56,261 satisfied customers
In Massachusetts. A police report filed for Criminal
In Massachusetts. A police report filed for Criminal Harassment (c265, s43A) contained firearms license status, and "he purchased 20 guns in the year leading up to this dispute." No malice, no threats… read more
James Daloisio
James Daloisio
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
79 satisfied customers
In criminal court, I understand that when an accused has
In criminal court, I understand that when an accused has Clemency from the State Board of X that it can not be held against the accused.So what about in civil court?… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,843 satisfied customers
Criminal felony case in Indiana. Initial investigation
Criminal felony case in Indiana. Initial investigation started 3/2011, arrest and charges filed 6/2014, here it is 11/2017 and matter set for trial 1/2018. Were there violations of a speedy trial or s… read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Doctoral Degree
181 satisfied customers
I live in Michigan. Can I file a criminal complaint for
I live in Michigan. Can I file a criminal complaint for usury? I was charged 60% interest on a 20k personal loan from a private individual. During a court hearing in which the plaintive was sueing me … read more
Thelawman2
Thelawman2
Doctoral Degree
1,291 satisfied customers
California. Plaintiff in cross complaint can be investigated
California. Plaintiff in cross complaint can be investigated for vandalism according to opinion by special prosecutions section. Plaintiff tampered with locks owned by defendant and details his tamper… read more
WiseOwl58
WiseOwl58
JD Honors Graduate
3,698 satisfied customers
I have a question about procedure in criminal court in
I have a question about procedure in criminal court in Texas; specifically if there is any way to request a pretrial hearing prior to indicment of a felony … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,843 satisfied customers
Is it not uncommon for criminal court judges or their
Is it not uncommon for criminal court judges or their court's administration (e.g. bailiffs) to manipulate the only clock on the wall in the courtroom (e.g. set it purposely ahead of or behind the act… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Lawyer
121,027 satisfied customers
I had a criminal court hearing and was sentenced, but was
I had a criminal court hearing and was sentenced, but was never sworn in can this be thrown out… read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
1,755 satisfied customers
Can someone own a BB gun co2 air gun while a restraining
Can someone own a BB gun co2 air gun while a restraining order case is open in state of Florida?… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,843 satisfied customers
I received a letter from the usps criminal investigation
Hi. I received a letter from the usps criminal investigation service center stating that an item that may contain controlled substances was mailed to me. I have no idea what this is and everything is … read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Doctoral Degree
181 satisfied customers
If a person files a criminal complaint (based on written
if a person files a criminal complaint (based on written evidence which supports the facts of the complaint), can they be sued for defamation per se?In this situation, the accused person published (on… read more
Expert James
Expert James
Doctoral Degree
11,686 satisfied customers
My question is: Once a Criminal investigation filed by the
Hello my question is: Once a Criminal investigation filed by the state prosecutor against a police department for a wrongful death, can it be retried? And if not, are there any loopholes or justificat… read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Doctoral Degree
181 satisfied customers
Is the filing of a criminal complaint defamation if the
Is the filing of a criminal complaint defamation if the prosecutor decides not to press charges against the person who was named in the criminal complaint? Also considering that the criminal complaint… read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Doctoral Degree
181 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x