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Jonaathan Weinberg on 1984 and right to privacy in your trash

Jonaathan Weinberg on 1984 and right to privacy in your trash
Jonaathan Weinberg on 1984 and right to privacy in your trash




Previous Politech message:
http://www.politechbot.com/2005/08/05/montana-supreme-court/ 

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Politech] Montana Supreme Court justice warns Orwell's 
1984 has arrived [priv]
Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2005 16:02:04 -0400
From: Jonathan Weinberg  
To: Declan McCullagh  

Declan --

         In the case you describe, Pelvit argued that Montana's
constitution gives that state's citizens greater protections against
searches than the U.S. Constitution gives citizens of the country at
large.  As far as the U.S. Constitution is concerned, the Supreme Court
held seven years ago in California v. Greenwood that the police can freely
search your garbage; the vote was 6-2.  Justice White, writing for the
majority, wrote that the determinative question was whether people had a
"reasonable expectation of privacy" in the garbage they put out, and 
continued:

"It is common knowledge that plastic garbage bags left on or at the side of
a public street are readily accessible to animals, children, scavengers,
snoops, and other members of the public. Moreover, respondents placed their
refuse at the curb for the express purpose of conveying it to a third
party, the trash collector, who might himself have sorted through
respondents' trash or permitted others, such as the police, to do so.
Accordingly, having deposited their garbage "in an area particularly suited
for public inspection and, in a manner of speaking, public consumption, for
the express purpose of having strangers take it," respondents could have
had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the inculpatory items that they
discarded."

         Most -- though not quite all -- of the state courts considering
the question have reached the same result.
Jon


Jonaathan Weinberg
Professor of Law, Wayne State University
weinberg@wayne.edu 


At 12:20 PM 8/5/2005 -0700, you wrote:
>http://news.com.com/2061-10796_3-5820618.html 
>
>Montana Supreme Court justice warns Orwell's 1984 has arrived
>August 5, 2005 12:13 PM PDT
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