Castle with police lights behind it.

The curious case of curtilage.

United States v. Banks (7th Cir. 2023) emphasizes the importance of securing a warrant when conducting a search, even if there is reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime is being committed. The case involved a police officer seeing a convicted felon with a gun in a Snapchat post and subsequently going to his house without a warrant. After a struggle, the officers found a loaded gun and ammunition on Banks. Banks argued that the officers’ intrusion on his porch without a warrant was unlawful, and although his initial motion was denied, it was later overturned on appeal. The court reiterated that a person’s home is entitled to a high degree of protection under the Fourth Amendment, and the front porch of a residence is generally considered part of the curtilage that requires a warrant, consent, or some other Fourth Amendment exception. The case serves as a reminder that Fourth Amendment protections apply not only to a person’s home but also to the curtilage surrounding it, including the front porch, and that a simple search warrant could have easily avoided the suppression of evidence.

abortion search warrant attestation

California AB 1242: Search Warrant Abortion Attestation

On September 27, 2022 the California State Governor passed AB 1242 into law, effective immediately. The California law impacts search warrants, pen register, trap & trace, and wire tap in all 50 states. Simply put, electronic service providers based in California are prohibited from complying with legal process if the investigation involves abortion.
Search warrants, regardless what State they are written in, must include an attestation that the evidence sought is not related to a prohibited violation regardless of what State they are issued from.