Colorado v. Bertine

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Colorado v. Bertine
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued Nov. 10, 1986
Decided Jan. 14, 1987
Full case nameColorado v. Steven Lee Bertine
Docket nos. 85-889
Citations479 U.S. 367 ( more )
107 S. Ct. 738; 93 L. Ed. 2d 739
Argument Oral argument
Prior historyPeople v. Bertine, 706 P.2d 411 (Colo. 1985); cert. granted, 475 U.S. 1081(1986).
Court membership
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan Jr.  · Byron White
Thurgood Marshall  · Harry Blackmun
Lewis F. Powell Jr.  · John P. Stevens
Sandra Day O'Connor  · Antonin Scalia
Case opinions
MajorityRehnquist, joined by White, Blackmun, Powell, Stevens, O'Connor, Scalia
ConcurrenceBlackmun, joined by Powell, O'Connor
DissentMarshall, joined by Brennan
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. IV

Colorado v. Bertine, 479 U.S. 367 (1987), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the State from proving charges with the evidence discovered during an inventory search. [1]

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Contents

This case is controlled by the principles governing inventory searches of automobiles and of an arrestee's personal effects, as set forth in South Dakota v. Opperman , [2] and Illinois v. Lafayette, [3] rather than those governing searches of closed trunks and suitcases conducted solely for the purpose of investigating criminal conduct. United States v. Chadwick , [4] and Arkansas v. Sanders , [5] distinguished. [1]

South Dakota v. Opperman, 428 U.S. 364 (1976), elaborated on the community caretaking doctrine. Under the Fourth Amendment, "unreasonable" searches and seizures are forbidden. In addition to their law enforcement duties, the police must engage in what the Court has termed a community caretaking role, including such duties as removing obstructions from roadways in order to ensure the free flow of traffic. When the police act in this role, they may inventory cars they have seized without "unreasonably" searching those cars.

United States v. Chadwick, 433 U.S. 1 (1977), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which held that, absent exigency, the warrantless search of double-locked luggage just placed in the trunk of a parked vehicle is a violation of the Fourth Amendment and not justified under the automobile exception. The Court reasoned that while luggage is movable like an automobile, it does not have the lesser expectation of privacy associated with an automobile.

Arkansas v. Sanders, 442 U.S. 753 (1979), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which held that absent exigency, the warrantless search of personal luggage merely because it was located in an automobile lawfully stopped by the police, is a violation of the Fourth Amendment and not justified under the automobile exception. Similar to United States v. Chadwick (1977), the luggage was the subject of police suspicion before being placed in the vehicle.

See also

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United States v. Ross, 456 U.S. 798 (1982), was a search and seizure case argued before the Supreme Court of the United States. The high court was asked to decide if a legal warrantless search of an automobile allows closed containers found in the vehicle to be searched as well. The appeals court had previously ruled that opening and searching the closed portable containers without a warrant was a violation of the Fourth Amendment, even though the warrantless vehicle search was permissible due to existing precedent.

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California v. Acevedo, 500 U.S. 565 (1991), was a decision of the United States Supreme Court, which interpreted the Carroll doctrine to provide one rule to govern all automobile searches. The Court stated, "The police may search an automobile and the containers within it where they have probable cause to believe contraband or evidence is contained." The decision also overruled the distinctions in United States v. Chadwick (1977) and Arkansas v. Sanders (1979) which had previously held that, if probable cause existed to search an automobile, the police may perform a warrantless search of the automobile and the containers within it, but if the police only had probable cause to search a container in the automobile, the police first had to obtain a warrant before searching the container.

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References

  1. 1 2 Colorado v. Bertine, 479 U.S. 367, 369 (1987).
  2. South Dakota v. Opperman , 428 U.S. 364 (1976).
  3. Illinois v. Lafayette, 462 U.S. 640 (1983).
  4. United States v. Chadwick , 433 U.S. 1 (1977).
  5. Arkansas v. Sanders , 442 U.S. 753 (1979).
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