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Name: People v. Camacho
Case #: S075720
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/27/2000
Subsequent History: None

Refusing to depart from its decision in Lorenzana v. Superior Court (1973) 9 Cal.3d 626, the California Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s denial of appellant’s suppression motion. Here the police answered a complaint call regarding loud music. When they arrived at the address, they heard no music. Instead of knocking on the door, the officers entered appellant’s side yard, and at a point set back 40 feet from the street, they peered into the large uncovered window through which they observed appellant packaging drugs. While there was no sidewalk or other indication that the public was impliedly invited into the yard, there was also no fence or gate excluding the public. The court found that the police were not in a place they were legally entitled to be when they looked into appellant’s window, and that there was a privacy interest implicated here which society was willing to protect as reasonable. Justice Brown concurred, and Chief Justice George dissented, finding that the majority incorrectly focused on the trespass, rather than the unreasonable expectation of privacy possessed by one who packages drugs in an uncovered window.