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Name: U.S. v. Hammett
Case #: 00-10065
Opinion Date: 01/10/2001
Citation: 236 Fed.3d 1054

The officer’s observations from within the curtilage of the home did not violate the Fourth Amendment because an officer can enter the curtilage of a home to ask questions of the occupants in the absence of express orders to the contrary. While the “no trespassing” sign at the entrance of the driveway might have constituted such an express order, there is no evidence that the officers saw it as they did not approach through the driveway. Moreover, there is no evidence that the officers pursued a different route to avoid viewing the sign. Finally, the officers may circle a house, when no one answers the door, when done in good faith as was the case here. And the marijuana plants viewed through a separation in the exterior wall during the circling activity were in plain view, and therefore the inclusion of this information in the warrant affidavit did not offend the Fourth Amendment.