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Kyllo v. United States

Law Dictionary
CASE BRIEFS

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Criminal Procedure keyed to Weinreb

Citation. Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27, 121 S. Ct. 2038, 150 L. Ed. 2d 94, 2001 U.S. LEXIS 4487, 69 U.S.L.W. 4431, 2001 Cal. Daily Op. Service 4749, 2001 Daily Journal DAR 5879, 2001 Colo. J. C.A.R. 2926, 14 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 329 (U.S. June 11, 2001)

Brief Fact Summary. The police obtained evidence of a marijuana growing operation inside the defendant, Kyllo’s (the “defendant”) home, by using a thermal imaging device from outside the home. The police used the device to gather evidence to support issuance of a search warrant for the home.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The use of a device by the government, which is not generally used by the public, to obtain evidence from inside a home is a presumptively unreasonable search without a warrant under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution (“Constitution”).


Facts. Upon suspicion that the defendant was growing marijuana in his home, police used a thermal-imaging device to detect heat radiating from the defendant’s home. With this information, police obtained a search warrant for the home.

Issue. Does the use of a device by the government to obtain evidence from a constitutionally protected area without physical intrusion constitute a search under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution?

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