California v. Greenwood

California v. Greenwood was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1988. In this case, the Court addressed the issue of whether law enforcement officers can search a person’s garbage without a warrant.

The Court ruled that law enforcement officers do not need a warrant to search a person’s garbage, as long as the garbage is left outside for collection in a public place. The Court held that individuals do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their garbage once it is placed outside for collection, and that law enforcement officers are therefore free to search it without a warrant.

This case is significant in the criminal justice context because it established that law enforcement officers do not need a warrant to search a person’s garbage, as long as it is left outside in a public place. This has important implications for privacy rights, as it means that law enforcement officers can search an individual’s garbage without first obtaining a warrant or demonstrating probable cause.


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