CRJ 325 FU Wk 7 Constitutionality of Police Officer Action Search & Seizure Case Study


Week 7 Assignment – Search and Seizure Case Study


The Fourth Amendment is one of the cornerstones of our freedomsguaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. It protects people againstunreasonable search and seizure of their person, property, andbelongings. Law enforcement officers must work to ensure they do notviolate the Fourth Amendment while performing their duties. They have aresponsibility to protect people’s rights and not invalidate evidencefor any future court cases.

In this assignment, you will analyze a case study based on an actualcase to determine whether police officers’ search and seizure actionsrelated to suspected illegal drug activities were constitutional. Hereis the case study you will analyze in your assignment.

Case Study

In the Los Angeles Brentwood neighborhood, neighbors have notifiedthe police that they have seen vehicles coming and going from onespecific home. The incidents occur between 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. Theneighbors believe drug activity may be taking place. The local policedivision assigns officers Williams and Martinez to investigate possibledrug activity at that location.

Officer Williams contacts the neighborhood’s regular trashcollection service and asks it to put the contents of the subject’s(defendant’s) garbage left at the curb in plastic bags so as to not mixthe subject’s garbage with others. He also asked the trash collector toturn the subject’s bags over to him at the end of trash day collections.The trash collector did as Officer Williams requested. OfficerWilliams’s partner, Officer Martinez, searched through the garbage andfound items indicative of narcotics use. Officer Williams and OfficerMartinez then listed the information obtained from the trash in anaffidavit to support a warrant to search the defendant’s home. OfficerMartinez and Officer Williams encountered the defendant at the houselater that day upon execution of the warrant. The officers foundquantities of cocaine and heroin during the search and arrested thedefendant on felony narcotics charges.

Note: As you complete this assignment, it will be helpful to you to read the actual case on which this case study is based: California v. Greenwood.


Write a three- to four-page analysis of this case study in which you:

  1. Explain in your own words the Fourth Amendment, which governs the officers’ actions.
  2. Determine which of the following doctrines apply to this case study: plain view, abandonment, open fields, or border searches.
  3. Be sure to support your determination by citing specific case law and/or contemporary cases.
  4. Assess the constitutionality of the officers’ actions in the case study.
  5. Use three sources to support your writing.
    • Choose sources that are credible, relevant, and appropriate.
    • Cite each source listed on your source page at least one time within your assignment.
    • For help with research, writing, and citation, access the library or review library guides.
    • You may use your textbook as one of your resources.


This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards. Forassistance and information, please refer to the Strayer WritingStandards link in the left-hand menu of your course. Check with yourprofessor for any additional instructions. Note the following:

  • The preferred method is for your paper to be typed, double-spaced,using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on allsides.
  • Include a cover page containing the assignment title, your name,your professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page isnot included in the required page length.
  • Include a source list page. Citations and references must followSWS format. The source list page is not included in the required pagelength.