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Greenwood V. Case Study

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FACTS

Local police suspected Greenwood was dealing narcotics from his residence. The police did not have enough evidence for a warrant to search his home. On April 6th 1984, investigator Stacner asked the neighborhood trash collector to pick up the garbage bags that Greenwood had left on the curb in front of his house to turn them over to her. The police discovered evidence of drug use, which was then used to obtain a warrant to search Greenwood’s home. The search found illegal substances, and Greenwood was arrested on felony narcotic charges. Greenwood posted bail.

Police were continuously receiving reports of many late night visitors to Greenwood’s home. On May 4th, investigator Rahaeuser got a hold of Greenwood’s garbage from the regular trash collector in the same way as Stacner. The garbage bags contained evidence of narcotics use. Another search warrant was obtained for Greenwood’s home based on the second trash search. Police found more narcotics and Greenwood was arrested again.
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The Superior Court granted the motion to suppress the evidence and dismissed the charges against Greenwood. The Court of Appeal affirmed. The California Supreme Court denied the state’s writ for review of the decision of the court of
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