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QUI TAM RADIO REPORTsearch doctrine given the difficult line

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Ohio Valley Law School

Ohio Valley Law School

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The Private Search Doctrine First, some background. The Fourth Amendment regulates the government, not private parties. If a private party conducts a search, and that private party is not somehow an agent of the government, the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply. In United States v. Jacobsen, 466 U.S. 109 (1984), the Supreme Court held that the private search doctrine lets the government reenact the private search that was conducted so long as it does not “exceed the scope of the private search.” In practice, what usually happens is that the private party comes to the government and tells the officers about the search. The private party and the government then reenact the private search together. If the government needs more evidence beyond the scope of the private search — for example, if the private party searched one box and there are several boxes present — the government can get a warrant to search the property based on the probable cause of what it learned from both (a) the report of the private search and (b) the reeenactment of the private search. II. United States v. Oliver

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