Appeal from Sedgwick District Court; BENJAMIN L. BURGESS, judge.
1. As a general statement of law, it is well settled that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects not only an individual's residence from unreasonable searches and seizures, but also the area surrounding the house called the " curtilage."
2. In Kansas, it has been generally held that a search warrant describing only the residence will authorize a search of any buildings or vehicles within the curtilage even though they are not specifically described in the warrant.
3. The ultimate question in determining whether property is embraced by a premises' curtilage is whether the area in question is so intimately tied to the home itself that it should be placed under the home's umbrella of Fourth Amendment protection. Four principle factors guide whether the area is under the " umbrella" of the curtilage: (1) how near the area is to the home; (2) whether any enclosures surrounding the home embrace the area in question; (3) how the area is used; and (4) whether the resident has acted to protect the area from observation by people passing by.
4. The driveway and automobile in this case were so intimately tied to the home itself that they should be placed under the umbrella of the curtilage for purposes of the search warrant. For that reason, the officers did not exceed the scope of the warrant by searching the automobile.
Matt J. Maloney, assistant district attorney, Marc Bennett, district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, for appellant.
Richard Ney, of Ney, Adams & Shaneyfelt, of Wichita, for appellee.
Before GREEN, P.J., SCHROEDER, J., and JAMES L. BURGESS, District Judge Retired, assigned.
[49 Kan.App.2d 1002] Burgess, J.:
Officers executed a search warrant that authorized them to search the premises of a specific Wichita address. While on the property, officers searched not only the residence but also a white Mercedes parked in the driveway. Officers recovered evidence of drug offenses from the Mercedes. Subsequent to the search, Dontae M. Patterson was charged with a number of offenses stemming from the evidence recovered in the house and car. Patterson filed two motions: one to suppress all the evidence seized pursuant to the warrant and one to separately suppress the evidence recovered from the Mercedes. The district court granted the latter motion, determining that the search warrant did not extend to the Mercedes because it did not constitute part of the residence's curtilage. The State appeals, arguing first that the Mercedes was within the residence's curtilage and second that the officers searching the vehicle did so in good faith.
On November 8, 2012, the Wichita Police Department applied for a warrant to search " [t]he premises of 2720 N. Erie, Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas." The application for the search warrant indicated that a Wichita police officer had twice in the last few months discovered marijuana residue in trash bags at that location. The application also noted that Patterson, his son, and two other individuals--an adult woman and a young adult male--lived at the residence. A district judge approved the warrant on ...