Last week, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Washington suppressed evidence from a disguised webcam that had monitored the front yard of the defendant’s home for six weeks.

In United States v. Vargas, U.S. District Judge Edward F. Shea ruled that defendant Leonel Michel Vargas had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the activities occurring in and around the front yard of his rural home, and accordingly, that the warrantless, continuous and covert recording of this space violated the Fourth Amendment.  In doing so, the court held that law enforcement may remotely and continuously view and record an individual’s front yard through the use of a hidden video camera located outside of the individual’s property only with a valid search warrant, which the officers in this case failed to procure in this case.Continue Reading US Court: Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Exists in Rural Front Yard