Keep Closed Containers Closed: Resolving the Circuit Split in Favor of Individual Privacy
Posted: 11 May 2011 Last revised: 17 Nov 2011
Date Written: May 9, 2011
The circuits are currently split on the issue of the scope of apparent-authority consent regarding the searches of closed containers. Specifically, the circuits disagree about what measures law-enforcement officers should be required to take to determine ownership of a closed container when, while conducting a search pursuant to consent, the circumstances are ambiguous as to whether the consenter actually owns the closed container. Because the Sixth Circuit’s approach provides the most Fourth Amendment protection and is most faithful to Supreme Court precedent, the Court should resolve the current split by adopting the Sixth Circuit’s approach.
Keywords: Fourth Amendment, Search, Closed Container, Circuit Split, Consent, Apparent Authority
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation