- Court: United States Supreme Court
- Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
- Date Filed: May 14, 2018
- Case #: 16-1371
- Judge(s)/Court Below: KENNEDY, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. THOMAS, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which GORSUCH, J., joined. ALITO, J., filed a concurring opinion.
- Full Text Opinion
State troopers pulled over Petitioner in a car rented by a friend of Petitioner. Petitioner was not listed as an authorized driver on the rental agreement which stated that allowing an unauthorized driver to operate the vehicle rendered coverage void and made the signee liable for all costs and damages. The state troopers informed Petitioner he had no expectation of privacy and searched the car, finding 49 blocks of heroin in the trunk. The District Court denied Petitioner’s motion to suppress evidence and the Third Circuit affirmed. Both courts held Petitioner had no expectation of privacy in the car because he was not an authorized driver. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether a driver has a reasonable expectation of privacy in a rental car when he or she is not listed on the rental agreement. The Court held that someone in lawful possession and control of a rental car has a reasonable expectation of privacy in it even if he or she is not listed on the rental agreement. The Court looked to traditional rules of property regarding lawful possession which mandate that one who possesses a car has an expectation of privacy in it. The expectation of privacy that comes from lawful possession and control along with the right to exclude does not depend on the driver of a car being authorized or unauthorized. VACATED and REMANDED.