In a closely watched Fourth Amendment case, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with McGuireWoods client Ryan Collins and ruled that police officers without a warrant cannot use the automobile exception to enter a home’s curtilage to access a vehicle. The May 29 ruling received national media coverage, and reporters from major daily newspapers and legal publications turned to partner Matt Fitzgerald to assess the significance of the decision.
Fitzgerald, who argued the case before the Supreme Court in January, was quoted in stories by The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg Law and Law360. He told the Los Angeles Times that the ruling provides an important clarification regarding the scope of the automobile exception.
"It is now clear that a person who parks his vehicle on a private driveway near his home has placed it within the Fourth Amendment protection of the home," said Fitzgerald, co-chair of the firm’s appellate practice.
The McGuireWoods team representing Collins also included associates Travis Gunn and Brian Schmalzbach.
"We are thrilled with the result and the opinion in Collins," Fitzgerald told Law360. "The court’s holding that police typically need a warrant to search vehicles on a private driveway near a house is correct and important to ordinary folks’ Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches."
For details about the decision, see McGuireWoods’ press release.