United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
ORDER AND OPINION
E. Shadid Chief United States District Judge
before the Court is Defendant Travis Tuggle's Second
Motion (Doc. 89) to Suppress. For the reasons set forth
below, the Defendant's Motion (Doc. 89) is DENIED.
Travis Tuggle was indicted on August 1, 2017 in a two-count
superseding indictment. Count 1 charges Defendant with
conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to
distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 846 and 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A). Docs. 41, 85.
Count II charges the Defendant with maintaining a
drug-involved premises in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 856.
Id. Currently, trial of this matter is scheduled for
September 23, 2019.
6, 2018, the Defendant filed a Motion to Suppress, arguing
that evidence obtained from pole camera footage outside his
residence constituted an impermissible warrantless search and
should be suppressed. See Doc. 50. On July 31, 2018,
the Court denied Defendant's Motion.
Defendant takes issue with the Government surveilling the
outside of his house and driveway with cameras affixed to a
utility pole adjacent to his property. “When a law
enforcement officer physically intrudes on the curtilage to
gather evidence, a search within the meaning of the Fourth
Amendment has occurred.” Collins v. Virginia,
138 S.Ct. 1663, 1670 (2018) (citing Florida v.
Jardines, 569 U.S. 1, 11 (2013)). However, it is
undisputed here that law enforcement never physically
intruded on Tuggle's property when they installed and
monitored the pole cameras. Because law enforcement did not
trespass on Tuggle's property in order to surveil his
activities, the inquiry becomes whether he had a subjective
expectation of privacy in his driveway and front of his
house. “[A] Fourth Amendment search does not
occur-even when the explicitly protected location of a
house is concerned-unless “the individual
manifested a subjective expectation of privacy in the object
of the challenged search, ” and “society [is]
willing to recognize that expectation as reasonable.”
Kyllo, 533 U.S. at 33 (quoting Ciraolo, 476
U.S. at 211).
Here, Defendant's residence was located in a populated
residential area and had no fence, wall, or other object that
would obstruct the view of a passerby. The lack of any
attempt to obscure his driveway or residence from public view
weights against a finding that he “manifested a
subjective expectation of privacy in the object of the
challenged search.” Kyllo, 533 U.S. at 33.
Even if Defendant had a subjective expectation of privacy in
his driveway and the front of his house, it is not one that
society would find reasonable. See, e.g., United States
v. Evans, 27 F.3d 1219, 1228 (7th Cir. 1994) (“The
agents' approach to the garage did not implicate a Fourth
Amendment interest because Evans did not present any evidence
at the suppression hearing that he had a reasonable
expectation of privacy in the driveway.”).
Significantly, the pole cameras could only view the exterior
of the Defendant's residence and the surrounding area of
the house. The cameras only captured what would have been
visible to any passerby in the neighborhood. Thus, this case
is unlike the thermal imaging that was found to be a search
in Kyllo. 533 U.S. at 34. And while the Supreme
Court has recently extended Fourth Amendment protections to
address surveillance methods implicating new technologies,
the surveillance here used ordinary video cameras that have
been around for decades. Cf. Carpenter v. United
States, 138 S.Ct. 2206 (2018), Riley v.
California, 134 S.Ct. 2473 (2014), United States v.
Jones, 565 U.S. 400 (2012). In fact, when extending
Fourth Amendment protections to cell site location
information, the Supreme Court specifically stated that its
decision did not “call into question conventional
surveillance techniques and tools, such as security
cameras.” Id. at 2220 (emphasis added).
53, at 6-7.
Court has reviewed Defendant's instant Motion (Doc. 89)
to Suppress and has compared it to the earlier Motion (Doc.
50) to Suppress and Defendant's earlier Motion (Doc. 74),
which was construed as a motion to reconsider and denied on
January 8, 2019. See January 8, 2019 Text Order. The
instant Motion, like Defendant's previous motions, seeks
to suppress video surveillance obtained form a pole camera
outside of his residence. Defendant's instant Motion is
nothing more than a request to reconsider the Court's
orders of July 31, 2018 and January 8, 2019, where the same
issues were considered. In fact, in the instant Motion,
Defendant asks the Court to reexamine its prior ruling,
arguing for a distinction between cameras used as
investigatory tools, rather than cameras used for the purpose
of security. Doc. 89, at 3 (citing United States v.
Moore-Bush, No. 18-cr-30001 (D. Mass. Jul. 3, 2019)).
Court declines to do so as the Court has previously analyzed
the facts specific to this case and ruled accordingly. A
contrary ruling, based on different facts from a district
court in Massachusetts, does not constitute a change in law,
or alter the Court's analysis addressing Defendant's
initial Motion to Suppress. The Court therefore finds no
reason for another evidentiary hearing or for further
argument on this issue. The Motion (Doc. 89) is therefore
reasons set forth above, Defendant's Motion to ...