The Supreme Court has held (Oliver v. United States (1984)) that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to open fields at all. By contrast, the curtilage of a house is protected almost as carefully as the house itself. The Supreme Court has found that land 60 yards away from a house was not curtilage.

Four part test:

  1. proximity of the area to the home
  2. whether the area is enclosed by a fence along with the home
  3. nature of the uses to which the area is put
  4. any steps taken by the resident to protect the area from observation
Compare with California v. Ciraolo (1986)