Notable Items:

... information obtained by the thermal imager in this case was the product of a search.
We think that obtaining by sense enhancing technology any information regarding the interior of the home that could not otherwise have been obtained without physical "intrusion into a constitutionally protected area," Silverman, 365 U. S., at 512, constitutes a search at least where (as here) the technology in question is not in general public use.
[search definition changes as tech moves to general public use] [if tech is cheap enough (general public use), its not a search...eavesdropping has always been cheap tech]
Petitioner: Daniel Kyllo
Respondent: United States
Venue: Supreme Court of the United States
Opinion of the Court: Kyllo v. United States (2001)

Issue(s) Before the Court:

Whether the use of a thermal-imaging device aimed at a private home from a public street to detect relative amounts of heat within the home constitutes a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.

Petitioner's Claim(s):

Respondent's Claim(s):

Holding(s) and Disposition:

Held: Where the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of a private home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a Fourth Amendment "search," and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant.
Disposition: Reversed and remanded.

Material Facts:

Procedural History:


Scalia Majority Opinion (Souter, Thomas, Ginsberg, Breyer)

?? Concurrane in part, dissent in part (??)

Stevens Dissent (Rehnquist, O'Connor, Kennedy)

Full Recounting of Facts

Majority Full Argument