---Tech Trash--- | entry page|
who we are |
what we do |
what we find |
Stewart Patton was kind enough to email me,
and point out that my interpretation of the ruling in California vs. Greenwood was incorrect:
The legality of trashing and dumpster diving was established in the
landmark Supreme Court ruling California vs. Greenwood (486 U.S.
35, 108 S.Ct. 1625) in 1988.
Read a summary of the case
Read the official ruling
With his permission, his email is reproduced below:
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2001 09:20:01 -0500
From: "Patton, Stewart"
To: 'Rupert Scammell'
Subject: RE: Cited case does not establish that "dumpster diving is legal"
> Your web site is interesting, but the following statement from your site
> is absolutely untrue: "The legality of trashing and dumpster diving was
> established in the landmark Supreme Court ruling California vs. Greenwood
> (486 U.S. 35, 108 S.Ct. 1625) in 1988."
> CA v. Greenwood only established that it does not violate the Fourth
> Amendment--which says that the government cannot engage in an
> search or seizure"--for the police to arrest a guy based on evidence found
> in the guy's garbage (like, in this case, drugs) because one cannot have a
> reasonable expectation that stuff they throw in the garbage will remain
> private. The Fourth Amendment protects private citizens from government
> action, and it has no application in the case of you and your friends
> looking through dumpsters.
> A better legal principle upon which to ground your claim that dumpster
> diving is legal is the principle that one no longer has any claim to
> property after he abandons it. These stores abandon the property by
> it in the dumpster, so anyone else wanting to take it can take it free
> and clear of their claim.
> Of course, states can regulate dumpster diving if they want to, so the
> practice would be for you to check your state's statutes. It would
> also be best for your web site to advise others to do so (like almost all
> other web sites on this subject do).
> I am in law school, so let me give you the standard disclaimer: nothing
> above constituted legal advice; it should not be relied upon by anyone and
> to do so would be unreasonable becuase it may be completely and totally
> Happy diving,