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Expectation of Privacy – Commercial Building Dumpster

State v. Richard D. Yakes, 226 Wis.2d 425, 595 N.W.2d 108 (Ct. App. 1999)

Issue/Holding: Yakes owned a commercial enterprise, on whose property was a dumpster owned by the disposal company. The police, acting without a warrant, seized evidence from the dumpster. Yakes, the court of appeals holds, did not demonstrate a reasonable expectation of privacy as to his trash. The court adopts United States v. Hall, 47 F.3d 1091 (11th Cir. 1995), which requires the business owner to show what affirmative steps were taken to bar the public from the dumpster area. The yard was fenced, but not gated. Customers and others entered the area. The disposal company had access. And, the police regularly patrolled the area, without complaint from Yakes.


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