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Reasonable Expectation of Privacy – Guest: Permissive Use of Mobile Home

State v. Sean R. Fox, 2008 WI App 136
For Fox: Daniel M. Berkos

Issue/Holding: Permissive guest who had not stayed overnight lacked expectation of privacy in a mobile home:

¶21      The facts of this case contrast with those of Trecroci and more closely resemble those of Carter. Fox’s relationship to his hosts, Terry and McCoy, and to the trailer was not as firmly rooted as the defendant’s relationship in Trecroci was to her host. TheTrecroci defendant was engaged to the lessee of the attic, whereas Fox was merely a friend of the homeowner’s son. The record contains little evidence of the duration or closeness of Fox’s friendship with Terry or McCoy. As for the premises, Fox, like theCarter defendants, did not have a long-term relationship to the place, and, at the time of the search, used it for a largely (if not purely) commercial purpose, the production of methamphetamine. And, unlike Olson, but similar to Carter, Fox was not an overnight guest at the trailer; as discussed above, the record conclusively demonstrates that he slept at a motel while in the area.

¶22      Thus, we conclude that application of the three factors outlined in Trecrociweighs against Fox’s claim that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the trailer. Fox’s use of the premises upon his return was for a largely commercial purpose. His stay, while exceeding that of the Carter defendants, was only episodic over the course of three to four days. His relationship to his host was more attenuated than that of the defendant inTrecroci to her fiancé-host. Finally, Fox lacked the more firmly rooted relationship to the premises characteristic of an overnight guest (Olson) or a frequent visitor (Trecroci).


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