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The Fourth Amendment and Katz The petitioner Mr Katz was arrested for illegal gambling he had been gambling over a public phone The FBI attached an electronic recorder onto the outside of the public phone booth The state courts claimed this to be legal because the recording device was on the outside of the phone and the FBI never entered the booth The Supreme Court ruled in the favor of Katz They stated that the Fourth Amendment allowed for the protection of a person and not just a persons property against illegal searches The Fourth Amendment written in 1791 states The right of the people to be secure in their persons houses papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized The court was unsure on weather or not they should consider a public telephone booth as an area protected by the fourth amendment The court did state that The Fourth Amendment protects people not places What a person knowingly exposes to the public even in his own home or office is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection But if hes trying to be private even in an area accessible to the public may be constitutionally protectedSearches performed without warrants have been held unlawful not withstanding facts showing probable cause For the Constitution requires that conscious fair judgment of a judicial officer be introduced between the person and the police The FBI agents found out the days and times he would use the pay phone The FBI attached a tape recorder to the outside of the telephone booth The FBI recorded him using the phone six different times which all six conversations were around three minutes long They made sure that they only recorded him and not anyone elses
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