Byrd v. U.S.

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: September 28, 2017
  • Case #: 16-1371
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Court Below: 679 Fed.Appx. 146 (3d Cir. 2017)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether a driver has a reasonable expectation of privacy in a rental car when he has the renter's permission to drive the car but is not listed as an authorized driver on the rental agreement.

Petitioner was pulled over for a traffic violation. Petitioner was not listed on the rental agreement for the vehicle, and the troopers determined that consent was irrelevant to the search because Petitioner lacked a reasonable expectation of privacy. During the search, the troopers found heroin and body armor in the trunk and arrested Petitioner. Petitioner moved to suppress evidence relating to the search of the rental car. The district court denied the motion, citing to the Third Circuit’s decision in United States v. Kennedy, 638 F.3d 159 (3d Cir. 2011), which held that a person who is driving a rental vehicle and is not listed on the rental agreement has no expectation of privacy and lacks standing to challenge the search. The Third Circuit affirmed the holding of the district court. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to address the split among circuits and state courts on the right to privacy in a rental car. Petitioner argues that when an unlisted driver of a rental car is given possession and control of the vehicle, they have a right to privacy in that vehicle.

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