Plain View Doctrine
We recently had an individual ask what the “plain view doctrine” means. The plain view doctrine is a term applied to law enforcement or other government agent allowing an exception to an individual’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The US Supreme Court ruled in Coolidge v New Hampshire law enforcement officers may seize evidence found in plain view during a lawful observation. The plain view doctrine does not apply to private individuals as a way to disregard privacy rights or criminal trespass laws.