Friday, August 22, 2008

The third and fourth Amendments.

We are reviewing the amendments one by one, in case you came in late, now go down and start at the beginning.

Amendment III (1791)
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

This amendment is pretty straight-forward, and not controversial. Back during the Colony days Great Britton housed their soldiers in the colonist’s houses under the “Quartering Act”. The Colonists so disliked having to house soldiers that it was presented as the third amendment, and it has never been questioned.

Amendment IV (1791)
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.

This amendment is probably the most misinterpreted amendment of them all. I have a friend that just had his greenhouse searched while he wasn’t at home. He has no contraband growing in it, and he simply grows hydroponics vegetables, and he grows them inside to control insects and disease. Mostly he does it because he enjoys it and parttly because he can. He has never done anything that should bring “Probable Cause” down on him. He doesn’t even use marijuana.
At first he thought that it was funny, because he knew that there was nothing in there. I asked him if he knew whether or not they had a warrant. He said “based on what” I’ve grown vegetables in my green house for years. Why would they just show up, look in my greenhouse while I’m not home, then not even have the courtesy to leave a note, so I would know who was snooping around. He saw the deputy drive up his driveway, then about twenty minutes later he saw him come out. He went up later and saw the deputys foot tracks in the dirt to the greenhouse.

He said after he got through laughing about it, it started to make him mad.


Greg said...

The Bush administration has trashed the fourth amendment. Humboldt's Democratic Party called for the impeachment of the President and Vice-president over this issue on March 21, 2006. Whoever wins upcoming elections, we all need to communicate with them about our rights. All you have to do is stand in the back yard and mutter under your breath. Don't worry, they'll hear you (if they want).

Robin Shelley said...

Just curious... if your friend saw the deputy drive up his driveway & also saw the deputy drive out 20 minutes later, why didn't your friend go home & find out what the deputy was up to?

Ernie Branscomb said...


He has an orchard that he was working in at the bottom of the hill. Other people live up the hill and he really didn’t notice, until he went to the greenhouse. Like I said, it didn’t start to bother him until later. You would have to know him to know how ludicrous it would be for him to be growing dope. He would have way, way, way more to loose than gain.

kaivalya said...

If a stranger was in my vegetable garden uninvited - it would feel like someone was snooping my underwear drawer.

To not leave a note or make contact with the property owner seems symptomatic of the entitlement the government takes in helping us manage our own lives.

ben said...

Ernie... My hit on these random greenhouse searches is that they are usually the result of a complaint from a neighbor. Is your friend having problems with any neighbors? Regardless of what is in your greenhouse, if your neighbors don't like you, it's full of pot. The Sheriffs say that they must respond to a complaint.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I doubt it. It's just a little bit chilling to think that they would respond to a neighbor’s complaint of a green house full of weed. They would still have to get a search warrant based on one of the neighbor’s testimony.

If someone told the cops that my house was full of weed, should they break my door down and search? I don’t think that it is even legal to peek through open windows without a warrant, is it?

Moviedad said...

I either failed to post my comment on here the other day, or it was deleted. I'm curious, wouldn't be the first time I hit the wrong key.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Nope, I haven't deleted anything for a long time. Try again?