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State v. Urziceanu

State v. Urziceanu, 2015 MT 58 (Feb. 24, 2015) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether deputies violated defendant’s constitutional rights by entering his property to assist with a civil standby.

Short Answer: No, based on the plain view doctrine.

Affirmed 

Facts: Sheriff’s deputies accompanied Christine Robutka to a 15-acre rural property so that she could remove her belongings. Robutka lived with two men at the property, one of them Urziceanu, and was worried they might cause trouble upon her moving out.

The property is fenced and marked with no trespassing signs, with the house at the end of a 100-foot private driveway. Three deputies in two vehicles drove halfway up the driveway behind Robutka, and parked. One testified that upon getting out of his car, he saw a glassed-in porch in which he saw several marijuana plants.…