Illinois Supreme Court: Warrant needed for drug-dog search at apartment door

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a police canine’s detection of drugs outside an apartment door in an unlocked building is an unlawful search.

The court ruled 4-3 Thursday that the common area outside any apartment door is a legal part of a home. Justice Thomas Kilbride’s opinion determined that police need a warrant before a drug-sniffing dog can search it.

East Moline police acted on a March 2015 tip and a canine detected drugs outside the third-floor apartment’s door in an unlocked Moline building.

The court previously held such a search in a locked building was unconstitutional.

Justice Bob Thomas was one of three members dissenting. He says there’s no expectation of privacy in the common areas of a multi-unit building.

___

The case is People v. Bonilla .

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.