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The area, usually enclosed, encompassing the grounds and buildings immediately surrounding a home that is used in the daily activities of domestic life.

A garage, barn, smokehouse, chicken house, and garden are curtilage if their locations are reasonably near to the home. The determination of what constitutes curtilage is important for purposes of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures of a person and of his or her home or property. Courts have construed the word home to include curtilage so that a person is protected against unlawful searches and seizures of his or her curtilage.


noun court, courtyard, enclosure, fenced, garden, land, yard


a courtyard. An open space within a common enclosure belonging to a house.

CURTILAGE, estates. The open space situated within a common enclosure belonging to a dwelling-house. Vide 2 Roll, Ab. 1, l. 30; Com. dig. Grant, E 7, E 9; Russ. & Ry. 360; Id. 334, 357; Ry & Mood. 13; 2 Leach, 913; 2 Bos. & Pull. 508; 2 East, P. C. 494; Russ. & Ry. 170, 289, 322; 22 Eng. Com. Law R. 330; 1 Ch. Pr. 175; Shep. Touchs. 94.

References in periodicals archive ?
In a new technological age of aggressive surveillance, personal curtilage carves out a defensible space of protection.
Part II looks at the concept of Fourth Amendment curtilage as a definitional frame to create a parallel space in public.
The theory of personal curtilage rests on four overlapping foundational principles.
Supreme Court had occasion to again consider the aerial surveillance of a suspect's curtilage by law enforcement in Florida v.
Relying on Ciralo, the Supreme Court upheld the search, noting that "no intimate details connected with the use of the home or curtilage were observcd[.
where] the camera did not record activities within defendant's home or its curtilage obscured from public view.
the curtilage will be clearly marked; and the conception defining the
1] [T]he proximity of the area claimed to be curtilage to the home,
home, also called the curtilage, without a warrant, their search was
141) Even though the greenhouse was located within the curtilage of
None of the prior Supreme Court cases that address observation--as opposed to physical invasion--into the curtilage area involve sense-enhancing technologies.
For purposes of this Article, curtilage will be understood to protect both physical invasion and sense-enhanced invasion of a constitutionally protected space.