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Fla. Takes Drug-Sniffing Dog Case To Supreme Court

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(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBSMiami.com/NSF) – The U.S. Supreme Court may go to the dogs if the justices decide to hear a case from the state of Florida.

Florida officials are asking the high court to overturn a Florida Supreme Court decision that said a sniff at the front door of a house by a trained narcotics dog is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The case traces back to a drug sniffing dog named “Franky” and a search of a Miami house. The home had been suspected of being a grow house, but surveillance of the house turned up nothing.

A detective then took Franky up to the porch and the drug sniffing pooch gave the signal that drugs were in the house. Police did obtain a warrant to search the house and found marijuana and arrested the resident, Joelis Jardines.

Jardines’ attorney argued that Franky’s first sniff was a “search” and a trial court agreed and tossed out evidence obtained at the house. The decision was reversed by the 3rd District Court of Appeals and then restored by the Florida Supreme Court.

The state Supreme Court said that a dog sniff of a house without a warrant was “an unreasonable government intrusion into the sanctity of the home,” according to the News Service of Florida.

Florida officials said the ruling could cause problems for police trying to enforce drug laws and said the Florida Supreme Court ruling was in direct contradiction to previous U.S. Supreme Court decisions in similar cases.

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