Nathan Vaughn


Unreasonable searches of the home have often been regarded as a serious infringement upon one’s right to privacy. The right to privacy is currently recognized by a variety of governments and has existed for hundreds of years. Although the Constitution does not grant an express right to privacy, the Supreme Court has consistently acknowledged the rights of personal privacy and zones of privacy. Affording extra protection to the home seems to show that our right to privacy is at its peak behind closed doors.

Unfortunately, the list of exceptions to the warrant requirement is large and continuously growing. These exceptions will undoubtedly infringe upon our right to privacy and further erode Fourth Amendment protections. Some scholars feel that liberal interpretations of such exceptions will eventually eliminate the objectives behind the Fourth Amendment. For example, increasing the number of exceptions to the warrant rule provides a greater chance for police error, bias, and abuse, thus escalating unreasonable searches and invasions of privacy. Requiring members of the judicial branch to determine probable cause reduces the chance of unreasonable searches because a neutral individual is less likely to suffer from partiality. Therefore, to protect our right to privacy the Supreme Court has found that exceptions to the warrant requirement are carefully constructed and few in number.

This Note will explore the Ohio Supreme Court’s reasoning and discuss potential problems created by failing to establish a buffer zone for interpretations of exigent circumstances to the constitutional warrant requirement. Part II will discuss the history of the warrant requirement and its application to the states. Part III will present the facts and relevant procedural history of Middletown v. Flinchum. The Note will conclude by analyzing the court’s reasoning and exploring the possible consequences of its holding.