Court takes case about backyard visit by deputies

The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether deputies acted lawfully when they walked to the rear of a home without a warrant and learned there was marijuana growing inside.

The case from St. Joseph County centers on the actions of two deputies in 2011. The outcome could have an impact on police tactics statewide.

The deputies skipped the front door and knocked on a different door. When they got no answer, they went to the rear and knocked on another door. They smelled marijuana and returned with a search warrant.

The state appeals court, 2-1, said the deputies did nothing illegal, although one judge said officers need a warrant to go to a backyard if they don’t get an answer at the front door.  (AP)

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