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Junkyard Can’t Toss Drone Photos With Civil ‘Exclusionary Rule’

Sept. 16, 2022, 7:15 PM

Drone surveillance without a search warrant shouldn’t get tossed in civil cases, a divided Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in a suit that tests the limits of using the Fourth Amendment’s “exclusionary rule” outside of criminal matters.

Years of photos showing that a Michigan junkyard expanded operations in violation of a local agreement won’t be excluded under the theory that the township violated the junkyard owner’s privacy rights, the court ruled Thursday.

The exclusionary rule blocks introduction of evidence obtained unlawfully. The judges agreed with the township that Michigan state courts shouldn’t extend that consideration to nuisance cases like this ...