Date of Defense

Fall 11-2-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ)


Sociology and Criminal Justice

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Totten

Committee Member

Dr. Peter Fenton

Committee Member

Dr. Sutham Cobkit


This study examines the state of Fourth Amendment search law in relationship to the decision in the recent, landmark case of United States v. Jones. This study focused on the effects of the Jones decision, trespass doctrine, relative to the former precedent of Katz v. United States, reasonable expectation of privacy doctrine, and the rates of searches being found under these two tests (or a combination of both). This study used a qualitative content analysis of federal appellate cases which cited Jones and/or Katz to answer the following questions: Which tests were being used in federal appellate cases where a search was in question? And; Depending on the test being used, was a search more or less likely to be found? This study concluded, through the analysis of 34 cases pre-Jones decision and 38 cases post-Jones decision, that both tests are still being used, depending upon the parameters within the case itself (as Jones has very specific criteria for determining a search). This study also concluded that since the Jones decision, cases citing solely Jones found more searches to have occurred (100%, 11 cases) than did cases citing solely Katz (27.2%, 3 out of 11 cases) or cases which cited both (37.5%, 6 out of 16 cases).

Included in

Criminal Law Commons