Drug-sniffing dog put his paws on a man’s car. Idaho Supreme Court says he trespassed

March 23, 2023

The Idaho Supreme Court has vacated a Mountain Home man’s conviction for felony drug possession and delivery after it ruled that a police drug-sniffing dog trespassed and conducted an illegal search by putting its paws on his vehicle, prompting the search that led to his arrest. Police searched Dorff’s vehicle based on the dog “alerting” them to the presence of drugs, its handler said. They said the drug-sniffing dog “intermeddled” with Dorff’s personal effects by jumping up on the car. According to the majority opinion, it doesn’t matter that the unlawful search included the exterior of Dorff’s property or was performed by a drug-sniffing dog. Moeller disagreed with the idea that Nero placing his paws on Dorff’s vehicle constitutes an illegal search.