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Paul Roberts: Curtilage

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Curtilage has long been understood as a legal fiction that expands the protection of the home beyond the formal structures of the house. Based on custom and law protecting against both nosy neighbors and the government, curtilage was defined by the actions the property owner took to signal a protected space. In simple terms, by building a wall around one’s house, the property owner marked out an area of private control. So, too, the

theory of personal curtilage turns on persons being able to control the protected areas of their lives in public by similarly signifying that an area is meant to be secure from others.

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