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Barry Kamins/photo by Rick Kopstein. Barry Kamins/photo by Rick Kopstein.

On two occasions in the last six months, the Court of Appeals in People v. Gordon, 2021 N.Y. Slip Op 01093 (2021) and People v. Hinshaw, 35 N.Y.3d 427 (2020), added to the court’s rich and diverse history of decisions which have afforded greater protection to New York citizens in the area of search and seizure than that provided under federal constitutional standards.

Beginning in 1980, the court experienced an era of independent state constitutionalism that culminated in 16 decisions pertaining to the law of search and seizure. As the court explained during this period, it “demonstrated its willingness to adopt more protective standards under the State Constitution when doing so promotes ‘predictability and precision in judicial review of search and seizure cases and the protection of the individual rights of our citizens.’” People v. Torres, 74 N.Y.2d 224 (1989), quoting People v. P.J. Video, 68 N.Y.2d 296 (1986).

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