Closed Containers


United States v. Ross (1982) is one of the top five cases in vehicle stops, searches, and inventories. In this case, the Supreme Court was tasked with determining whether a legal warrantless search of an automobile allowed police to also search closed containers, specifically within the trunk of that vehicle. The Court ruled that the warrantless search of the containers found during the search of the care was constitutional and fell within the existing precedent of warrantless searches called the “automobile exception.”


Locate another case on point associated with vehicle stops and searches. In your main post, address the following:

  • Summarize the material facts of the case you researched.
  • Explain the applicable law the court relied on in reaching its decision in your selected case.
  • Describe the legal requirements from your selected case that hold particular importance for police officers conducting a vehicle stop and search.
  • Examine the potential impact of your selected case on the ethical behavior of police officers carrying out their assigned duties.