This Note argues that the proper inquiry for determining whether a defendant has a legitimate expectation of privacy in a rental vehicle when that defendant is the unauthorized driver of a rental car is the totality-of-the-circumstances test, not the permission test adopted by the Ninth Circuit. A test requiring permission is unsupported by Supreme Court precedent and will yield inconsistent results when applied. Part I provides a brief historical background for challenges to Fourth Amendment searches. Part II sets forth the background and analysis of the opinion in focus, United States v. Thomas. Part III evaluates the court's analysis in Thomas. Finally, Part IV concludes that the proper test for standing is the totality-of-the-circumstances test.
Matthew M. Shafae,
United States v. Thomas: Ninth Circuit Misunder-"Standing": Why Permission to Drive Should Not Be Necessary to Create an Expectation of Privacy in a Rental Car, 37 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.