Michel v. State

In Michel v. State, 961 P.2d 436 (Alaska App. 1998) the Court examined whether posting "No Trespassing" signs along a driveway creates a sufficient expectation of privacy to require police to obtain a warrant before approaching a house. The Court noted that Pistro v. State was based on the premise that "visitors -- including unsolicited visitors -- can be expected to use normal means to approach a residence" and, more specifically, "a homeowner must reasonably expect that members of the public will approach a residence via an ungated driveway." The "law presumes that a homeowner generally consents to 'allow visitors to take reasonable steps to make contact with the occupant.' " The Court held that posting "No Trespassing" signs, without more, is not sufficient to overcome that presumption and create an expectation of privacy, because normal social and business visitors would not be deterred from approaching the house by such signs.