In re Baraka H – Case Brief Summary (California)

In In re Baraka H. (1992) 6 Cal.App.4th 1039, the defendant was selling marijuana from a brown bag hidden beside the highway. To avoid having drugs in his possession, he would retrieve them from the bag as he made a sale. The court held he gave up any expectation of privacy in the bag when he placed the crumpled paper sack on the ground. When defendant did so, he "gave up any reasonable expectation that it should be recognized as 'his' or that he should be recognized as entitled to have it or its contents left alone. If he in fact entertained such an expectation, it was not an objectively reasonable one, and would not become such merely because of a posited secret intention to assert an interest if and when the sack was approached." Accordingly, the court treated the case as a disclaimer case and held that the denial of ownership "makes it unreasonable to expect that any subjective desire to protect the contents of the item will be honored." ( Id. at p. 1047.)