State v. Joyce

In State v. Joyce, 229 Conn. 10, 639 A.2d 1007 (Conn 1994), the Connecticut Supreme Court determined that chemical testing of clothing that was in police custody for safekeeping was not permissible. Id. at 1016. Joyce was discovered burned and his clothing had to be removed during the course of his medical treatment. Id. at 1009. The clothing was collected for safekeeping pursuant to law enforcement's "community caretaking function" when Joyce was taken to the hospital. Id. at 1010. After Joyce became a suspect in an arson, the police transmitted his clothing to the state forensic lab for further testing. Id. The Connecticut Supreme Court determined that "the defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the invisible and odorless chemicals present in his clothing." Id. at 1015. Moreover, because there were no facts establishing probable cause for the chemical testing of Joyce's clothing, the search was found impermissible without a warrant. Id. at 1017.