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Minnesota v. Dickerson - Significance, Impact, Nightwalker Statutes, Further Readings

search petitioner respondent decision


State of Minnesota


Timothy Dickerson

Petitioner's Claim

A police officer's patdown search of a person on the street and subsequent seizure of a small object does not violate the Fourth Amendment.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioner

Michael O. Freeman, Beverly J. Wolfe

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Peter W. Gorman

Justices for the Court

Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, William H. Rehnquist, Clarence Thomas


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

7 June 1993


Police may seize contraband that is nonthreatening and detected through the sense of touch during a limited patdown search for weapons, but the search in Dickerson's case was unlawful because it exceeded the lawful bounds of such a search.

Related Cases

  • Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).
  • Texas v. Brown, 460 U.S. 730 (1983).


West's Encyclopedia of American Law. St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1998.

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