Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Rakas v. Illinois

United States Supreme Court
439 U.S. 128 (1978)



The police pulled over a car that fit the description of a car used in a robbery. The police ordered the four occupants out of the car. Upon searching the vehicle, the police found a box of rifle shells in the glove compartment and a sawed-off rifle under the front passenger seat. Rakas (defendant) and another man in the car were arrested. Neither Rakas nor the other man had been driving the car, neither owned the car, and neither claimed he owned the shells or the rifle. Rakas moved to have the rifle and shells suppressed at trial, but the trial court denied the motion to suppress. Rakas and the other man were convicted of armed robbery. The appellate court affirmed the trial court's denial of the motion to suppress, holding that Rakas did not have standing to challenge the search of the car because he was simply a passenger in the car and did not have a "proprietary or other similar interest" in the vehicle. The state supreme court denied leave to appeal. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)

Concurrence (Powell, J.)

Dissent (White, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 498,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 498,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial