An investigation of Stanley’s (defendant) alleged bookmaking activities led to the issuance of a search warrant for his home. During the search, officers found reels of eight-millimeter film. The officers viewed the films, concluded they were obscene, and seized them. Stanley was placed under arrest and later convicted for “knowingly having possession of obscene matter” in violation of the laws of the State of Georgia (plaintiff). Stanley challenged his conviction on the grounds that the Georgia statute’s criminalization of the mere private possession of obscene matter violated the First Amendment. The Supreme Court of Georgia upheld his conviction, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.