Logourl black
From our private database of 14,200+ case briefs...

United States v. Montoya-Hernandez

United States Supreme Court
473 U.S. 531 (1985)


Facts

On March 5, 1983, Rosa Elvira Montoya de Hernandez (defendant) flew into Los Angeles from Bogota, Columbia. Customs officials noted the number of trips Montoya de Hernandez had made into the country and questioned her. The officials did not believe Montoya de Hernandez’s story that she had come into the country with no hotel reservation, appointments, checks, or credit cards in order to buy items for sale in Columbia. Officials believed Montoya de Hernandez was smuggling drugs. A patdown and strip search revealed that Montoya de Hernandez was wearing two pairs of underwear and her stomach was firm. Officials believed Montoya de Hernandez was smuggling drugs in her alimentary canal. After the inspector was unable to book a return flight to Columbia, Montoya de Hernandez was held for observation for over 16 hours until a court order authorizing an x-ray and rectal exam was obtained. Drugs were found, and Montoya de Hernandez was arrested. Montoya de Hernandez was convicted by bench trial for federal drug crimes. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed because there was no “clear indication” Montoya de Hernandez was smuggling drugs in her alimentary canal. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)

Dissent (Brennan, 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 97,000 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 251,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 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.