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Legal Research Case Study Memo - R.H. v. State

Legal Research Case Study Memo - R.H. v. State

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Published by Alma McCauley
paralegal portfolio, www.paralegalportfolio.info, EARL E. RISER, ATTORNEY AT LAW
1620 South Michigan Avenue ‡ Unit 611 ‡ Chicago, Illinois 60616 ‡ Telephone: (312) 566-0678
To: From: Re: Date: Curt Marceille Alma McCauley Matter of juvenile C.M. s contention of State s alleged improper seizure Monday, November 2, 2009

Issue Presented: Was an officer s order for a juvenile passenger, C.M., and the driver to exit a vehicle during a traffic stop motivated by a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or a concern for his personal safety due to t
paralegal portfolio, www.paralegalportfolio.info, EARL E. RISER, ATTORNEY AT LAW
1620 South Michigan Avenue ‡ Unit 611 ‡ Chicago, Illinois 60616 ‡ Telephone: (312) 566-0678
To: From: Re: Date: Curt Marceille Alma McCauley Matter of juvenile C.M. s contention of State s alleged improper seizure Monday, November 2, 2009

Issue Presented: Was an officer s order for a juvenile passenger, C.M., and the driver to exit a vehicle during a traffic stop motivated by a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or a concern for his personal safety due to t

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Alma McCauley on Sep 12, 2010
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E
 ARL
E.
 
ISER 
, A
 TTORNEY AT
L
 AW 
 
1620 South Michigan Avenue  Unit 611  Chicago, Illinois 60616  Telephone: (312) 566-0678
Page
1
of 
3
 
To: Curt MarceilleFrom: Alma McCauleyRe: Matter of juvenile C.M.͛s contention of State͛s alleged improper seizureDate: Monday, November 2, 2009
Issue Presented:
Was an officer͛s order for a juvenile passenger, C.M., and the driver to exit a vehicle during atraffic stop motivated by a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or a concern for his personal safetydue to the circumstances, thereby amounting to a constitutional stop within the meaning of the FourthAmendment, or was it motivated by C.M.͛s hostile attitude, thus constituting an improper seizure withinthe meaning of the Fourth Amendment?
Brief Answer:
According to a similar Florida case,
R.H. v. State
, 671 So.2d 871 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996), an officer͛stestimony that he had only made a prior observation of a conversation between vehicle passengers andan African-American male, and neither was concerned for his personal safety during an apparentlylawful traffic stop, rendered the officer͛s subsequent discovery of cocaine unconstitutional within themeaning of the Fourth and First Amendments.
Fac
ts:
On January 2, 2006, Officer Jones received a 911 emergency call concerning a liquor storerobbery. He responded, investigated the scene, and took the store owner͛s statement, including avague description that several children driving an unknown SUV, who threatened him with a gun, wereresponsible for the robbery.Hours later during his shift, Officer Jones saw the 2006 Cadillac Escalade that held C.M. andthree other children. Officer Jones thought the children he noticed may have been responsible for theliquor store robbery, and followed the SUV until, frustrated after observing no traffic violations (exceptfor his later testimony that he noticed the SUV weaving on the side of the road), he pulled the vehicleover without reason to support a pretext stop.
 
E
 ARL
E.
 
ISER 
, A
 TTORNEY AT
L
 AW 
 
1620 South Michigan Avenue  Unit 611  Chicago, Illinois 60616  Telephone: (312) 566-0678
Page
2
of 
3
 He conducted the routine protocol of checking the license, registration, and insurance of thedriver alone, without any call for assistance. Officer Jones issued a citation after noticing the driver͛sexpired license, without question or mention of the robbery that motivated the stop. He testified theangry passengers began to ͞mouth off͟ to him, claiming harassment, causing Officer Jones to fear for hispersonal safety. He ordered the front two passengers out of the vehicle, without disturbing the rearpassengers. Upon opening the passenger door, Officer Jones noticed a revolver, and arrested C.M. forpossession of a concealed weapon.
An
aly
sis
In
R.H. v. State
, Florida͛s Appellate Court ruled an officer͛s discovery of cocaine on a vehiclepassenger resulted from an unconstitutional search, although the traffic stop that originated the searchwas decidedly lawful.R.H. was a passenger in a vehicle with three other passengers. The arresting officer, OfficerOrenstein, noticed a conversation between the passengers and an African-American male while stoppedon the road and decided to later follow the vehicle. The driver rolled through a stop sign, and OfficerOrenstein pulled them over, issuing a citation to the driver for violating his glasses requirement. R.H., aminor, complained repeatedly about unjustified harassment from the officer, and Officer Orensteinordered him to exit the car. The officer testified that he was not concerned for his personal safety atthis time. The Appellate Court concluded that the traffic stop was lawful because it was concluded afterthe occurrence of a traffic violation. On the other hand, the court further concluded that thepassenger͛s subsequent negative attitude and comments were protected by the First Amendment.Additionally, the Court upheld the passenger͛s Motion to Suppress the cocaine because OfficerOrenstein͛s order to exit the vehicle was motivated not by a constitutional reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or concern for the his own personal safety, but by the passenger͛s hostile attitude, astestified to by the officer himself, in violation of the Fourth Amendment͛s rules regarding whatconstitutes proper search and seizure.In support of C.M.͛s assertion that Officer Jones conducted an improper seizure within themeaning of the Fourth Amendment and the trial court erred in denying his Motion to Suppress, althoughOfficer Jones testified that he became fearful of his personal safety after dealing with the increasingly

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