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Name: People v. Baker
Case #: F052913
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/15/2008

A male driver’s parole search condition, alone, does not justify the search of the female passenger’s purse. Appellant was the sole passenger of a vehicle stopped for speeding. Upon learning that the driver was on parole with a search condition, the officer ordered appellant and the driver out of the vehicle and searched it, as well as appellant’s purse. The purse, described as being a distinctly female purse, had been located on the floor at appellant’s feet. Inside an outer pocket of the purse, the officer found a small quantity of methamphetamine. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s denial of the suppression motion, finding that the search was not justified by the driver’s parole search condition because there was no reasonable suspicion that the driver had any common authority over the purse, an item that is recognized as being an inherently private repository for personal items.