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Name: People v. Jahansson
Case #: H034446
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/30/2010

Summary denial of the People’s writ petition challenging a suppression order does not preclude a subsequent appeal from a dismissal order based on the suppression order. Appellant, who was charged with drug offenses, filed a motion to suppress (Pen. Code, sec. 1538.5), which was granted. The People filed a petition for writ of mandate seeking review of the trial court’s ruling. The appellate court summarily denied the petition. The People represented to the trial court that they were unable to proceed, and the trial court dismissed the case. The People sought appellate review of the dismissal order thereby challenging the trial court’s granting of appellant’s suppression motion. Penal Code section 1238, subdivision (a)(7) authorizes the prosecution to appeal from an order dismissing a case prior to trial, whereas Penal Code section 1538.5, subdivision (o) provides for writ review after a defendant’s motion to be suppressed has been granted. Summary denial of the People’s writ petition challenging a suppression order does not preclude a subsequent appeal from an order based on the suppression order because summary denial does not constitute law of the case, the parties not having had the opportunity for oral argument and a written opinion of the issue raised in the writ. After finding that the People could pursue review on direct appeal, the court considered the trial court’s ruling on the suppression motion. The evidence showed police set up surveillance of a probationer’s residence because of information received that methamphetamine sales were occurring. They observed appellant and a companion enter the residence, stay approximately 20 to 30 minutes, leave and drive away, but return sometime later and park in front. Intending on conducting a search of the residence, at that point the police temporarily detained appellant and her companion, removed them from the car, and handcuffed them. The court found that under the circumstances the detention before appellant was placed in handcuffs was reasonable for officer safety. However, the continued detention and search of appellant’s car after the sweep of the residence was unreasonable because the police failed to establish appellant’s identity, determine her connection to the searched residence, or determine whether she would pose a physical threat if released. A detention is reasonable only for the length of time necessary to establish this information. (People v. Glaser (1995) 11 Cal.4th 354.)