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Name: People v. Reyes
Case #: G025069
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/15/2000
Subsequent History: Review denied 11/29/00

In their mission to conduct a narcotics investigation at the home of a parolee, an officer here went to the closed screen door of the home of the parolee and peered inside. The officer concealed his identity, and employed a ruse to lure appellant outside, by asking him if the white van parked outside was his, and by the officer telling appellant that he had hit his van. When appellant accompanied the officer into the alley, he was lead straight into the clutches of a formidable narcotics unit that had no basis on which to detain him. The appellate court held that, this could hardly be characterized as a consensual encounter. The test is whether the specific circumstances surrounding the ruse employed tend to undermine the voluntariness of the consent. Here, appellant was lured outside with a trick unrelated to criminal activity and it undermined the voluntariness of the consent. “Put another way, the net used would have scooped up the innocent as well as the guilty; and this particular way of fishing for criminals is inconsistent with the state’s obligation to respect the privacy of its citizens.” Moreover, the court held that any consent subsequently given by appellant was clearly the product of the tainted police conduct and rendered the search and seizure invalid.