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Name: In re Randy C. (2024) 101 Cal.App.5th 933
Case #: A167331
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 05/03/2024

A marijuana blunt on the passenger’s lap was an “open container” within the meaning of HSC 11362.3(a)(4), which provided probable cause for the officer to search the passenger compartment of the vehicle. A minor was stopped by police for driving a car with illegally tinted windows. During the stop, the officer smelled unburnt marijuana and saw a blunt on the passenger’s lap. The officer conducted a search of the vehicle and found a handgun in the glove compartment and an AR-15 rifle in the trunk. On appeal, the minor argued that the marijuana blunt was not an “open container” within…

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Name: People v. Flores (2024) 15 Cal.5th 1032
Case #: S267522
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/02/2024

Under the Fourth Amendment, detention was unauthorized where defendant’s odd behavior, while noteworthy, did not support a reasonable suspicion that he was engaged in illegal activity. Officers observed defendant, alone, in a known narcotics area around 10:00 p.m. Defendant ducked behind a vehicle and pretended to tie his shoe. Officers approached and detained defendant, subsequently locating drug paraphernalia and a revolver in his nearby vehicle. The Supreme Court concluded that the trial court erred in denying defendant’s motion to suppress evidence recovered during the detention. Defendant’s behavior, while odd, did not provide a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Defendant was…

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Name: People v. Pritchett
Case #: A168411
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/28/2024

The good faith exception to the exclusionary rule applies where a detective was unaware AB 1950 had terminated defendant’s probation, and relied on a criminal database that incorrectly indicated defendant was still on searchable probation. A detective searched defendant based on information from Crimnet, a database containing information directly from the judicial system, including probation status. While Crimnet indicated defendant was on searchable probation, probation had actually been terminated based on the automatic application of AB 1950. The detective admitted he was unaware of AB 1950. Considering the language of AB 1950 and the limited legal authority interpreting it, the…

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Name: Mosley v. Superior Court (2024) 101 Cal.App.5th 243
Case #: C099530
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/05/2024

Under the automobile exception to the warrant requirement, a detective’s belief that gang members frequently hide guns in their cars, combined with defendant’s position 20 feet from his car, did not provide probable cause to search the vehicle for contraband. Officers received a call that a group of men in an apartment complex parking lot were creating a music video, and one of them, a thin young man dressed in black, was holding a handgun. Once at the location, officers instructed the group of six men to put their hands in the air. D.M., a juvenile in a black shirt…

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Name: People v. Jackson (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 730
Case #: B328954
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 03/15/2024

Police officers detained defendant without justification when they boxed in his vehicle, approached him from both sides, and aimed two flashlights on him. Jackson pled guilty to a felon-in-possession charge after his motion to suppress was denied. At the suppression hearing, two officers testified that they pulled their vehicle alongside Jackson’s and then shined flashlights on Jackson as they approached the vehicle from both sides. The officers explained that they suspected criminal activity was afoot because Jackson was in an expensive vehicle, was wearing a coat on a warm evening, was sitting awkwardly in the driver’s seat, and was uncomfortable…

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Name: People v. Felix (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 439
Case #: B317938
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 03/07/2024
Subsequent History: Opn. modified 3/12/2024

Defendant, who was a foreign national driving a car that belonged to a third party, was lawfully detained while an officer made further inquiries of the dispatcher performing the records check for defendant and the owner of the vehicle. Following a valid traffic stop in Utah, Felix provided an officer with an identification card from Mexico and vehicle registration in the name of a third party from California. He was detained approximately 12 minutes while the officer performed a records check and asked dispatch for additional information. The officer then obtained consent to search the vehicle just prior to dispatch…

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Name: People v. Paul (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 832
Case #: B320488
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 02/14/2024

Evidence discovered during a parole search should have been suppressed where officers discovered defendant’s active parole status after unlawfully detaining him. Officers approached defendant while he was sitting inside a parked car. During his conversation with the officers, defendant told them he was on parole, which led to a parole search of the car where the officers found a gun. After denial of a motion to suppress evidence of the gun, defendant pleaded no contest to possession of a firearm with a prior violent conviction. Defendant appealed. Held: Reversed. Considering the totality of the circumstances, the Court of Appeal concluded…

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Name: People v. Cartwright (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 98
Case #: D080606
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/25/2024

Trial court did not err in denying defendant’s motion to suppress video footage from the City of San Diego’s streetlight camera program and evidence derived from that footage. As part of its “City IQ” streetlight program, the City of San Diego maintains fixed cameras throughout the city that capture only the public right of way. Defendant was arrested in connection with a robbery and murder at a flooring store after video footage from the City’s cameras revealed defendant’s gold GMC Yukon arriving and departing the area on the day of the incident. Defendant’s motion to suppress the camera footage was…

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Name: People v. Campos (2024) 98 Cal.App.5th 1281
Case #: F084307
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/22/2024

The government did not properly notify defendant pursuant to the California Electronic Privacy Communications Act (Pen. Code, § 1546 et. seq.) where it relied on third party providers to notify defendant of government-compelled information. As part of a murder investigation, police sought and obtained warrants for Facebook account information of defendant and two others, and T-Mobile/MetroPCS records pertaining to a telephone number belonging to defendant. Defendant filed a motion pursuant to CalECPA and the Fourth Amendment to void the warrants and suppress the evidence, which the trial court denied following an evidentiary hearing. Defendant was convicted of second degree murder…

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Name: People v. Ramirez (2023) 98 Cal.App.5th 175
Case #: H049957
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/22/2023

Even assuming the compelled use of defendant’s fingerprint to unlock his cell phone constitutes a “search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, there was no Fourth Amendment violation because use of defendant’s fingerprint was authorized by the search warrants. Jane Doe 1’s mother reported that defendant had taken inappropriate pictures of Jane Doe 1 on his phone. After obtaining electronic communications search warrants to search defendant’s phone, an officer went to the jail and used defendant’s fingerprint to unlock the phone and view its contents. When the phone locked and officers were unable to open it, they obtained another…

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