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Name: People v. Bush
Case #: C035985
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/03/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 8/8/01

Appellant's vehicle was stopped because it had no registration stickers. The officer who stopped the vehicle radioed the dispatcher to check the status of the registration and appellant's license, and learned not only that the vehicle was unregistered and appellant's license was expired, but that he had a history of possessing weapons and of "very violent behavior." The information regarding violent behavior was later discovered to be six years old. The officer ordered appellant out of the car and searched the vehicle, finding a loaded handgun. The denial of appellant's suppression motion was affirmed. The information…

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Name: U.S. v. Summers
Case #: 00-30083
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 10/12/2001
Subsequent History: Cert. denied 2/25/02

There was no Fourth Amendment violation where police officers observed appellant late at night at a Goodwill drop station, carrying boxes to his car, and subsequently observed, in plain view, an unregistered sawed-off shotgun when they shone a flashlight into the vehicle. The interaction in this case was voluntary, since Summers was getting the paperwork to prove ownership of the vehicle at the time. Even if the encounter were an investigatory stop, it was justified by the suspicion that Summers had committed, or was about to commit, a…

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Name: U.S. v. Chavez-Valenzuela
Case #: 00-50075
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 10/15/2001
Subsequent History: Opn amended 2/13/02 & rehearing en banc rejected

Appellant was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) for a traffic violation, and detained for seven minutes while the CHP officer checked his license and registration. After the officer learned that both were valid, he asked for and received consent to search the vehicle, because he thought that appellant looked "nervous." Officers seized methamphetamine found in the vehicle. The appellate court here reversed the denial of appellant’s suppression motion. Nervousness during a traffic stop, in the absence of other objective factors, does not support a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, and did not justify…

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Name: U.S. v. Dorais
Case #: 99-10091
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 03/01/2001
Subsequent History: None

The denial of a motion to suppress evidence was affirmed where appellant Gomes had no privacy interest in a hotel room she had checked out of prior to the search of the room. Co-appellant Dorais' privacy interest had expired at checkout time, which was noon, and before the entry at 12:40. The stop of appellants' rental car was also proper because police officers had received a report that the rental vehicle was "overdue." Because officers were acting on a reasonable suspicion based on information from the car rental company, their stop of the car was reasonable even…

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Name: People v. Ashburn
Case #: C036029
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/25/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. grant & hold 10/17/01

Defendant was stopped for speeding and expired registration. An incorrect DMV record, relied on by the police, showed that defendant’s car registration had expired eight months earlier, so they impounded his car and found drugs during an inventory search. In fact, defendant had registered the car the day before. There was conflicting evidence on whether the officers were offered written proof of registration by the defendant. Noting that "it takes time to process paperwork", the court found no evidence of negligence or inadequate recordkeeping by anyone. Moreover, the officers were not required to accept defendant’s oral…

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