Saturday, November 14, 2009

Marx strikes again

Michael C. Hayes won in State v. Jimeson, No. 102,158 (Kan. App. Nov. 13, 2009) (unpublished), affirming Judge Patton's suppression of evidence from an illegal traffic stop. The officer in the case initiated a traffic stop after he observed Jimeson's motorcycle momentarily drift onto the shoulder of the road. The district court rejected the officer's claim that the stop was based on public safety and found that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation.

The COA held that substantial competent evidence supported the district court's conclusion that the "public safety stop" was a pretext for an investigatory detention:

Our review of the record impels us to agree with the trial court. We too are not convinced the officer made a public safety stop in a case where the first words from the police officer were "Are you drunk?
The COA also relied on State v. Marx (blogged about here) to conclude that, "even if [the officer] had a suspicion of a K.S.A. 8-1522(a) violation, Jimeson's brief lane breach would not have been enough to validate a traffic stop."
[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on December 17, 2009.]

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