Saturday, January 09, 2016

Cannot detain while getting a search warrant without more

Kimberly Streit Vogelsberg won in State v. Daugherty, No. 110,131 (Kan. App. Dec. 18, 2015)(unpublished), obtaining a suppression order in a Butler County drug prosecution. Ms Daugherty argued that officers obtained statements from her during an illegal detention and that the tainted evidence invalidated a search warrant predicated on those statements, which in turn led to incriminating evidence.  The state relied on cases that stood for the proposition that a person can be detained during execution of a search warrant. But the COA held that Ms. Daugherty's case was easily distinguishable:
In Daugherty's case, of course, officers did not have a search warrant when they detained her. Given the cases' strong emphasis on the search warrant to justify a seizure, Summers and Mena do not control the result here.
The COA went on, then, to consider whether a person can be detained while officers get a search warrant.  Ultimately, the COA followed a Fourth Circuit case that held a seizure unreasonable where there was not warrant, no probable cause--or even reasonable suspicion--of criminal activity, and no reasonable suspicion of destruction or concealment of evidence. As a result, the COA held that Ms. Daugherty's detention was similarly unreasonable:
police in our case did not have probable cause to believe that Daugherty had done or would do anything wrong. Nor could Daugherty have destroyed evidence that was in the room; officers were preventing anyone from entering. No officers suggested that Daugherty represented a threat to their safety; the officers didn't handcuff or restrain her while they kept her in the motel lobby. She was seized without being given an option to leave, and the officers did not have a search warrant (or the imminent prospect of one) at the time. We conclude that her seizure in these circumstances violated her right to be free from unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 15 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights.
The COA also rejected the state's argument that the reading of Miranda rights during the illegal detention reduced the effect of the illegal seizure. The COA held that, while giving of Miranda rights may be relevant, it did not overcome the fact that the statements were made during the illegal detention and immediately used to get a search warrant.

Finally, the COA held that the state's speculative theory regarding inevitable discovery was not sufficiently litigated at the district court and therefore remanded for further findings.

[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on January 26, 2016.]

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