Category Archives: Community caretaking function

IA: Stopping behind a car parked with brake lights on on a country road at 1 am was reasonable under the community caretaking function

“This case requires us to decide whether an officer was justified in pulling behind a vehicle and activating his emergency lights when the vehicle was stopped by the side of a highway after 1:00 a.m. with its brake lights engaged. … Continue reading

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E.D.Mich.: A 16 year old girl, over the age of consent, was in a hotel room with a 45 year old man; that alone was not exigency

A 16 year old girl, over the age of consent, was in a hotel room with a 45 year old man. That alone did not create exigent circumstances. Certainly the parents would be concerned, but there was no evidence that … Continue reading

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Cal.2d: 911 call about threat to shoot oneself supports entry and cursory search for weapons

A 911 call about an apparent threat to shoot oneself supports a community caretaking entry and cursory look around the house. People v. Ovieda, 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 34 (2d Dist. Jan. 17, 2018):

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PA: Flashing overhead lights on a police car means stop and stay until released; stopping to check GPS isn’t RS

According to the vehicle code and the driver’s license manual, when a police car has its lights on, a driver is to stop until let go. Here, the officer pulled up next to defendant’s car on the side of I-79 … Continue reading

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UT: Potentially missing 65 yo man led to welfare check entry of his house at insistence of his mother; “welfare check” entry valid

Defendant was 65, in ill-health, and his mother talked to him every day. When she hadn’t heard from him, she called the police to check on him. At the house, nobody answered the door, the lights were on, there was … Continue reading

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NM: Vehicle impoundment does not entirely depend upon there being an arrest of the driver; community caretaking function can justify it

An impoundment does not entirely depend upon there being an arrest of the driver. Usually, it does, but it certainly can if impoundment is required under the community caretaking function for some other reason. Here, defendant was taken to the … Continue reading

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OH4: Community caretaking function applies to unresponsive person in car

Officers did not seize defendant’s car when they approached and knocked on the window to rouse him. That was valid under the community caretaking function. They had reasonable suspicion, however, because he was disoriented, jittery, nervous, had dilated pupils, glassy … Continue reading

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OH2: No record of suppression hearing brought up means no appellate review

The trial court’s denial of the motion to suppress couldn’t be considered on appeal because the record of the hearing was never filed for the appeal. State v. Tscheiner, 2017-Ohio-7641, 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 3962 (2d Dist. Sept. 15, 2017). … Continue reading

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IA: Officer’s checking on car parked on rural road at 1 am was valid welfare check

The officer stopped to check on the welfare of defendant parked on the side of a rural road at 1 am. This was a bona fide welfare check and not a criminal investigation, and it was reasonable. State v. Coffman, … Continue reading

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WI: Community caretaking function can support impoundment and inventory despite lack of standardized procedures

Defendant matched the description of a man wanted for robbery and a probation violation. He was found on the property of a storage unit company. After his arrest, his vehicle was parked between two rows of buildings, blocking one unit … Continue reading

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IN: Def was stuck under car at gas station then freed herself before officer got over there; stop under community caretaking function was unreasonable

Defendant was stuck under her car at a gas station when the officer saw her. He started toward her and she freed herself, got in the car and was attempting to drive away when the officer stopped her. Surveying cases … Continue reading

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MO: A body between apartments justified an entry to see if there were other victims

Police get a call about women screaming and yelling and a body between two buildings. They show up and circumstances connect them to an apartment. A community caretaking function search for another victim is proper. State v. Shegog, 2017 Mo. … Continue reading

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