CA11: Questioning during stop exceeded Rodriguez, but it was before that, so GFE applies

The stop was reasonable, and the questioning of the motorist was valid at the time it happened (December 2013). Under Rodriguez, however, the stop was unlawfully extended. Under the good faith exception, the detention was still valid. United States v. Campbell, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 530 (11th Cir. Jan. 8, 2019):

This appeal presents important questions about the proper confines of a traffic stop. First, whether a highway patrolman had reasonable suspicion to stop a motorist for a rapidly blinking turn signal. Second, if there was reasonable suspicion, whether the seizure became unreasonable when the patrolman prolonged the stop by questioning the motorist about matters unrelated to the stop’s mission. The District Court concluded that the initial stop was valid and that the questioning about unrelated matters did not transform the stop into an unreasonable seizure. The District Court therefore denied the motorist’s motion to suppress inculpatory evidence discovered during a subsequent search.

We agree that there was reasonable suspicion to stop the motorist. But we find that under the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Rodriguez v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 1609 (2015), the patrolman did unlawfully prolong the stop. Because his actions were permitted under binding case law at the time, however, the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule applies. We thus affirm the denial of the motion to suppress.

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