Defendant’s stop for expired tags in another state was objectively reasonable because the officer couldn’t have known that there was a Covid executive order extending the time to renew vehicle licenses in the other state. Maybe in the officer’s own state, but surely not of another state. United States v. Morris, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7548 (S.D. W.Va. Jan. 14, 2021):
I am persuaded by the government’s argument that it is objectively reasonable that Detective Seth Johnson was not aware of an executive order issued in another state extending the validity of an apparently-expired registration. While behind Defendant at a traffic light, Detective Seth Johnson observed that Defendant’s Virginia registration had expired and was aware that it is illegal under West Virginia law to drive with an expired registration. W. Va. Code § 17A-9-2.
Were this a question of a West Virginia vehicle registration, a West Virginia executive order, a defendant driving in West Virginia, and a police officer enforcing West Virginia law, there would be a greater expectation that Detective Seth Johnson should be aware of such an order. But in the case of a Virginia vehicle registration, a Virginia executive order, a defendant driving in West Virginia, and a police officer enforcing West Virginia law, I find that Detective Seth Johnson’s suspicion that Defendant was violating the traffic laws of West Virginia to be objectively reasonable.