Holding a motorist's DL longer than necessary "to know who they're dealing with" and then running warrants for curiosity was unreasonable because it extended the stop. State v. Moralez, 297 Kan. 397, 300 P.3d 1090 (2013):
During what began as a voluntary encounter, two law enforcement officers retained Joseph Moralez' identification card and detained him while conducting a warrants check, all without any reasonable suspicion of criminal activity by Moralez. After discovering an outstanding warrant for Moralez, officers arrested Moralez and seized marijuana from his pocket. The State charged Moralez with felony possession of marijuana, and Moralez sought to suppress the marijuana as the fruit of an unlawful detention. The district court denied the motion and subsequently convicted Moralez as charged. On direct appeal, a divided panel of the Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's suppression ruling and Moralez' conviction. State v. Moralez, 44 Kan. App. 2d 1078, 242 P.2d 223 (2010), rev. granted 292 Kan. 968 (2011). We granted Moralez' petition for review under K.S.A. 20-3018(b), obtaining jurisdiction under K.S.A. 60-2101(b).
We conclude the officers unlawfully detained Moralez when they retained his identification card and ran a warrants check without reasonable suspicion of his involvement in criminal activity. Further, we clarify our opinion in State v. Martin, 285 Kan. 994, 179 P.3d 457, cert. denied 555 U.S. 880 (2008), regarding the effect of the discovery of an outstanding arrest warrant during an unlawful detention. Ultimately, we hold that under the facts of this case, the officers' discovery of Moralez' outstanding arrest warrant did not sufficiently purge the taint of his unlawful detention. Accordingly, we reverse the Court of Appeals' decision affirming the suppression ruling, reverse the district court's suppression ruling, reverse Moralez' conviction, and remand for further proceedings.
. . .
But to determine whether this voluntary encounter remained voluntary, we shift our focus to the officer's request for and retention of the defendant's identification.
. . .
We have recognized that a law enforcement officer's mere request for identification or identifying information generally will not constitute a seizure. See Pollman, 286 Kan. at 888; State v. McKeown, 249 Kan. 506, 509, 819 P.2d 644 (1991) (recognizing generally that an officer may, without reasonable suspicion, approach an individual on the street and "request identification but cannot force the individual to answer").
In contrast, we have held that an officer's retention of an individual's identification "may, absent offsetting circumstances, mean a reasonable person would not feel free to leave without his or her license." (Emphasis added.) Pollman, 286 Kan. at 889. Thus, in Pollman we held that an officer's retention of identification is one factor to be considered in applying the totality of circumstances test. See also United States v. Guerrero, 472 F.3d 784, 786-87 (10th Cir. 2007) (noting that mere examination of one's driver's license does not constitute detention, but "once the officers take possession of that license, the encounter morphs into a detention"); United States v. Lopez, 443 F.3d 1280, 1285-86 (10th Cir. 2006) (concluding officer unlawfully detained defendant by retaining his license longer than necessary to confirm his identify when officer approached defendant in a high-crime area late at night, requested his identification and took defendant's license to patrol car to conduct warrants check); United States v. Lambert, 46 F.3d 1064, 1068 (10th Cir. 1995) (concluding that voluntary encounter, including request to examine identification, became investigative detention when agents received defendant's driver's license and did not return it to him).
Here, although the record does not clearly delineate the sequence of events during the encounter, it is undisputed that at some point Whisman obtained Moralez' identification card because Whisman "[j]ust want[ed] to document who [he] talked to." Moreover, we cannot discern from the record how long Whisman retained Moralez' identification card. But, as in Lopez, we know he did so longer than necessary to "document" speaking with Moralez. ...
Under these circumstances, we conclude Whisman seized Moralez when Whisman requested and took possession of Moralez' identification card and then retained it while running a check for outstanding warrants. Further, because Whisman did not suspect Moralez of involvement in any criminal activity, the seizure was unlawful. ...
In State v. Williams, 101617 (Kan. May 17, 2013), the same court held that the question of attenuation favored the citizen:
Further, applying the attenuation analysis from State v. Martin, 285 Kan. 994, 179 P.3d 457, cert. denied 555 U.S. 880 (2008), as clarified in State v. Moralez, 297 Kan. ___, ___ P.3d ___ (No. 102,342, this day decided), we hold the officers' discovery of an outstanding arrest warrant during Williams' unlawful detention did not purge the taint of that unlawful detention. Accordingly, we reverse the Court of Appeals' decision and affirm the district court's suppression ruling.
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
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—Shemaya, in the Thalmud
"A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays
down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its
application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect
results, especially if one's attention is confined to the particular case at
bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping
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safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced."
—Williams v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold, J.), rev'd Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).
"The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing
can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws,
or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence."
—Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).
Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment.
—Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).
"There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that
bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the
police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater
than it is today."
— Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).
"The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their
—Entick v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)
"It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have
frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And
so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his
case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth
—United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)
"The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated
here, has not–to put it mildly–run smooth."
—Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).
"A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the
bottom of a turntable."
—Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)
"For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly
exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth
Amendment protection. ... But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in
an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected."
—Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)
“Experience should teach us to be most on guard to
protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born
to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded
rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men
of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
—United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)
“Liberty—the freedom from unwarranted
intrusion by government—is as easily lost through insistent nibbles by
government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose
it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark.”
—United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)
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But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need."
—Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
"In Germany, they first came for the communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for
the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came
for me–and by that time there was nobody left to speak up."
—Martin Niemöller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]
“You know, most men would get discouraged by
now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men!”
—Pepé Le Pew
"There is never enough time, unless you are serving it."
"The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers, is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime."
—Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)