Category Archives: Inventory

NC: Inventory of a wrecked and apparently abandoned vehicle was reasonable

“In either event, the officers were justified in searching the wrecked vehicle to get it out of the ditch for an inventory or for officer safety. Officers searched the vehicle in an effort to find the purported driver’s name or … Continue reading

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E.D.Wis.: Inventory was unreasonable where SOP didn’t mention inventory for overtinting and cash found wasn’t inventoried but was instead delivered to DEA

Even assuming that a tow and inventory is permissible for an illegal tint violation (comparing Atwater v. Lago Vista on trivial arrests not being unreasonable), the inventory police did not address such incidents and the inventory itself mentioned “backpack” without … Continue reading

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D.R.I.: Removing back cover of cell phone to see the serial number not unreasonable during inventory

Defendant was in a car that was stopped for overtinting, and that led to a tow and inventory. The police searched for and obtained the serial numbers of four cell phones found during the inventory. They were not otherwise searched, … Continue reading

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M.D.Pa.: Failure to completely follow inventory policy doesn’t require suppression

The inventory here wasn’t complete because defendant’s cell phone wasn’t in the inventory and apparently left behind. [Now that’s ironic.] A gun and ammunition were. Because they are dangerous instrumentalities, that makes the inventory reasonable. “It is not obvious to … Continue reading

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D.Neb.: Inventory reasonable and followed SOP despite officer’s expectation to find evidence of crime

The inventory here was reasonable despite the fact the officer suspected illegal items in the vehicle. A criminal search was not the sole motivating factor, and the inventory followed SOPs. United States v. Nielsen, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 249611 (D.Neb. … Continue reading

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E.D.Mo.: Third party to forfeiture can’t challenge search

Third parties to a forfeiture seeking to protect their interest have no standing to challenge legality of the seizure that led to the forfeiture. United States v. Koeln, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3934 (E.D.Mo. Jan. 10, 2022). Defendant’s felony arrest … Continue reading

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MA: A computer check during a traffic stop would dispel any RS, and failure to do so was unreasonable

Defendant’s car had an inspection rejection sticker for safety defects, but state law grants a 60 day grace period for correction. A computer check would have answered any questions. “Accordingly, we conclude that whether the troopers’ suspicion was reasonable in … Continue reading

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TN: Where car was abandoned, there were no reasonable alternatives to impoundment available to the police

Tennessee recognizes that impoundment and inventory can be avoided if there are reasonable alternatives to it at the time. Here, defendant’s car was abandoned on the road and, when they arrived, it was in the process of being towed and … Continue reading

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OH11: 4A doesn’t require alternative arrangements to towing be offered

The Fourth Amendment does not require that a motorist who’s car is about to be towed and would be inventoried can make alternative arrangements to avoid the tow. State v. Patterson, 2021-Ohio-4617, 2021 Ohio App. LEXIS 4542 (11th Dist. Dec. … Continue reading

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NM: Tow and inventory of vehicle parked in owner’s driveway was unreasonable

The tow and inventory of the car defendant was driving, his grandmother’s, without a valid license was an abuse of the officer’s discretion. Here, the vehicle was parked in the grandmother’s driveway when the stop occurred. The officer’s practice of … Continue reading

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MI: Inventory was reasonable and not pretextual

Defense counsel wasn’t ineffective for not challenging the inventory search of defendant’s car because the inventory was reasonable. After the arrest of the occupants, the vehicle had to be towed, and the inventory was within policy and not a pretext … Continue reading

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ND: Federal tribal DTF officer could stop suspected DUI on state highway

“In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Cooley, we conclude the federal law enforcement officer working as an agent for the tribal drug enforcement agency had jurisdiction to detain Suelzle for a reasonable time while awaiting a state officer … Continue reading

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N.D.Ill.: Officer watching video of street radioing officer on the street about seeing a gun was RS

A Chicago PD officer was watching the streets with surveillance cameras, and he observed defendant apparently with a firearm under his shirt. That report to others who conducted the frisk was collective knowledge for a stop [although that phrase isn’t … Continue reading

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AL: Searching coat of OD victim for source was reasonable

Paramedics and an officer arrived at a medical emergency call. While defendant was being prepared for transport, the officer checked defendant’s coat and felt a pill bottle which he looked at in case it had anything to do with his … Continue reading

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CA10: Inventory was reasonable, and counsel’s admission at oral argument was binding

“For these reasons, we conclude that the officers had a reasonable, non-pretextual, community-caretaker rationale for impoundment: securing an uninsured vehicle on the side of a public road with inadequate taillights until a licensed driver with a legitimate connection to the … Continue reading

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NV: Failure to complete inventory after finding gun in plain view was reasonable

The officer’s failure to complete the inventory after finding a gun in plain view and seizing it was reasonable under the circumstances. Jim v. State, 137 Nev. Adv. Op. 57, 2021 Nev. LEXIS 59 (Sept. 23, 2021):

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E.D.Mich.: Listing inventory on police report and not inventory sheet not unreasonable

“Therefore, the officers’ decision to list the items recovered during the inventory search in the Incident Report and not on the Impound Report does not invalidate the inventory search.” United States v. Morris, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182946 (E.D.Mich. Sept. … Continue reading

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OH7: Visitor to hotel room with no key or shown association to room had no standing

Defendant was a visitor to a hotel room and he had no standing to challenge its search. He had no key to the room and no luggage or other belongings, and he couldn’t show he was a guest of either … Continue reading

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NJ declines to follow Heien under state constitution

NJ declines to adopt a reasonable mistake of law justification for an automobile stop and resulting search. At issue was a traffic law barring license plate frames that cover information on the plate that resulted in 100,000 stops per year. … Continue reading

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CA10: Impoundment of car was pretext for inventory search

Tulsa police’s impoundment of defendant’s car was a pretext for an inventory search. The inventory policy didn’t even mention impoundment. United States v. Woodard, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 22443 (10th Cir. July 27, 2021):

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