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State v. Knapp

Court of Appeals of Oregon

November 29, 2017

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
KEYLAN FRANKLIN KNAPP, Defendant-Appellant.

          Submitted on remand February 24, 2015.

         Washington County Circuit Court C100016CR, C090068CR, C091133CR

         On remand from the Oregon Supreme Court, State v. Knapp, 356 Or. 574, 342 P.3d 87 (2014). Gayle Ann Nachtigal, Judge.

          Peter Gartlan, Chief Defender, and Ingrid A. MacFarlane, Deputy Public Defender, Offce of Public Defense Services, fled the briefs for appellant. Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, and Ingrid A. MacFarlane, Deputy Public Defender, Offce of Public Defense Services, fled the supplemental brief.

          John R. Kroger, Attorney General, Mary H. Williams, Solicitor General, and Leigh A. Salmon, Assistant Attorney General, fled the answering brief for respondent. Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General, and Rolf C. Moan, Assistant Attorney General, fled the supplemental brief.

          Before Armstrong, Presiding Judge, and Tookey, Judge, and Duncan, Judge pro tempore.

         Case Summary: On remand from the Supreme Court, defendant renews his argument that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence obtained during a warrantless search of the car in which he was a passenger. Held: The trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to suppress, because defendant had a protected privacy interest in the vehicle and its contents, the [289 Or.App. 140] search occurred during an unlawful seizure of defendant, and the state failed to prove that the challenged evidence inevitably would have been discovered even without the unlawful seizure.

         Reversed and remanded.

         [289 Or.App. 141] DUNCAN, J. PRO TEMPORE

         This consolidated case is before us on remand from the Supreme Court. In our prior decision, we reversed and remanded the trial court's judgments, holding that the trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained during a warrantless search of a vehicle in which defendant had been a passenger. State v. Knapp, 253 Or.App. 151, 290 P.3d 816 (2012), vac'd and rem'd, 356 Or. 574, 342 P.3d 87 (2014) (Knapp I). The Supreme Court remanded the case to us to reconsider our decision in light of, inter alia, its opinion in State v. Unger, 356 Or. 59, 333 P.3d 1009 (2014). State v. Knapp, 356 Or. 574, 342 P.3d 87 (2014) (Knapp II). Following supplemental briefing by the parties, we conclude that the trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to suppress, because, contrary to the state's arguments in the trial court and on appeal, defendant had a protected privacy interest in the vehicle and in its contents, the search occurred during an unlawful seizure of defendant, and the state's argument that the challenged evidence inevitably would have been discovered even without the unlawful seizure is unavailing. Therefore, we reverse and remand.

         We review the trial court's ruling denying defendant's motion to suppress for legal error, in light of the evidence that was before the trial court when it made its ruling. State v. Quigley, 270 Or.App. 319, 320, 348 P.3d 250 (2015) (whether an officer unlawfully extended a traffic stop and whether evidence obtained after an unlawful extension of a traffic stop must be suppressed are questions of law, reviewed for legal error); State v. Pitt, 352 Or. 566, 575, 293 P.3d 1002 (2012) (as a general rule, a reviewing court evaluates a trial court's ruling on a pretrial motion "in light of the record made before the trial court when it issued the order, not the trial record as it may have developed at some later point"). When doing so, we are bound by the trial court's factual findings if there is constitutionally sufficient evidence in the record to support them. State v. Maciel-Figueroa, 361 Or. 163, 165-66, 389 P.3d 1121 (2017). If the trial court "did not make express findings and there is evidence from which the trial court could have found a fact in more than one way, [289 Or.App. 142] we will presume that the trial court decided the facts consistently with the trial court's ultimate conclusion." Id. at 166. Stated in accordance with those standards, the relevant facts are as follows.

         I. HISTORICAL AND PROCEDURAL FACTS

         Around 10 a.m. on the day at issue, a man, Beardall, was driving a Jeep, which he owned. Beardall was accompanied by another man, defendant, who was riding in the front passenger seat of the Jeep. An officer, Mace, initiated a traffic stop to investigate Beardall, because the Jeep's brake lights were not working, and to investigate defendant, because he was not wearing a seatbelt. See ORS 816.320(1) (d) (requiring brake lights);[1] ORS 811.210(1)(a)(H) (requiring passengers to wear seat belts).[2] Mace obtained identification cards from both Beardall and defendant. Defendant told Mace that he was on parole for armed robbery. Mace took the identification cards to his patrol car and contacted dispatch to run a records check. Dispatch informed Mace that defendant had "a caution for armed robbery and some other things." Mace requested backup and, when a backup officer arrived, Mace returned to the Jeep. Rather than proceed with his investigation of the traffic violations, Mace retained the identification cards and asked Beardall for consent to search the Jeep, which Beardall gave. Mace had Beardall and defendant step out of the car, and they were patted down and placed by the front of a patrol car. During the search of the car, Mace found scales with traces of suspected methamphetamine under the front passenger seat and a baggie of suspected methamphetamine between the front passenger seat and the center console.

         [289 Or.App. 143] The state charged defendant with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine. ORS 475.894.[3]Defendant moved to suppress the evidence obtained during Mace's search of the Jeep, arguing, inter alia, that Mace had detained him in violation of Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution by extending the traffic stop and that the challenged evidence had to be suppressed because it was the product of that constitutional violation.[4] Because the parties' arguments in the trial court and on appeal frame the question before us, we set them out in some detail.

         In the trial court, defendant argued that Mace violated Article I, section 9, when he asked for consent to search, instead of proceeding with the traffic stop investigation:

"The key issue is whether the officer's request to search occurred during an unavoidable lull in the investigation, or whether the officer paused his investigation into the traffic violation in order to extend the scope of the stop by asking [for] consent to search. When an officer has all of the information necessary to issue a citation but instead delays in processing it or in telling the motorist that he or she is free to go, the stop is no longer lawful unless the officer has reasonable suspicion of further criminal activity.
******
"In this case, Officer Mace ceased his processing of the traffic violation and went down an unrelated path that unconstitutionally extended the length of the traffic stop. Because Officer Mace violated *** Article I, section 9, *** this court must suppress all ...

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