Predictive behavior of anonymous tipster sufficient indicia of reliability for warrant: COM V. BROWN (SC 4/24/2008)

COM. V. BROWN
CRIMINAL:  Search & Seizure; Anonymous Tip
2004-SC-000553-DG.pdf
PUBLISHED: REVERSING
OPINION BY CUNNINGHAM;  SCHRODER DISSENTS BY SEP OP
FAYETTE COUNTY
DATE RENDERED: 4/24/2008

On discretionary review, SC reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals which held that the stop of Brown was constitutionally deficient, and that all of the evidence and statements flowing from the stop were therefore tainted and inadmissible. Distinguishing Florida v. J.L., 529 U.S. 266, 120 S.Ct. 1375, 146 L.Ed.2d 254 (2000), SC found the anonymous tipster provided sufficent indicia of reliability, predominantly through her prediction of future behavior. The last call from the anonymous tipster said that Brown was leaving right then in his wife’s car and was going to a particular part of town to deliver drugs. This predictive behavior, in addition to the apparent drug deal going down, was surely sufficient corroboration of the tip for "articulable suspicion ." Far from being simply a one-time caller, their source had communicated with them on several occasions over a period of several months. The accumulated information targeted a particular individual driving a particular type of vehicle in a particular area of town at a particular time of day.

Digested by Scott Byrd, Olgin and Byrd Attorneys

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