Search of vehicle with owner’s consent: GRIGSBY V. COM. (COA 11/9/2007)

GRIGSBY V. COM.
CRIMINAL:  SEARCH AND SEIZURE (traffic stop, pat down, consent of vehicle by owner)

2006-CA-001613
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING
PANEL: THOMPSON PRESIDING; WINE, HENRY CONCUR
COUNTY: CAMPBELL
DATE RENDERED: 11/09/2007

COA affirmed conviction and found evidence seized admissible from pat down search.  The police officer had a reasonable articulable suspicion to stop Grigsby and the subsequent search of the vehicle in Grigsby’s possession was constitutional. 

Since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Terry v. Ohio, it has been well recognized that a police officer can subject anyone to an investigatory stop if “he is able to point to some specific and articulable fact which, together with rational inferences from those facts, support a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the person in question is engaged in illegal activity.”  The initial stop of Grigsby was based upon Officer Kunkel’s reasonable and articulable suspicion that Grigsby and Mason were involved in a domestic dispute.

It is established precedent that when a person properly stopped voluntarily consented to a search, the search cannot be challenged on the basis of whether the continued detention was justified by a reasonable suspicion.   It is equally settled law that the owner’s property right is superior to that of one in mere temporary possession of the vehicle and, therefore, the owner’s consent negates the warrant requirement. Anderson v. United States, 399 F.2d 753, 756 (10th Cir. 1968).

The circuit court properly denied Grigsby’s motion to suppress. The judgment of conviction is affirmed.

Digested by Michael Stevens

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