State v. Young, 2006 WI 98, 717 N.W.2d 729
Holding: In questions involving a seizure, the test enunciated in United States v. Mendenhall applies when the subject of police attention is either subdued by force or submits to a show of authority. However, when a person flees in response to a show of authority, California v. Hodari D. governs when the seizure occurs.
As a police officer patrolled a problem area at night he noticed a car with five people sitting in it. He continued his patrol and returned approximately 10 minutes later. The officer again noticed the same car with five individuals sitting in it. This aroused the officers suspicion of possible drinking or narcotics use because the individuals would have had time to park and go out somewhere.
The officer decided to investigate. He stopped behind the vehicle, illuminated it with his spotlight, and turned on his flashing emergency lights, but did not activate his red-and-blue rolling lights. Before the officer could get out of his squad car, Young got out of the vehicle from a rear passenger-side door. Young ignored the officers commands to get back in the vehicle and ran away from the officer. The officer caught up to Young, grabbed him, and a struggle ensued. In the course of the struggle, Young slipped out of the coat he was wearing and threw it to the ground. The officer later found a vial of marijuana inside the coat pocket.
The state charged Young with possession of THC, obstructing an officer, and resisting an officer. Young pleaded not guilty and moved to suppress the marijuana evidence arguing that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion for an investigatory stop, and thus, the evidence was obtained pursuant to an illegal stop. The circuit court found the officer had reasonable suspicion when he initiated the investigatory stop and denied Youngs motion to suppress the evidence. A jury found Young guilty on all three charges.
On appeal, the supreme court addressed the question of when the officer seized Young. The moment of seizure is critical for two reasons. First, it determines when the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 11 of the Wisconsin constitution apply. Both provisions protect people from unreasonable searches and seizures. Second, the moment of seizure may limit the facts the court may consider in evaluating whether the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop Young, which affects whether he had probable cause for the arrest.
The Court noted that under California v. Hodari D. an uncomplied-with show of authority cannot constitute a seizure. 499 U.S. 621, 626 (1991). Under this standard, Young was not seized until the officer physically apprehended him. In contrast, Young argued that the Court should apply United States v. Mendenhall. 446 U.S. 544. Mendenhall, held that a seizure occurs when, in view of all the circumstances surrounding the incident, a reasonable person would have believed he was not free to leave. The Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the Mendenhall test applies when the subject of police attention is either subdued by force or submits to a show of authority. However, when a person flees in response to a show of authority, Hodari D. governs when the seizure occurs. Since Young fled, the Hodari D. test applies.
The court concluded, first, the officer had reasonable suspicion for an investigatory stop of the parked car. Second, when the officer ordered Young to return to the car after Young started to run away, the officer had reasonable suspicion to believe Young was commiting a crime. Third, applying Hodari D., Young was not seized within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment until the officer physically detained him. Accordingly, the officer lawfully seized Young and the court affirmed his conviction on all three charges.
State v. Smith, 2006 WI 74, 716 N.W.2d 482
Holding: Under the totality of the circumstances, the circuit court did not err in determining that a juror who worked for the District Attorneys Office was not objectively biased. The court refused to create a per se exclusion of potential jurors that are employed by the District Attorneys Office.
Smith appealed his conviction for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, second offense. He argued that the circuit court denied his constitutional right to a fair and impartial jury when, during voir dire, it denied his motion to strike a juror for cause. Smith asserted that an administrative assistant employed by the District Attorneys Office was objectively biased because she worked for the same entity as the prosecuting attorney.
The court reiterated that prospective jurors are presumed impartial, and the challenger to that presumption bears the burden of proving bias. State v. Louis, 156 Wis. 2d at 478. The court noted that it recognizes three types of bias: 1) statutory bias; 2) subjective bias; and 3) objective bias. State v. Faucher, 227 Wis. 2d at 716.
State v. Payano-Roman, 2006 WI 47, 290 Wis. 2d 380, 714 N.W.2d 548
Holding: The administration of a laxative that resulted in the recovery of a baggie of heroin from the defendants stool was a government search. Payano-Romans Fourth Amendment rights were not violated because the search was reasonable.
Officers conducted surveillance on an individual who was trafficking cocaine and possibly heroin. As police approached the defendant, they saw him swallow a baggie they believed contained heroin. They arrested Payano-Roman for possession of a controlled substance and took him to a hospital. The hospitals policy was to admit someone in his condition because it could be fatal if the bag containing heroin ruptured inside of him.
Village of Cross Plains v. Haanstad, 2006 WI 16, 288 Wis. 2d 573, 709 N.W.2d 447
Issue: What constitutes operation of a motor vehicle for purposes of OWI?
Holding: Sitting in the drivers seat of a running, parked motor vehicle, without more, is not operating a motor vehicle under §346.63.
While intoxicated, Haanstad slid into the drivers seat of a parked automobile with the engine running. She did not drive the vehicle to its location and did not activate or manipulate any of the controls of the vehicle. A police officer encountered Haanstad in the drivers seat and arrested her for OWI.
Haanstad asked the Court to reverse her OWI conviction alleging that no evidence was presented that she physically activated or manipulated the controls of the vehicle.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court held that Haanstads actions did not constitute operation of a motor vehicle. Under §346.63(3)(b), operate means the physical manipulation or activation of any of the controls of a motor vehicle necessary to put it in motion. The court reasoned that because Haanstad did not manipulate or activate any of the controls of the car, she did not operate the vehicle under §346.63. It overruled the appellate courts conclusion that Haanstad operated the vehicle.
The Village of Cross Plains asserted that the mere fact that Haanstad positioned her body in the drivers seat behind the wheel meant that she was restraining the vehicle and therefore fell within the definition of operate under County of Milwaukee v. Proegler, 95 Wis. 2d 614, 291 N.W. 2d 608 (Ct. App. 1980).
The court distinguished the facts of Haanstad from Proegler. In Proegler, the defendant was convicted of OWI when he was found sleeping behind the wheel of a running vehicle. Proegler admitted to driving the vehicle to the place it was parked and to leaving it running. The court noted that, in Proegler, there was no question that the defendant had started the engine, thereby activating the controls necessary to put the vehicle in motion. In contrast, the Village did not assert that Haanstad had manipulated any of the controls of the vehicle and offered no circumstantial evidence that Haanstad previously operated the vehicle. The court reversed Haanstads OWI conviction because she did not operate the vehicle as defined in §346.63.