State v. Dierks

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 07-31-2014
  • Case #: A149290
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Sercombe, J.

Mere identification made in the course of a lawful police-citizen encounter does not in and of itself constitute a seizure.

Defendant appealed the trial court's denial of her motion to suppress. A Gresham Police officer noticed a lone parked car in a “high-crime, high-drug, high-gang area,” The officer then parked his police cruiser without turning on his lights, and approached the vehicle and spoke to the passengers. The Defendant did not give her driver’s license, but gave a name very similar to that which the passenger held a valid restraining order. Upon this discovery, the officer asked the Defendant for her license again and discovered a paper Washington driver’s license which revealed Defendant’s true identity. The officer arrested Defendant for violating the Washington no-contact order. At trial, Defendant moved to suppress evidence of her identity that the officer obtained, because the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to run a warrant’s check. The trial court denied Defendant’s motion to suppress. Defendant appealed, and the Supreme Court vacated and remanded case for reconsideration in light of the decision in State v. Backstrand. On remand, the Court of Appeals held that under Backstrand, the encounter between Defendant and the officer was not a stop, therefore the officer’s verification of the passenger’s identities did not require reasonable suspicion, and the trial court was correct in denying the motion to suppress. Affirmed.

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