In this archive episode, Dennis delves into what situations call for escalating a mere field inquiry to an investigative detention. Recorded on 12/29/2017.

State v Lurdes Rosario 2017

First and foremost, we must address whether and at what point defendant’s interaction with the police officer escalated from a field inquiry into an investigative detention. Then we must assess whether reasonable and articulable suspicion supported the detention’s restriction on defendant’s freedom of movement.

The encounter took place on a May evening when defendant was in her car, which was parked lawfully, head-on in a lined parking space directly outside her apartment. The car’s engine was off. The officer positioned his patrol car perpendicularly behind defendant’s to box in defendant’s car and engaged his vehicle’s rooftop, right-side “alley” light to shine at her car. The officer then exited his patrol car and approached the driver’s-side door of defendant’s car to address her. We conclude that no objectively reasonable person in those circumstances would have felt free to leave. Under the totality of the circumstances, a reasonable person would feel the constraints on her freedom of movement from having become the focus of law enforcement attention.

Accordingly, we hold that an investigative detention had begun.

Because we also conclude that reasonable and articulable suspicion did not ripen prior to the officer’s subsequent exchanges with defendant, we reverse the judgment under review.

State v Pearlstein 1985 – Failing to provide documents constitutes Obstructing the Admin of Law As a result, Lizzano crossed the street to the patrol car to obtain his summons book. Then he asked Ms. Perlstein for her license and registration which she refused to tender. She continued to spew a barrage of comments at Lizzano. Lizzano told her that if she did not show her license, registration and insurance card he would issue her three more summonses. She persisted in her refusal. Then she said that she was going to see the Chief of Police to see what he had to say about this incident. With the car door open, she picked up her keys from the seat, put them in the ignition, turned on the car and put it in reverse. Lizzano was standing in the open door and knew he could be hurt if the car moved so he reached in and grabbed the keys. Thereafter, he placed her under arrest.