In this archive episode, Dennis explains different types of informants and how to determine the veracity or reliability of said informants. Recorded on 01/03/2018.

State of NJ v Sibilia 2000 – Here the clinic patient was “known” to Officer Fuentes in a meaningful way even though he did not have her name. The facts are more than sufficient to establish her as a citizen witness. As such the information she supplied had the indicia of reliability. Moreover, she not only provided information describing defendant, but she went outside with the officer and pointed him out. That information and identification, combined with the statements of the other two patients, the officer’s prior knowledge of methadone sales in the area, defendant’s location and apparent nervousness, all combined to provide probable cause to arrest defendant for the attempted purchase of a controlled, dangerous substance. Wildoner v. Borough of Ramsey, 162 N.J. 375, 389-391, 744 A.2d 1146 (2000); Sanducci v. City of Hoboken, 315 N.J.Super. 475, 480-481, 719 A.2d 160 (App.Div.1998). That probable cause justified the pat-down and subsequent arrest of defendant. The motion to suppress should have been denied.…/1044652.html

State of NJ v Basil 2010 – Our courts have distinguished between an identifiable citizen, who is presumed to be reliable, and an anonymous informer whose reliability must be established. State v. Davis, 104 N.J. 490, 506 (1986). The distinction is “grounded in common experience” because we assume that an ordinary citizen “is motivated by factors that are consistent with law enforcement goals.” Ibid. The distinction is also grounded in common sense. “[W]hen a tip is made in-person, an officer can observe the informant’s demeanor and determine whether the informant seems credible enough to justify immediate police action without further questioning.” United States v. Palos-Marquez, 591 F.3d 1272, 1275 (9th Cir.2010). Moreover, “an in-person informant risks losing anonymity and being held accountable for a false tip.” Ibid.; see also N.J.S.A. 2C:28-4(a) (“A person who knowingly gives or causes to be given false information to any law enforcement officer with purpose to implicate another commits a crime of the fourth degree.”).

We now apply those principles to the relevant facts to determine whether defendant’s “seizure” ran afoul of the federal and state constitutions.