New York Court of Appeals requires "founded suspicion" for dog sniff of a car | MassCops

New York Court of Appeals requires "founded suspicion" for dog sniff of a car

Discussion in 'Court Decisions' started by Gil, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Gil

    Gil Founder of MassCops Staff Member

    Federal Appeal Court 2010 recent case

    New York Court of Appeals requires "founded suspicion" for dog sniff of a car

    Devone was a passenger in a car driven by Washington when officers stopped Washington for talking on a cell phone while driving. Washington could not produce license or registration, but said that the car belonged to his cousin. Washington told officers that he did not know his cousin’s name, but pointed to Devone, a male, and identified him as his cousin. The car was registered in a female’s name. The officers brought out a drug detector dog and the dog alerted to the exterior of the car on the driver side. Officers searched and found crack cocaine. Devone argued that the exterior sniff was a search under the New York state constitution and that the officers lacked probable cause.

    New York is one of a few states where courts have disagreed with established U.S. Supreme Court decisions in United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696 (1983), and United States v. Jacobsen, 466 U.S. 109 (1984), holding that a dog sniff is not a search. New York's high court required reasonable suspicion before allowing a dog sniff at the door of a home, in People v. Dunn, 564 N.E.2d 1054 (N.Y. 1990), or a sniff of luggage checked with a common carrier, in People v. Price, 54 N.Y.2d 557 (1981). Subsequent to all of these cases, the Supreme Court decided the case of Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405 (2005), holding that the exterior sniff of a car at a lawful traffic stop did not constitute a search. The New York Court of Appeals rejected the blanket application of Caballes, but did not agree with Devone that the exterior sniff required probable cause. Instead, the New York held that an officer may use a drug detector dog to conduct an exterior sniff of a lawfully detained vehicle upon "founded suspicion" that the vehicle contains contraband. The "founded suspicion" standard is a lesser standard than the more-commonly applied standard of reasonable suspicion. The court held that the officers had founded suspicion and therefore the sniff was valid. People v. Devone, --- N.E.2d ----, 2010 WL 2265212 (N.Y. 2010).
     

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