Passenger ID/ROA For Interfering | MassCops

Passenger ID/ROA For Interfering

Discussion in 'Law Review' started by NT04, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. NT04

    NT04 MassCops Member

    Tried searching the site for this already but couldn’t find anything up to date but I apologize if this has been covered.

    I know passengers have an obligation to produce ID or identifying info under Comm V. Washington (2011) for seatbelt violations. Scheft cited this case law as justification for a valid arrest for interfering with a police officer in his MV book though the correlation isn’t specifically mentioned in the case.

    My question is in Comm v. Washington it’s stated that probable cause of the belt violation only existed because the passenger never denied that he was unbelted prior to the stop in his interaction with the trooper. If they insist they were belted, even if no considerable time has elapsed since the time of the stop, does PC still exist to cite and therefore arrest upon failing to ID for interfering with a police officer?

    Had this come up the other night and I can’t find anyone who has a solid answer. I hope the answer is yes, you can arrest, but I’ve worked in this state just a little too long to be optimistic that they’d give us the teeth we need to enforce something like this.

    It’s also possible that new case law has emerged on this since 2011 so if that’s the case just looking for a start in the right direction.
  2. patrol22

    patrol22 MassCops Member

    Does it matter that they said they had their seatbelt on before? They are still in a running car - even though it is stopped wouldn’t they still have to have their seatbelt on per the statute?
  3. Treehouse413

    Treehouse413 MassCops Member

    the SJC recently came out with this ruling .

    Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Confirms “Interference with the Lawful Duties of a Police Officer” is a Crime

  4. j809

    j809 Subscribing Member

    This was brought up at inservice where interfering with a police officer must be in physical form. Locking up somebody for not wearing a seatbelt and failure to provide ID for interfering you will be sued. This case law will not stick because the passenger was not physically obstructing the officer from performing his duties.

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  5. NT04

    NT04 MassCops Member

    The language that law uses when covering passengers is “rides” which I was told implies motion, unlike “operates” which is used for the operator and as we know has been interpreted as any action which in sequence will set in motion the vehicle. So if a passenger argues they took it off after the car stopped, even if the car is still running are they technically “riding”? I interpreted it as no and unless Scheft changed opinions since 2016, which is the last book I bought, he had said no also.

  6. felony

    felony MassCops Member

    You can't arrest someone for failing to identify themselves for a civil citation as a passenger without a seat belt. Holy shit. You just cite the operator for the passengers offense.
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  7. Detail Cop

    Detail Cop MassCops Member

    Wrong. You NEVER cite the operator for a passenger's offense if the passenger is 16 and over. Scheft says in his MV book (2019) to arrest for interfering if the older passenger refuses to provide his name after repeated warnings.
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  8. Treehouse413

    Treehouse413 MassCops Member

    Just took a scheft class a month ago. With the above SJC ruling that is no longer valid.
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  9. felony

    felony MassCops Member

    Yes, you're correct, 2019 scheft does say that. (My dusty 2015 scheft book says otherwise). However, good luck getting the ADA / magistrate to charge that. Scheft is a procedural guide not a law book. You're on unsteady ground when you have to resort to common law.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  10. RodneyFarva

    RodneyFarva Get off my lawn!

    couldn't you just gig passenger with 90-25?
    Chapter 90.
    Section 25. Any person who, while operating or in charge of a motor vehicle, shall refuse, when requested by a police officer, to give his name and address or the name and address of the owner of such motor vehicle, or who shall give a false name or address, or who shall refuse or neglect to stop when signalled to stop by any police officer who is in uniform or who displays his badge conspicuously on the outside of his outer coat or garment, or who refuses, on demand of such officer, to produce his license to operate such vehicle or his certificate of registration, or to permit such officer to take the license or certificate in hand for the purpose of examination, or who refuses, on demand of such officer, to sign his name in the presence of such officer, and any person who on the demand of an officer of the police or other officer mentioned in section twenty-nine or authorized by the registrar, without a reasonable excuse fails to deliver his license to operate motor vehicles or the certificate of registration of any motor vehicle operated or owned by him or the number plates furnished by the registrar for said motor vehicle, or who refuses or neglects to produce his license when requested by a court or trial justice, shall be punished by a fine of one hundred dollars.
  11. j809

    j809 Subscribing Member

    Can’t do it. The first thing in the law is operating or in charge of the vehicle. Everything else listed afterwards has to do with being the operator or in charge of the vehicle operation.

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  12. mpd61

    mpd61 Retired Fed, Active Special

    I thought during a CMVI Stop, Unless you can articulate criminal behavior by passenger(s) you don't have a reason to ID them.
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  13. Bloodhound

    Bloodhound MassCops Member

    If they're not wearing a seatbelt you can in order to issue a cite.
  14. NT04

    NT04 MassCops Member

    In the update you attended, did the instructor specify what language in that case made charging Interfering w/ a PO invalid? I’m assuming it’s the fact that a passenger refusing to produce ID for a seatbelt infraction isn’t a “willful act”, and would instead be considered a “failure to act”, because it would seem that all other elements could clearly be proven.
  15. RodneyFarva

    RodneyFarva Get off my lawn!

    I know this a huge stretch...

    The law is that a person is “operating” a motor vehicle whenever he or she is in the vehicle and intentionally manipulates some mechanical or electrical part of the vehicle — like the gear shift or the ignition — which, alone or in sequence, will set the vehicle in motion.
  16. j809

    j809 Subscribing Member

    That’s how cops get fired lol

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  17. j809

    j809 Subscribing Member

    Interfering now must be coupled with a physical act like resisting etc

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  18. NT04

    NT04 MassCops Member

    I hate this state.
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  19. Goose

    Goose The list is long but distinguished. Staff Member

    It's full of Massholes!
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  20. Inspector71

    Inspector71 Duke of Campus Police

    Yeah we all love to go down that road........................:p
  21. Bloodhound

    Bloodhound MassCops Member

    Don't think I've ever issued a passenger a seatbelt cite but I've sure gotten plenty of warrant arrests and other stuff out of ID'ing them.
  22. mpd61

    mpd61 Retired Fed, Active Special

    You arrested them for "other stuff" and DID NOT issue a restraint citation? This is Massachusetts!
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  23. NEPS

    NEPS 75th N.H.P.A.

    Comm. v. Adams, 482 Mass. 14 (2019) changed prior recommendations. Do not make an arrest for interfering with a police officer when a passenger refuses to provide a name.
    "The SJC's definition of 'interfering' is much more restrictive than past practice. Certain applications of 'interfering' -- recommended by Attorney Scheft based on prior court cases and complaint language -- will most likely be rejected in the wake of Adams." Criminal Law 2020, 5-5, Law Enforcement Dimensions.
    Sorry about the thread resurrection, but it is worth making something like this crystal clear, I think.

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