Circuit approaches to the critical issues raised by Guevara's treatment are quite similar. Moreover, Supreme Court precedents directly control a number of the issues. In light of the failure to raised the conflicts issue, the applicable law is analyzed according to Second Circuit case law that would apply in this district, with agreement by the Sixth Circuit either noted or assumed.
C. Validity of Stop and Subsequent Detention
Three levels of encounters between police and individuals are recognized: consensual encounters which may be initiated without any objective level of suspicion; limited investigative stops which must be supported by a "reasonable articulable suspicion" of criminal activity; and arrests which must be supported by probable cause. See United States v. Glover, 957 F.2d 1004, 1008 (2d Cir. 1992); United States v. Hooper, 935 F.2d 484, 490 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 1015, 116 L. Ed. 2d 754, 112 S. Ct. 663 (1991); see also United States v. Dotson, 49 F.3d 227, 230 (6th Cir. 1995). Only the last two types are "seizures" within the Fourth Amendment. Glover, 957 F.2d at 1008; Hooper, 935 F.2d at 490. An extended incident with the police may involve more than one of these types of encounters.
A traffic stop "'constitutes a limited seizure within the meaning of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.'" United States v. Scopo, 19 F.3d 777, 781 (2d Cir.) (quoting United States v. Hassan El, 5 F.3d 726, 729 (4th Cir. 1993)), cert. denied, 115 S. Ct. 207 (1994); see also Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648, 59 L. Ed. 2d 660, 99 S. Ct. 1391 (1979) ("Stopping an automobile and detaining its occupants constitutes a 'seizure' . . . even though the purpose of the stop is limited and the resulting detention quite brief."). A traffic stop must be supported either by "'probable cause or a reasonable suspicion, based on specific and articulable facts, of unlawful conduct.'" Scopo, 19 F.3d at 781 (quoting Hassan El and citing Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889, 88 S. Ct. 1868 (1968)). "Probable cause arises when the police reasonably believe that 'an offense has been or is being committed.'" Id. (quoting United States v. Cruz, 834 F.2d 47, 50 (2d Cir. 1987), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 1077, 98 L. Ed. 2d 1018, 108 S. Ct. 1056 (1988)). Observation of a traffic violation constitutes probable cause for a stop. 19 F.3d at 782.
A traffic stop which had a valid basis but which in fact was motivated by an officer's desire to investigate an unrelated crime for which no reasonable suspicion exists will be upheld in the Second and Sixth Circuits. See, e.g., United States v. Thompson, 29 F.3d 62, 65 (2d Cir. 1994); Scopo, 19 F.3d at 782 (rejecting "usual police practices" test, which considers whether the violation is of the type normally acted on by officers, in favor of "authorization" test, which considers whether there was a valid basis for the arrest); United States v. Ferguson, 8 F.3d 385, 392 (6th Cir. 1993) ("Traffic stops based on probable cause, even if other motivations existed, are not illegal."), cert. denied, 130 L. Ed. 2d 47, 115 S. Ct. 97 (1994); see also United States v. Nersesian, 824 F.2d 1294, 1316 (2d Cir.) ("[A] valid basis for detention and search which exists in the first place . . . is not rendered invalid by the fact that police resort to a pretext. . . ."), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 957 (1987), 484 U.S. 958 (1987) & 484 U.S. 1061 (1988). Only pretextual stops that lack any proper basis are considered illegal under the two circuits' approach.
A traffic stop based on an observed violation may be extended into a more intrusive investigatory detention if the officer detains the driver beyond what is necessary to achieve a resolution of the traffic-related reasons for the initial stop. An investigatory detention must satisfy two grounds. First, it must be "justified at its inception . . . and . . . [second, it must be] reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the intervention in the first place." Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 20, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889, 88 S. Ct. 1868 (1968); see also United States v. Sharpe, 470 U.S. 675, 682, 84 L. Ed. 2d 605, 105 S. Ct. 1568 (1985).
For an investigatory detention to be justified at its inception, the officer must be able to "point to specific and articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrants that intrusion." Terry, 392 U.S. at 21; see also Glover, 957 F.2d at 1008 (limited investigative stop must be based on "'a reasonable suspicion supported by articulable facts"'). Detention, absent an articulable and reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct, including a traffic offense, violates the Fourth Amendment.
The second factor is whether the scope and duration of the detention is appropriate given its basis. See Glover, 957 F.2d at 1011. The detention must be "temporary and last no longer than is necessary to effectuate the purpose of the stop." Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 500, 75 L. Ed. 2d 229, 103 S. Ct. 1319 (1983); see also Sharpe, 470 U.S. at 685. Whether the police "acted less then diligently, or . . . . unnecessarily prolonged [a suspect's] detention" are factors to be considered. See Sharpe, 470 U.S. at 685 (emphasis in original).
Courts of appeals in other circuits have considered what constitutes the appropriate scope of the stop of a vehicle for an actual or suspected traffic violation. In United States v. Guzman, 864 F.2d 1512, 1519 (10th Cir. 1988) (citations omitted), the court explained that once a routine traffic stop is completed, the vehicle and its occupants cannot be detained further for questioning or other purposes:
An officer conducting a routine traffic stop may request a driver's license and vehicle registration, run a computer check, and issue a citation. When the driver has produced a valid license and proof that he is entitled to operate the car, he must be allowed to proceed on his way, without being subject to further delay by police for additional questioning.
The facts in Guzman were similar to those of the instant case. The defendant and his wife, apparently of Hispanic ethnicity, were stopped on an interstate highway in New Mexico while driving a Cadillac bearing out-of-state plates, purportedly for a suspected violation of the state's seatbelt law. Even after the officer had obtained all of the information relevant to the supposed violation, he continued to question the defendant and obtained defendant's signature on a consent-to-search form. A search of the car revealed drugs and hidden cash. The court of appeals found that the stop was unconstitutionally pretextual. Id. at 1515-18.
The court of appeals also accepted the district court's conclusion that "even if the initial stop was not illegal, the subsequent detention was excessively intrusive," given the absence of objective factors justifying a further intrusion. Id. at 1519; see also United States v. Ramos, 20 F.3d 348, 352 (8th Cir.) ("idle chit chat" during issuance of warning for seatbelt violation was intrusion "wholly unrelated to purpose of the initial stop" and not justified under Terry), rev'd in part on reh. on other grounds, 42 F.3d 1160, 1163 (8th Cir. 1994); United States v. Cupps, 503 F.2d 277 (6th Cir. 1974) (police lacked authority to order defendant out of car after he presented a valid driver's license); United States v. Garnier, No.93-5925, 1994 U.S. App. LEXIS 17334, 1994 WL 362085 (6th Cir., July 12, 1994) (unpublished) (once officer resolved that driver was not intoxicated or carrying dangerous weapons, request to search trunk was unjustified further intrusion); cf. People v. Banks, 85 N.Y.2d 558, 650 N.E.2d 833, 626 N.Y.S.2d 986, 1995 N.Y. LEXIS 1033, 1995 WL 256318 (N.Y. 1995) (detention of defendant beyond time needed to resolve initial basis for stop in order to effectuate a search of the car with another officer's assistance was grounds for suppression).
Detention beyond the time required to resolve the initial observed or suspected violation is only permitted where observations amounting to an articulable and reasonable suspicion justify a further intrusion. For example, "if reasonably related questions raised inconsistent answers, or if the licenses and registration do not check out, a trooper's suspicions may be raised so as to enable him to expand the scope of the stop and ask additional, more intrusive, questions." Ramos, 42 F.3d 1160 at 1163; see also United States v. Barahona, 990 F.2d 412, 416 (8th Cir. 1993) ("If the responses of the detainee and the circumstances give rise to suspicions unrelated to the traffic offense, an officer may broaden his inquiry and satisfy those suspicions."); United States v. Soto, 988 F.2d 1548, 1554 (10th Cir. 1993) ("If the officer wishes to detain the driver for further questioning unrelated to the initial stop, the officer must have an objectively reasonable articulable suspicion that illegal activity has occurred or is occurring." (citing United States v. Pena, 920 F.2d 1509, 1514 (10th Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 501 U.S. 1207, 115 L. Ed. 2d 975, 111 S. Ct. 2802 (1991))).
2. Application of Law to Facts