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State v. Julian

Supreme Court of Kansas

September 5, 2014

STATE OF KANSAS, Appellant,
v.
ALLEN R. JULIAN, Appellee

Review of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in an unpublished decision filed May 11, 2012. Appeal from Rice District Court; RON SVATY, judge.

SYLLABUS

BY THE COURT

1. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution constitutes the baseline protection against unreasonable searches. No state may authorize searches on grounds more permissive than the Fourth Amendment allows. States are, however, allowed to adopt rules more protective of individual rights than the Fourth Amendment requires.

2. While it was in effect, K.S.A. 22-2501 represented a codification of the authority to make warrantless searches incident to arrest. It also represented the State's authority to adopt measures more protective of an individual's rights than the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires.

3. While it was in effect, K.S.A. 22-2501 governed warrantless searches incident to arrest in Kansas and set forth the permissible circumstances, purposes, and scope of such searches.

4. In this case, this was a warrantless search of a vehicle for evidence incident to arrest, conducted at a time when searches incident to arrest were governed in Kansas by statute, and the statute in effect at the time did not authorize searches for the purpose of discovering evidence. The search of the defendant's vehicle was therefore illegal.

Natalie A. Chalmers, assistant solicitor general, argued the cause, and Scott E. McPherson, county attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were on the brief for appellant.

Gregory D. Bell, of Forker Suter LLC, of Hutchinson, argued the cause and was on the brief for appellee.

KING, J. MORITZ, J., not participating. DAVID J. KING, District Judge, assigned.[1]

OPINION

Page 173

[300 Kan. 691] King, J.:

We consider this case on a petition for review filed by Allen R. Julian. He contends that evidence seized from his automobile in a warrantless search incident to his arrest should be suppressed. The district court granted Julian's motion to suppress. The State filed an interlocutory appeal. A divided Court of Appeals panel held that the search was authorized by Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332, 129 S.Ct. 1710, 173 L.Ed.2d 485 (2009), and reversed the district court's suppression order. State v. Julian, 276 P.3d 837');"> 276 P.3d 837, 2012 WL1759405 (Kan. App. 2012) (unpublished opinion).

This was a warrantless search of a vehicle incident to arrest for the purpose of discovering evidence. At the time the search was conducted, searches incident to arrest in Kansas were governed by statute. K.S.A. 22-2501 (repealed July 1, 2011). At the time of the search of Julian's vehicle, K.S.A. 22-2501

Page 174

did not authorize searches for evidence. The search of Julian's vehicle was therefore illegal.

We conclude that by relying on Fourth Amendment caselaw rather than the Kansas statute governing searches incident to arrest, the district court and the Court of Appeals applied the incorrect legal standard to this case. In doing so, the Court of Appeals reached an incorrect result. The trial court reached the correct result, but it did so for the wrong reasons.

Factual and Procedural Background

The material facts are not in dispute.

On January 17, 2010, Rice County Sheriff's Deputy Jeff Pieplow stopped Allen Julian for driving a vehicle with a defective headlight. Pieplow had prior reports that Julian was involved in methamphetamine manufacture but, prior to the stop, had no grounds to believe Julian's car contained anything illegal.

As Pieplow approached Julian's car, he saw Julian make what he described as " furtive movements," consisting of Julian raising a blanket and appearing to shove items underneath it. Pieplow removed Julian from the car and placed him under arrest when he could not produce proof of insurance. Incident to the arrest, Pieplow conducted a pat down search. He found a loaded firearm in [300 Kan. 692] Julian's jacket pocket and a metal tin containing marijuana, two knives, rolling papers, and lighters in his pants pocket.

Pieplow placed Julian under arrest for carrying a concealed weapon, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Pieplow secured Julian in the back of his patrol car and went back to Julian's car to search it. He testified he was searching for more marijuana and items used to manufacture methamphetamine. Pieplow found a bowling bag containing items associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.

In addition to the traffic violations for defective headlight and no proof of insurance, the State charged Julian with five felonies: (1) attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, (2) possession of pseudoephedrine, (3) possession of drug paraphernalia, (4) possession of marijuana, and (5) possession of a firearm.

Julian filed a motion to suppress the evidence recovered from his vehicle. The district court granted his motion. The State pursued an interlocutory appeal. The Court of Appeals reversed the suppression ruling by a 2-1 vote.

This court granted Julian's petition ...


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