Monday, January 8, 2007

California v Hodari

California v Hodari D 499 U.S. 621 (1991)

Cops wearing POLICE jackets but plain clothes. They saw 4-5 youths around a car. They fled when cop car approached. Cops gave chase. Hodari threw away a rock, which turned out to be crack. Hodari moves to suppress the crack.

TC denied. CA Ct of Appeal reversed, holding that Hodari had been seized, which was unreasonable under 4th.

Issue: When he threw the coke, was he "seized" under the 4th?
Held: No, not until he was tackled. So the coke was not the fruit of the seizure.
1. Terry: A seizure occurs when the officer by means of physical force or show of authority has in some way restrained the liberty of an individual.
2. Hodari contends that cop's pursuit qualified as show of authority.
3. Scalia: Seizure requires either physical force or submission to the assertion of authority.

Rule: Submission to authority, not mere show of authority, in absence of physical force, is required for seizure.

1 comment:

Richard Koman said...

I find this decision absurd - seizer occurs where there is "submission to authority." If you fight the cops off, you haven't been seized? Isn't your liberty restrained if you're running away from an illegal search? Do the Framers envision that anything the police recover before you submit to their authority is fair game?