Judge O'Toole on the 4th Amendment:

State v. Dixon, 2015-Ohio-208 (authored by Judge O’Toole):


Defendant was stopped by police.  She appealed the stop as the officer had no right to question her under the 4th Amendment. O’Toole agreed and held that officers may not approach and question motorists parked in a driveway unless there is a reason to suspect criminal activity. In this case the officer had no suspicion of any criminal activity nor was answering a call.   


State v. Sherrod, 2010-Ohio-1273 (dissent by Judge O’Toole):


Judge O’Toole noted the continued detention of Defendant was not justified.  The officer had all the information he needed within five minutes of the stop. Judge O’Toole said Defendant should have been issued a ticket and sent on his way.  However, he was detained for 15 minutes, waiting for the K-9 unit.  O’Toole said the stop was unconstitutionally prolonged, since the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion to suspect further criminal activity.  Recently the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Judge O’Toole’s position in Rodriquez v. US.  The Supreme Court held that absent reasonable suspicion, police extension of a traffic stop to conduct a dog sniff violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures. 


State v. Frye, 2007-Ohio-6941 (authored by Judge O’Toole):


Three police officers, without a warrant showed up at his Frye’s door, seeking to search his home. Feeling intimidated, Frye consented to the search.  The court held that this implied coercion.  The court held “this was a pre-planned, warrantless search, relying for its validity solely on his consent.  Under the totality of the circumstances, that consent cannot be deemed voluntary.”  The court held that mere submission by Frye to a claim of lawful authority was no substitute for a warrant.


State v. Korman, 2006-Ohio-1795 (dissent by Judge O’Toole):  


Defendant moved outside his lane of travel but was not driving erratically. The trial court held the stop violated the 4th Amendment.  The 11th District overruled the trial court.  Judge O’Toole DISSENTED stating that detention of an individual during an automobile stop, no matter how brief, constitutes a “seizure” of the individual.  Judge O’Toole said that “[c]itizens do not throw their Fourth Amendment right against illegal search and seizure out the car window simply because they drive.”  While the statute provides for some discretion in operating a motor vehicle it is not a replacement for probable cause.  



Diane Goss, Treasurer, 34109 Beachpark Ave., Eastlake, OH  44095

Contact me at: info@otoole4justice.com



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