This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Amber Dawn Parkhurst,
Filed August 14, 2007
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 06080084
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2134; and
Steven M. Tallen, Tallen &
Baertschi, 4560 IDS Center,
Peter A. Rainville,
Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge; Willis, Judge; and Wright, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
The state challenges the district court’s pretrial ruling suppressing all evidence obtained as a result of a traffic stop of respondent’s vehicle on the ground that the officer lacked a reasonable, articulable suspicion to support the stop. We affirm.
On November 14, 2006, at
approximately 4:33 a.m., Officer Bradley Holzerland was on patrol in
As the vehicle approached Officer Holzerland’s squad car, he saw that the driver and her passenger were young women, who he “felt . . . could be juveniles in violation of the curfew at that time.” Officer Holzerland testified that because there had been instances of criminal activity in the park after closing, and because the two women may have been juveniles, he stopped the vehicle. When he approached the driver, respondent Amber Dawn Parkhurst, he “formed the opinion [that] she was under the influence of alcohol.” Later testing showed that Parkhurst’s alcohol concentration was 0.13. It also was determined that Parkhurst was 21 years old and that her passenger was 19.
Parkhurst was charged with driving while impaired, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 1(1), (5) (2004); and careless driving, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 169.13, subd. 2 (2004). Parkhurst moved to suppress the evidence obtained as a result of the traffic stop, arguing that Officer Holzerland lacked a reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity. The district court granted Parkhurst’s motion, determining that although Officer Holzerland’s suspicions were “legitimately aroused by the vehicle going into the parking lot at 4:30 in the morning,” those suspicions were dispelled when the vehicle “turned and came straight out within 15 to 20 seconds.” The district court determined also that Officer Holzerland did not have a reasonable, articulable suspicion that Parkhurst and her passenger were juveniles because it found that “there was not adequate time for [Officer Holzerland] to develop or discern the age of the occupants” before stopping the vehicle. The district court suppressed all evidence obtained as a result of the stop, and this appeal follows.
D E C I S I O N
an appeal by the state from a pretrial ruling, the state must establish
“clearly and unequivocally” both that the district court’s ruling has a
“critical impact” on the state’s case and that the district court erred. State v.
Scott, 584 N.W.2d 412, 416 (
state argues that the district court erred by determining that Officer
Holzerland lacked a reasonable, articulable suspicion that justified stopping
Parkhurst’s vehicle. Whether an officer
had a reasonable, articulable suspicion to make a traffic stop is a question of
The state and federal
constitutions protect persons against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The state argues only that because Officer Holzerland saw Parkhurst’s vehicle enter the park after closing and then attempt to leave the park a short time later, “[i]t was perfectly reasonable . . . to stop the vehicle and investigate what was transpiring.” The state does not challenge the district court’s determination that Officer Holzerland did not have a reasonable, articulable suspicion that Parkhurst and her passenger were juveniles. The district court concluded that although Officer Holzerland had a legitimate suspicion of criminal activity when he saw the vehicle go into the park after closing, that suspicion was dispelled when he saw that it was on its way out almost immediately.
Although an officer may be aware of
facts that give rise to a reasonable, articulable suspicion that justify a stop
of a vehicle, if the officer later discovers additional facts that dispel that
suspicion, he no longer has a basis to stop the vehicle. See
State v. Hickman, 491 N.W.2d 673, 675 (Minn. App. 1992) (concluding that an
officer’s reasonable, articulable suspicion that a vehicle was without valid
tabs was dispelled when, after the officer had stopped the car, he saw a valid
21-day temporary registration permit), review
denied (Minn. Dec. 15, 1992); see
also State v. Pike, 551 N.W.2d 919, 922 (