This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).




State of Minnesota,



Jennifer Lynn Van Leer,


Filed January 12, 1999


Willis, Judge

Dakota County District Court

File No. T59770403

Michael A. Hatch, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; and

Kevin W. Eide, City of Eagan, 1260 Yankee Doodle Road, Suite 200, Eagan, MN 55121 (for respondent)

Joseph A. Rymanowski, Jr., 4105 North Lexington Avenue, Suite 201, Arden Hills, MN 55126 (for appellant)

Considered and decided by Crippen, Presiding Judge, Willis, Judge, and Mulally, Judge.[*]



Appellant Jennifer Van Leer challenges the district court's determination that there was an articulable and reasonable suspicion to stop her car and to ask whether she had a driver's license after the officer's initial suspicion was dispelled. We affirm.


Shortly after midnight on August 30, 1997, Officer Kasat of the Eagan Police Department observed appellant make a legal U-turn and stop her car across the street from a house that police had investigated previously for curfew violations, loud parties, and underage drinking. Officer Kasat, who had been a police officer for more than 26 years, saw appellant through her car window for two or three seconds when she made the U-turn, and he suspected that she was in violation of Dakota County's curfew ordinance, which applies to persons under the age of 18.

Officer Kasat parked his patrol car behind appellant's car and approached her. Officer Kasat asked appellant for "some identification, a driver's license." Appellant did not produce a driver's license but rather gave the officer a state identification card, which showed she was not in violation of the curfew ordinance. But Officer Kasat then suspected appellant did not have a valid driver's license because she had not produced one when asked. Officer Kasat asked appellant "if she had a driver's license on her and she said no, she didn't." He ran a computer check from his patrol car that showed appellant's driver's license had been revoked. Officer Kasat cited appellant for driving after revocation.

Appellant moved to suppress the evidence that she was driving after a license revocation. At an omnibus hearing, the district court denied the motion. Appellant entered a guilty plea, and the court stayed imposition of the sentence. This appeal followed.


Because the facts here are not in dispute, this appeal from a motion to suppress evidence[1] is a question of law subject to de novo review. See State v. Paul, 548 N.W.2d 260, 264 (Minn. 1996) (stating standard of review).

I. Legality of Stop

Appellant argues that the initial stop of her vehicle was unconstitutional, claiming that the police officer did not have an articulable and reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. A "brief investigatory stop requires only reasonable suspicion of criminal activity." State v. Pike, 551 N.W.2d 919, 921 (Minn. 1996) (citing Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 21-22, 88 S. Ct. 1868, 1880 (1968)). To determine whether reasonable suspicion exists, the officer considers the totality of the circumstances and

must only show that the stop was not the product of mere whim, caprice or idle curiosity, but was based upon "specific and articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant that intrusion."

Id. at 921-22 (quoting Terry, 392 U.S. at 21, 88 S. Ct. at 1880). Additionally, the officer must articulate a "`particularized and objective basis for suspecting the particular person[] stopped of criminal activity.'" Berge v. Commissioner of Pub. Safety, 374 N.W.2d 730, 732 (Minn. 1985) (quoting United States v. Cortez, 449 U.S. 411, 417-18, 101 S. Ct. 690, 695 (1981)).

Here, Officer Kasat testified that, based on his observation of appellant when she made the U-turn, he suspected she was in violation of the curfew ordinance. The stop was not, therefore, the product of mere whim, caprice, or idle curiosity. See Pike, 551 N.W.2d at 921 (stating standard). Accordingly, the district court did not err in concluding the stop was lawful.

II. Suppression of Evidence

Appellant argues that the evidence her driver's license was revoked must be suppressed on the ground that it was the fruit of an illegal seizure. See State v. Hardy, 577 N.W.2d 212, 217 (Minn. 1998) (stating evidence obtained as result of illegal seizure must be suppressed). But we have determined that the seizure here was not illegal.

Alternatively, appellant argues that the evidence her driver's license was revoked must be suppressed on the ground that when the suspicion justifying the stop was dispelled, Officer Kasat's subsequent request for her driver's license was unreasonable, citing State v. Hickman, 491 N.W.2d 673, 675 (Minn. App. 1992), review denied (Minn. Dec. 15, 1992).

In Hickman, an officer stopped a car because he suspected it was not registered. Id. at 674. Upon approaching the vehicle, however, the officer confirmed there was a valid temporary permit in the rear window. Id. Nevertheless, the officer asked the driver to see his license. Id. After the driver admitted that he did not have a valid driver's license, the officer charged him with driving after revocation. Id. Affirming the suppression of evidence of the revoked license, this court concluded that the officer's subsequent request for a driver's license was unlawful because his "suspicions * * * had been dispelled before he approached the driver." Id. at 675 (footnote omitted).

Here, the very manner by which appellant dispelled Officer Kasat's suspicion she was violating the curfew ordinance created an articulable and reasonable suspicion that she was unlicensed. See id. (stating that officer must have articulable and reasonable suspicion that motorist is unlicensed, that vehicle is not registered, or that criminal activity is occurring before asking for driver's license). While appellant's state identification card showed she was of age, Officer Kasat testified that he then suspected appellant did not have a valid driver's license because she failed to produce one when asked. Because the officer had an articulable and reasonable suspicion that appellant did not have a valid license, the district court did not err in denying appellant's motion to suppress evidence that her driver's license was revoked.


[*] Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.

[1] There is some question whether the motion to suppress is subject to review because appellant pleaded guilty. See State v. Ford, 397 N.W.2d 875, 878 (Minn. 1986) (stating that guilty plea generally waives "all non-jurisdictional defects arising prior to the entry of the plea") (citation omitted). But appellant tried to preserve her right to appeal the order denying her motion, and we will review the substance of her appeal. See id. (accepting review of appeal from order denying motion to dismiss even though defendant pleaded guilty).