may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Karl George Granse,
Filed July 1, 1997
Dakota County District Court
File No. K396839
Hubert H. Humphrey, III, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent)
James Sheldon, Apple Valley City Attorney, Sharon K. Hills, Assistant City Attorney, Severson, Sheldon, Dougherty & Molenda, P.A., 7300 West 147th Street, Suite 600, Apple Valley, MN 55124 (for respondent)
Timothy S. Choal, 8 East Fourth Street, Suite 700, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Short, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge and Schultz, Judge.
Karl Granse appeals from his conviction for misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor driving-related offenses. We affirm.
Granse was charged with violating Minn. Stat. § 171.24, subd. 3 (1996), driving after cancellation; Minn. Stat. § 171.24, subd. 5, driving after cancellation--inimical to public safety; Minn. Stat. § 169.791 (1996), no proof of insurance; and Minn. Stat. § 168.09 (1996), operating an unregistered motor vehicle. Granse was convicted of all charges following a bench trial, although his misdemeanor driving after cancellation conviction was dismissed on the state's motion. This appeal followed.
Granse argues that the investigatory stop was unlawful because the police officer had no reasonable basis for the stop and because the officer failed to "attempt to verify" the registration plates before stopping him.
To stop a car to check the driver's license or the vehicle's registration, the police officer must have an
articulable and reasonable suspicion that a motorist is unlicensed or that an automobile is not registered, or that either the vehicle or an occupant is otherwise subject to seizure for violation of law.
Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648, 663, 99 S. Ct. 1391, 1401 (1979). A brief investigatory stop requires only reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, not probable cause. 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)). The police must show that the stop was not "the product of mere whim, caprice or idle curiosity, but was based on `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). The totality of the circumstances surrounding the stop must be considered and the required threshold is very low. State v. Claussen, 353 N.W.2d 688, 690 (Minn. App. 1984).
Backus, an experienced police officer, testified that: (1) he saw the vehicle with homemade plates; (2) because the vehicle had homemade plates, it was not properly registered; and (3) he knew from previous checks that Karl Granse's driving privileges were revoked or cancelled. Although Granse argues that the plates are indistinguishable from validly-issued "vanity" plates and could not have provided a basis for the stop, this argument is unsupported by the evidence. His belief that the homemade plates should have been "verified" prior to the stop is unsupported by the law. See Prouse, 440 U.S. at 663, 99 S. Ct. at 1401 (articulable and reasonable suspicion required for investigatory stop); Pike, 551 N.W.2d at 921 (brief investigatory stop requires only reasonable suspicion of criminal activity). Because the record demonstrates that the police officer articulated a "reasonable suspicion" for the stop, we affirm Granse's conviction.
[ ]* Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.