For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 54

Status: Pending. Submitted on briefs on
November 21, 2017.
Amicus Authors: Leonard Sosnov, Karl
Baker and Keir Bradford-Grey of the
Defender Association of Philadelphia

In re: AA:
Amicus filed: September 20, 2017
Nature of the case: A.A. was observed
by a police officer driving a car that was
straddling the center line. After following
A.A. and conducting a check on the vehicle
registration, the officer learned that the
vehicle registration was expired. The car
was stopped, and the officer obtained A.A.'s
driver's license and expired registration. A.A.
was not able to provide proof of financial
responsibility. The officer cited A.A. for
the expired registration and provided a
warning for failure to provide proof of
financial responsibility. The officer returned
the documents, bid A.A. goodnight and
broke contact. Before A.A. had a chance
to leave, the officer reengaged A.A. and
asked her whether there was anything
illegal in the car. A.A. responded "no," and
asked the officer if he wanted to search the
vehicle. The officer indicated that he did,
at which time the passenger indicated that
there was a marijuana pipe in the car, and
that he and A.A. had smoked marijuana.
The officer searched the car and found
contraband. A.A. was charged. At the
suppression hearing, the officer testified
that he re-engaged A.A. after the traffic
stop because "[i]t's just best practice." The
officer elaborated, "It's just best practice.
Even if I had stopped somebody and we
were trying to get a consent search, it's just
best practice." The trial court found nothing
unconstitutional with the officer's conduct.
The Superior Court affirmed. Although the
court found that A.A. was detained and
continued to be seized when the officer reengaged A.A., the court concluded that the

54

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Vol. 3, Issue 1

facts learned during the traffic stop could
justify a continued seizure. To reach this
conclusion, the court followed the Superior
Court's en banc decision in Commonwealth
v. Kemp. The A.A. court refused to follow
its decision in Commonwealth v. Nguyen,
in which a panel held that "[w]here the
investigative detention at issue follows
a lawful traffic stop, the officer must
demonstrate cause for suspicion after the
end of the initial stop, and independent of
any basis on which he conducted the prior
stop."
Allocatur grant: "Whether the Superior
Court's reliance on Commonwealth v.
Kemp to affirm the trial Court's denial of
Petitioner's Motion to Suppress Evidence
was in contradiction with the recent
holding of a different Superior Court Panel,
Commonwealth v. Nguyen?"
Status: Pending. Briefing not complete.
Amicus Authors: David Rudovsky of
Rudovsky, Messing, Feinberg & Lin, LLP and
Barb Zemlock of Perry Shore Weisenberger
& Zemlock.

Commw. v. Wilmer: Amicus Filed: October
17, 2017 (Defender Association of Philadelphia
and PACDL Joint Amicus)
Nature of the case: State troopers
entered Wilmer's residence, a sorority
house, to help a man who they observed on
the roof who looked in danger of falling.
The troopers caused some damage while
entering the house. By the time the troopers
got to the roof, the individual had fallen
and was being treated by first responders.
With the emergency over, the troopers
were leaving the residence when they
observed a bag a marijuana and a grinder.
They seized the contraband and left the
residence. None of the police activities to
this point involved Wilmer. The troopers,



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018

Contents
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 1
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 2
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - Contents
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 4
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 5
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 6
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 7
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 8
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 9
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 10
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 11
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 12
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 13
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