422 So.2d 308 (Fla. 1982), 61083, Savoie v. State

Docket Nº61083.
Citation422 So.2d 308
Party NameArmond P. SAVOIE, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida, Respondent.
Case DateNovember 10, 1982
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida

Page 308

422 So.2d 308 (Fla. 1982)

Armond P. SAVOIE, Petitioner,

v.

STATE of Florida, Respondent.

No. 61083.

Supreme Court of Florida.

November 10, 1982

Page 309

Edward R. Kirkland, Orlando, for petitioner.

Jim Smith, Atty. Gen. and Barbara Ann Butler and Sean Daly, Asst. Attys. Gen., Daytona Beach, for respondent.

OVERTON, Justice.

This is a petition to review the decision of the Fifth District Court of Appeal reported as Savoie v. State, 401 So.2d 1138 (Fla. 5th DCA 1981). We find conflict, as acknowledged by the district court in its opinion, with T.C. v. State, 336 So.2d 17 (Fla. 3d

Page 310

DCA 1976), and Davis v. State, 226 So.2d 257 (Fla. 2d DCA 1969). We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(3), Fla. Const.

The issue before us arose from a denial of a motion to suppress made during trial. Although the trial judge heard the motion on the merits, he denied it both on the merits and on the ground of waiver, finding waiver because the motion was made during trial and was, therefore, not timely under the provisions of Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.190(h)(4). On appeal, the district court affirmed the waiver ruling and refused to consider the denial on the merits. Under the circumstances of this case, we reject the district court's holding that waiver was the proper basis for denying the motion to suppress. The trial judge considered the motion on the merits, and we find that this renders the waiver issue moot. We further find that the trial judge correctly denied the motion to suppress on the merits. We have addressed this issue because, once we accept jurisdiction over a cause in order to resolve a legal issue in conflict, we may, in our discretion, consider other issues properly raised and argued before this Court. We, therefore, approve the result of the district court's decision.

We must detail the mostly uncontroverted facts in the record in order to properly address the issues in this cause. Petitioner, Armond Savoie, was charged by information with having committed bribery by corruptly giving the sum of five thousand dollars to Officer Stewart of the City of Winter Park police force with the intent to influence the performance of that officer by requesting that he destroy or dispose of evidence in two pending criminal cases. According to Officer Stewart's testimony, he met with Savoie in a restaurant in Clermont, Florida, at which time Savoie asked if he could dispose of the criminal charges pending against one James Savage, and, if so, how much this service would cost. Officer Stewart, who was an investigator in the Savage case, prepared simulated evidence to sell to Savoie. This simulated evidence consisted of fabricated video tapes and two envelopes containing money. Officer Stewart put police evidence tape on all of these items and marked them as evidence. He then contacted Savoie and arranged to meet him at a motel in Kissimmee, Florida. Several law enforcement officers were stationed in the room adjoining that in which Officer Stewart and Savoie were meeting.

Officer Stewart testified that, when he gave Savoie the simulated evidence, Savoie in turn gave him fifty $100 bills and that Savoie placed the simulated evidence in an attache case, which he locked, and left the room with the case. A short distance outside the room, Savoie was placed under arrest by one of the accompanying police officers; Savoie was carrying the attache case at the time of his arrest. The officer searched Savoie, handcuffed him, and took control of the attache case. During the search, the officer found the key to the attache case and immediately opened the case at the scene of the arrest. The search was conducted without a warrant and without Savoie's consent.

Savoie did not file a pre-trial motion to suppress the contents of the attache case, and the trial commenced on May 19, 1980. On May 20, during the testimony of the officer who made the arrest, the prosecution attempted to have him identify the contents of the attache case. Savoie's counsel objected, asserting that Savoie's constitutional rights had been violated. The trial judge excused the jury and heard the testimony of the officer as to the circumstances of the arrest and preliminary legal argument by counsel as to the validity of the search and seizure. A recess was then taken so that counsel and the court could research and examine relevant cases. It was only after the trial court had heard all the testimony from the arresting officer and full argument by both counsel on the merits of the motion to suppress that the state objected to the motion because it was not timely filed. The state asserted that Savoie had waived the right to make the motion to suppress by failing to make the motion before trial, as required by rule 3.190(h)(4). During the discussion which ensued on the

Page 311

waiver issue, the trial judge expressed concern that the state could not immediately appeal an adverse ruling on the motion as it could have done had a pre-trial motion to suppress been granted. Counsel for Savoie contested the waiver claim by contending that the discovery information furnished by the state did not adequately disclose that the contents of the attache case were to be submitted as evidence.

The trial judge, in ruling on the motion, stated: "On the merits ... I am going to deny the Motion to Suppress." The trial judge ruled alternatively, stating, "I think it has been waived." With regard to the motion's merits, the trial judge expressly relied on United States v. Chadwick, 433 U.S. 1, 97 S.Ct. 2476, 53 L.Ed.2d 538 (1977), in finding that the search in this case was reasonable because it was made incident to a valid arrest and was not rendered invalid by the fact that the police did not believe that Savoie had access to a weapon in the attache case or was about to destroy evidence which might be contained in the case.

The district court affirmed the trial court's denial of the motion on the basis of waiver, reasoning that:

Because Savoie failed to move to suppress prior to the trial as required by the Rule when he was aware of the grounds for the motion and had ample opportunity to make the motion, we hold that he failed to preserve for appeal any error in the admission of the evidence.

Savoie, 401 So.2d at 1139. It did not address the trial court's ruling on the merits.

Waiver under Rule 3.190

The first issue we must address is whether Savoie's failure to make a pre-trial motion resulted in an absolute waiver of his right to contest the validity of the search and seizure of the contents of his attache case and the admission of these contents into evidence. The state contends that petitioner is not entitled to a hearing on the merits of the motion to suppress and that a waiver is the only appropriate sanction for enforcing the provisions of rule 3.190(h)(4).

Rule 3.190(h) concerns motions to suppress evidence obtained in an unlawful search and seizure. The relevant portions of the rule read as follows:

(2) Contents of Motion. Every motion to suppress evidence shall...

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87 practice notes
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    • United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
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    ...that he included Forh's driver's license photograph in the photographic lineup. See Doc. 9-4 at 93, 167-68. [11] Savioe v. State, 422 So.2d 308 (Fla. [12] Doc. 9-5 at 1-2. [13] Kennedy v. State, 547 So.2d 912 (Fla. 1989). [14] See Doc. 9-13 at 14-15. [15] See Doc. 9-13 at 15, 23. [16] See D......
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    • Florida Court of Appeals. Third District
    • June 7, 1988
    ...we need not, we will not explore whether New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454, 101 S.Ct. 2860, 69 L.Ed.2d 768 (1981), and Savoie v. State, 422 So.2d 308 (Fla.1982), which both involved the stop of a vehicle, can be extended to permit the search of a container found in a vehicle where there has ......
  • 362 S.W.3d 626 (Tex.Crim.App. 2012), PD-1551-10, Black v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • February 15, 2012
    ...A.2d 987, 990 (Me.1980) (pretrial ruling on motion to suppress not a final judgment and could be reconsidered at trial); Savoie v. State, 422 So.2d 308, 311-12 (Fla.1982) (rule governing timing of suppression motions did not preclude trial court from exercising its " inherent power&quo......
  • 90 So.3d 905 (Fla.App. 5 Dist. 2012), 5D11-851, State v. Glasco
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    • Florida Court of Appeals. Fifth District
    • June 15, 2012
    ...searched incident to arrest if found in a case carried on the suspect's person or in a vehicle which the suspect occupied. See Savoie, 422 So.2d at 313-14; see also Robinson, 414 U.S. at 235-36 [94 S.Ct. 467]. Accordingly, a search of a digital version of these personal effects would be sim......
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  • 70 So.3d 626 (Fla.App. 1 Dist. 2011), 1D10-0896, Fawdry v. State
    • United States
    • Florida Court of Appeal of Florida (US) First District
    • May 13, 2011
    ...arresting officer to search personal effects, including open and closed containers,1 carried by the suspect.2 Page 629 Savoie v. State, 422 So.2d 308, 313-14 (Fla.1982) (citing United States v. Brown, 671 F.2d 585 (D.C.Cir.1982)). Such a search is permitted, not because a suspect has no pri......
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    • Texas Court of Appeals of Texas Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • February 15, 2012
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    • Florida Court of Appeal of Florida (US) Third District
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