69 Cal.2d 674, 12428, People v. Moore

Docket Nº:12428
Citation:69 Cal.2d 674, 72 Cal.Rptr. 800, 446 P.2d 800
Opinion Judge:[10] Peters
Party Name:People v. Moore
Attorney:[7] Julius L. Rubinstein, under appointment by the Supreme Court, for Defendant and Appellant. [8] Richard S. Buckley, Public Defender, James L. McCormick and Gerald McC. Franklin, Deputy Public Defenders, as Amici Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Appellant. [9] Thomas C. Lynch, Attorney General...
Case Date:November 20, 1968
Court:Supreme Court of California

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69 Cal.2d 674

72 Cal.Rptr. 800, 446 P.2d 800

The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,


Alfred Rudyard MOORE, Defendant and Appellant.

Cr. 12428.

Supreme Court of California

Nov. 20, 1968.

In Bank

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Julius L. Rubinstein, under appointment by the Supreme Court, Los Angeles, for defendant and appellant.

Richard S. Buckley, Public Defender, James L. McCormick and Gerald McC. Franklin, Deputy Public Defenders, amici curiae for defendant and appellant.

Thomas C. Lynch, Atty. Gen., William E. James, Asst. Atty. Gen., James H. Kline and Edward J. Horowitz, Deputy Attys. Gen., for plaintiff and respondent.

PETERS, Justice.

On October 10, 1966, defendant was arrested for possession of heroin. He was taken to a jail infirmary, confined there, examined, and observed by a doctor, and on October 13, 1966, a petition was filed to commit him as a narcotic addict or as a person who is in imminent danger of becoming addicted to narcotics. (Welf. & Inst.Code, § 3100 et seq.) On October 26, the allegations of the petition were sustained after a hearing in the superior court. Defendant demanded a jury trial, and the jury found that he was in imminent danger of becoming an addict. Defendant was ordered committed to the Department of Corrections for placement at the California Rehabilitation Center at Corona, and he has appealed from the order of commitment.

The testimony of Officer Robison of the Los Angeles Police Department may be summarized as follows: At 10 a.m. on October 10, 1966, he observed defendant in a telephone booth on the side of a taco stand at the corner of Adams and Victoria

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Streets. The officer had made several narcotics arrests in the area and stated that addicts go to this location to make purchases from the street peddlers. As the police car was driven into a parking lot adjacent to the taco stand, defendant appeared to be talking on the telephone, seemed to observe the police car, moved from a comfortable position in the telephone booth, and turned his back on the police car. Defendant appeared nervous. The officer thought that defendant 'was trying to avoid' him and due 'to the area and the surrounding circumstances * * * thought it was suspicious.'

The officer left his car, went to the telephone booth, and asked defendant his name and several questions. He asked defendant if he had ever used narcotics in the past, and defendant said he had but not since he left jail in July. The officer then asked defendant if he might inspect the latter's arms. Defendant consented and removed his coat. The officer observed approximately 20 scabs, one of which appeared to be a fresh puncture mark. The officer then placed defendant under arrest for possession of heroin and advised him of his constitutional rights. In a subsequent conversation defendant said that he used narcotics infrequently. At the police station defendant told another officer that he was using two $5.00 balloons daily. Apparently, no heroin was found in defendant's possession.

The officer did not have a warrant to arrest defendant. The officer said he did not have any cause to arrest defendant prior to speaking to him and that if defendant had refused to talk to him or to remove his coat, 'I don't know what I could have done. I don't think I could have forcibly restrained him there if he would have * * *. If we were talking and he said, 'I am not going to show you my arms,' this might have indicated to me he was trying to hide the fact he was using.'

Defendant testified that the officers approached him in the telephone booth as he completed a telephone call to his employer, that the officer asked him to come out of the booth and get into the police car, that after he did so, a police officer turned the car around and drove about 25 yards behind the taco stand and commenced questioning him. His recollection of the questions asked was similar to that of Officer Robison. Defense counsel sought to question defendant as to whether he wanted to leave the police car at the time the officer asked him to remove his coat, and the deputy district attorney objected on the ground of lack of materiality. In arguing the objection, defense counsel made an offer to prove the state of mind of

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defendant, which, assertedly, would show that the consent to remove the jacket was not voluntary. In sustaining the objection of the prosecutor and rejecting the offer, the court ruled that, although the state of mind of the officer might be relevant to the issue of probable cause to make an arrest, the state of mind of a defendant in giving consent was not relevant and that in determining whether a defendant voluntarily gave his consent to a search an officer may rely upon the objective facts.

The trial court denied a motion to suppress the evidence obtained by the officers. Subsequently, evidence was received that defendant suffered withdrawal symptoms while confined in the infirmary. The examining physician testified that as of the time of trial defendant no longer was suffering withdrawal symptoms and did not have a measurable tolerance to narcotics but that he had an emotional dependence on narcotics. The physician was of the opinion that defendant was in imminent danger of becoming addicted to narcotics.

The evidence relating to the arrest of defendant was received and the motion to suppress was determined at the hearing before the judge prior to the jury trial and not at the jury trial itself. The medical evidence and some of defendant's statements as to use of narcotics were received at both proceedings.

The guarantees against unreasonable searches and seizures as contained in the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments are applicable to police officers seeking to enforce the criminal laws. (Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081.)

The guarantees are also applicable to governmental officials seeking to enforce health and safety regulations. (Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523, 528 et seq., 87 S.Ct. 1727, 18 L.Ed.2d 930 (overruling Frank v. State of Maryland, 359 U.S. 360, 79 S.Ct. 804, 3 L.Ed.2d 877); See v. City of Seattle, 387 U.S. 541, 542 et seq., 87 S.Ct. 1737, 18 L.Ed.2d 943; cf. Parrish v. Civil Service Commission, 66 Cal.2d 260, 265 et seq., 57 Cal.Rptr. 623.)

Thus, the amendments are enforced when officers are seeking to apprehend and obtain evidence against robbers (Stoner v. State of California, 376 U.S. 483, 84 S.Ct. 889, 11 L.Ed.2d 856), burglars (People v. Burke, 61 Cal.2d 575, 39 Cal.Rptr. 531), abortionists (People v. Schaumloffel, 53 Cal.2d 96), moonshiners (Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 81 S.Ct. 776, 5 L.Ed. 828; Jones v. United

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States, 357 U.S. 493, 78 S.Ct. 1253, 2 L.Ed.2d 1514), housewives who possess dirty books (Mapp v. Ohio, supra, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684), and owners of residential properties who maintain nonconforming structures or substandard fire escapes (Camara v. Municipal Court, supra, 387 U.S. 523, 87 S.Ct. 1727; See v. City of Seattle, supra, 387 U.S. 541, 87 S.Ct. 1737). The only reason that has been suggested to permit police officers or other governmental officials to ignore the unequivocal demand of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments when they are enforcing the laws as to narcotic addicts is that the narcotic addition program is for the benefit of the individual addict as well as society. But, our penal system seeks rehabilitation as well as penalty; our administrative enforcement of housing laws may benefit the owner and resident as well as the neighborhood; and the benefit to the narcotic addict furnishes no basis to ignore the fundamental guarantees against unreasonable searches and seizures. Accordingly, police officers who violate the fundamental guarantees in order to apprehend and obtain commitment of narcotic addicts are no less guilty of violating the basic law of the land than officers or other governmental officials who violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments for the purpose of the apprehension and conviction of criminal offenders or violators of the health and safety laws.

It is well settled that evidence obtained by an unlawful search and seizure by police officers is inadmissible in criminal trials. (Mapp v. Ohio, supra, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684; People v. Cahan, 44 Cal.2d 434, 50 A.L.R.2d 513.) The exclusionary rule is also applicable to forfeiture proceedings, which, although technically...

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