789 F.2d 1289 (8th Cir. 1986), 84-5160, United States v. Rambo

Docket Nº:84-5160.
Citation:789 F.2d 1289
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Douglas Edward RAMBO, Appellant.
Case Date:April 25, 1986
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Page 1289

789 F.2d 1289 (8th Cir. 1986)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,

v.

Douglas Edward RAMBO, Appellant.

No. 84-5160.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

April 25, 1986

Submitted Oct. 16, 1985.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1291

Deborah Ellis, St. Paul, Minn., for appellant.

Paul A. Murphy, Asst. U.S. Atty., Minneapolis, Minn., for appellee.

Before JOHN R. GIBSON and FAGG, Circuit Judges, BRIGHT, Senior Circuit Judge.

JOHN R. GIBSON, Circuit Judge.

Douglas Edward Rambo appeals from his conviction following a jury trial of one count of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine, three counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and one count of distribution of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Secs. 841(a)(1), 846 (1982), and 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2 (1982). Rambo argues on appeal that his warrantless arrest by police officers in his hotel room for a misdemeanor offense was unlawful, and, as a consequence, a subsequent search of his possessions and hotel room, which yielded substantial quantities of cocaine, violated the fourth and fourteenth amendments. Thus, Rambo contends, the district court erred in not suppressing evidence of the cocaine seized by the police officers. We affirm the judgment of the district court. 1

On September 23, 1983, a security officer of the Curtis Hotel in Minneapolis was called to the seventh floor of the hotel to investigate complaints that a guest was running naked through the halls, screaming. As the security officer arrived on the seventh floor, he heard a man screaming inside room 769, which, it was later determined, had been rented by appellant. Although the security officer found it difficult to understand what the man was screaming, "because * * * it sounded like he was a gospel preacher," he was able to divine that it was "[s]omething to the effect that he was wondering if we could see him * * *." Transcript of Motions Before Magistrate at 10, United States v. Rambo, No. Cr. 4-84-1 (D.Minn. June 1, 1984) (Cudd, Mag.) The security officer called the assistant manager and together they knocked on appellant's door. Rambo answered in the nude, dripping wet, and stepped into the hall. The security officer testified at the suppression hearing that Rambo was very agitated and tense, and

Page 1292

had two black eyes and a black bruise between his eyes on his forehead. Tr. at 14-15. The assistant manager asked Rambo why he was making so much noise, and what his problem was. Rambo replied that he had no problem and shut the door in the manager's face. The manager instructed the security officer to call the police to have the appellant removed from the hotel.

Minneapolis police officers Ramerth and Tucker arrived at the hotel. The assistant manager recounted to the officers the complaints registered by hotel guests, the report of the hotel security officer, and the actions of the appellant in response to his inquiry. The officers explained that they could remove the appellant only by arresting him, and suggested, from the information the manager had provided, that the appellant could be arrested for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor offense under Minnesota law. Since state law authorizes police officers to arrest an individual for a misdemeanor without a warrant only for offenses committed in their presence, the officers informed the manager that he must sign a citizen's complaint form, in effect arresting the appellant for a misdemeanor committed in his presence. The assistant manager agreed to sign the form, and the police then knocked on the appellant's door. The officers testified at the suppression hearing that they intended to arrest the appellant before they knocked on the door. Tr. at 34. Neither the assistant manager, nor any of the hotel staff, ever signed a citizen's arrest complaint.

Rambo again answered the door in the nude. The officers described Rambo as "agitated," "tense," and "wild-looking," and both observed his black eyes and the bruise on his forehead. Tr. at 35, 68. The officers explained to Rambo that the manager wanted him out of the hotel because of the disturbance he had been creating. Rambo said that he would not leave, and tried to slam shut the door, which the officers prevented by putting their feet inside the threshold. As Rambo backed away inside the room, one of the officers grabbed his wrist to restrain him. Rambo broke free and, according to the officers, moved quickly toward an open closet near the door. The officers then attempted to subdue him. After a struggle, the officers managed to handcuff Rambo, and advised him that he was under arrest. The officers then forcibly put a pair of trousers on him. Officer Tucker asked Rambo repeatedly for some identification. Finally, Rambo replied that it was in his baggage. Officer Tucker searched through a garment bag which he observed hanging in the closet, and discovered two "wads" of currency and some clothes, but no identification. When Officer Tucker announced this fact to his partner, Rambo volunteered that his identification must be in his other luggage, a travel bag which was resting on a table in the room. The bag had four separate compartments, all but one of which were padlocked. Officer Tucker searched the open compartment, but found no identification. Officer Ramerth asked Rambo where the key to the locked compartments was, and Rambo answered that the key was in his pants pocket. Officer Ramerth retrieved the key and gave it to Officer Tucker. Upon opening the compartments, Officer Tucker found a large plastic bag containing a white powder and additional sums of currency. The officers then advised Rambo of his Miranda rights. Rambo indicated he understood these rights, and provided the officers with a false name. Officer Tucker again searched Rambo's garment bag, and turned up various forms of identification, some with different names, including a Bolivian passport. The officers then searched the remaining portions of the room to inventory Rambo's belongings. During the course of this search, the officers found a small plastic bag of white powder under the mattress. Approximately ten ounces of ninety to ninety-four percent pure cocaine and $29,814 was seized.

Appellant's motion to suppress the evidence discovered during the search of his luggage and hotel room as the fruit of an illegal arrest and/or improper search was

Page 1293

heard by a federal magistrate, 2 whose findings and conclusions were adopted by the district court. United States v. Rambo, Cr. 4-84-1, slip op. at 2 (D.Minn. June 21, 1984). Rambo argued before the magistrate that his arrest was not carried out according to the state's citizen's arrest statute, and was therefore illegal, as was the search of his belongings and hotel room. The magistrate rejected Rambo's argument that his arrest was illegal under state law. He also concluded that Rambo had validly consented to the search of his luggage. The magistrate found that, although under the influence of a drug, Rambo was not cowed by authority, and directed the police to his luggage when they requested that he produce identification, "implicitly authorizing them to examine the contents." United States v. Rambo, No. CR 4-84-3, slip op. at 5 (D.Minn. June 14, 1984) (Report and Recommendation of Magistrate) [Magistrate's Report]. The magistrate also concluded that the search could be sustained as a search incident to arrest or, in the alternative, as a valid inventory search to protect the appellant's possessions.

I.

Although Rambo ultimately was charged and convicted only on federal narcotics charges, the officers entered his hotel room to arrest him, and did in fact arrest him, for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor offense under Minnesota law. See Minn.Stat.Ann. Sec. 609.72 (West Supp.1985). 3 Thus, he properly points out, the validity of his arrest, the subsequent search of the hotel room, and his conviction on the present indictment rest on the propriety of the officers' warrantless entry into his hotel room to arrest him for a misdemeanor. Rambo attacks the legality of the entry on two independent grounds. First, the police officers had no authority under Minnesota law to arrest him without a warrant under these circumstances. Second, even if the entry and arrest were authorized by state law, a warrantless arrest in a place of residence for a misdemeanor offense under these circumstances violates the fourth amendment. We consider each contention in turn.

A.

The validity of a warrantless arrest by a state officer is an issue governed in the first instance by state law. Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 15 n. 5, 68 S.Ct. 367, 369-70 n. 5, 92 L.Ed. 436 (1948). Minnesota law authorizes a police officer to make a warrantless arrest for a misdemeanor only if the offense was "committed or attempted in his presence * * *." Minn.Stat.Ann. Sec. 629.34 (West Supp.1985). 4 Minnesota law also authorizes private persons to arrest an individual without a warrant for a misdemeanor if the offense was committed or attempted in their presence. 5

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Minn.Stat.Ann. Sec. 629.37 (West 1983). For an offense to be "committed" in the presence of the police officer or private citizen, all the acts constituting the misdemeanor must have occurred in their presence. See State v. Duren, 266 Minn. 335 at 345-47, 123 N.W.2d 624 at 631-32; Able v. Commissioner of Public Safety, 352 N.W.2d 518, 520 (Minn.App.1984).

Given this limited statutory authority, Rambo argues, the police officers had no authority to arrest him. The police were without authority to arrest him on the basis of their own observations, Rambo contends, because his acts constituting disorderly conduct--running naked through the hall and screaming--were neither committed nor attempted in the officers' presence. 6 Similarly,...

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106 practice notes
  • State v. Dehn, 101905 MNCA, A04-1784
    • United States
    • Minnesota Court of Appeals of Minnesota
    • 19 de Outubro de 2005
    ...expectation associated with a person’s home applies with “equal force” to a motel room during the rental period. United States v. Rambo, 789 F.2d 1289, 1296 (8th Cir. 1986). When evaluating a person’s expectation of privacy in a motel room, courts consider whether the person paid for the ro......
  • 746 P.2d 344 (Wash.App. Div. 3 1987), 7761-6, State v. Ramirez
    • United States
    • Washington Court of Appeals of Washington
    • 3 de Dezembro de 1987
    ...87 S.Ct. 408, 17 L.Ed.2d 374 (1966); Stoner v. California, 376 U.S. 483, 84 S.Ct. 889, 11 L.Ed.2d 856 (1964); United States v. Rambo, 789 F.2d 1289, 1295 (8th Cir.1986); United States v. Newbern, 731 F.2d 744, 748 (11th Cir.1984); United States v. Bulman, 667 F.2d 1374, 1383 (11th Cir.), ce......
  • 770 S.W.2d 930 (Tex.App. - San Antonio 1989), 04-87-00443, Moberg v. State
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals of Texas
    • 10 de Maio de 1989
    ...Ramirez, 810 F.2d 1338, 1341 n. 3 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 108 S.Ct. 136, 98 L.Ed.2d 93 (1987); United States v. Rambo, 789 F.2d 1289, 1295-96 (8th Cir.1986); United States v. Lee, 700 F.2d 424, 425 (10th Cir.), cert. denied, 462 U.S. 1122, 103 S.Ct. 3094, 77 L.Ed.2d 1353 (1......
  • State v. Chavez, 102618 OHCA2, 27840
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Appeals of Ohio
    • 26 de Outubro de 2018
    ...United States v. Junkman, N.D. Iowa No. CR96-4033, 1997 WL 33559171, *3 (June 24, 1997), citing United States v. Rambo, 789 F.2d 1289, 1295 (8th Cir.1986) and United States v. Wicks, 995 F.2d 964, 969 (10th Cir.1993). {¶ 22} Following its decision in Payton, the ......
  • Free signup to view additional results
106 cases
  • State v. Dehn, 101905 MNCA, A04-1784
    • United States
    • Minnesota Court of Appeals of Minnesota
    • 19 de Outubro de 2005
    ...expectation associated with a person’s home applies with “equal force” to a motel room during the rental period. United States v. Rambo, 789 F.2d 1289, 1296 (8th Cir. 1986). When evaluating a person’s expectation of privacy in a motel room, courts consider whether the person paid for the ro......
  • 746 P.2d 344 (Wash.App. Div. 3 1987), 7761-6, State v. Ramirez
    • United States
    • Washington Court of Appeals of Washington
    • 3 de Dezembro de 1987
    ...87 S.Ct. 408, 17 L.Ed.2d 374 (1966); Stoner v. California, 376 U.S. 483, 84 S.Ct. 889, 11 L.Ed.2d 856 (1964); United States v. Rambo, 789 F.2d 1289, 1295 (8th Cir.1986); United States v. Newbern, 731 F.2d 744, 748 (11th Cir.1984); United States v. Bulman, 667 F.2d 1374, 1383 (11th Cir.), ce......
  • 770 S.W.2d 930 (Tex.App. - San Antonio 1989), 04-87-00443, Moberg v. State
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals of Texas
    • 10 de Maio de 1989
    ...Ramirez, 810 F.2d 1338, 1341 n. 3 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 108 S.Ct. 136, 98 L.Ed.2d 93 (1987); United States v. Rambo, 789 F.2d 1289, 1295-96 (8th Cir.1986); United States v. Lee, 700 F.2d 424, 425 (10th Cir.), cert. denied, 462 U.S. 1122, 103 S.Ct. 3094, 77 L.Ed.2d 1353 (1......
  • State v. Chavez, 102618 OHCA2, 27840
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Appeals of Ohio
    • 26 de Outubro de 2018
    ...United States v. Junkman, N.D. Iowa No. CR96-4033, 1997 WL 33559171, *3 (June 24, 1997), citing United States v. Rambo, 789 F.2d 1289, 1295 (8th Cir.1986) and United States v. Wicks, 995 F.2d 964, 969 (10th Cir.1993). {¶ 22} Following its decision in Payton, the ......
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