927 P.2d 949 (Kan.App. 1996), 76505, State v. McMillin

Docket Nº:76505.
Citation:927 P.2d 949, 23 Kan.App.2d 100
Party Name:STATE of Kansas, Appellant, v. Charles W. McMILLIN and Debra Sue Brower, Appellees.
Attorney:[6] Thomas R. Stanton, assistant county attorney, Julie McKenna, county attorney, and Carla J. Stovall, attorney general, for appellant. Richard M. Blackwell, of Blackwell, Blackwell & Struble, Chtd., of Salina, and Rene S. Young, of Denning and Young, LLC, of Salina, for appellees.
Case Date:November 22, 1996
Court:Court of Appeals of Kansas
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 949

927 P.2d 949 (Kan.App. 1996)

23 Kan.App.2d 100

STATE of Kansas, Appellant,

v.

Charles W. McMILLIN and Debra Sue Brower, Appellees.

No. 76505.

Court of Appeals of Kansas

November 22, 1996

Page 950

Syllabus by the Court

1. An individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in the exterior of a car parked in a public lot. A dog sniff of the exterior of a car parked in a public parking lot, therefore, does not constitute a search as contemplated by the United States or Kansas Constitution.

2. A dog sniff of the exterior of a car parked in a public parking lot, which does not cause meaningful interference with the owner's possessory interests in the car, does not constitute a seizure as contemplated by the United States or Kansas Constitution.

3. Under the circumstances of this case, officers were not required to show reasonable suspicion to justify conducting a dog sniff of the exterior of a car parked in a public parking lot.

Thomas R. Stanton, Assistant County Attorney, Julie McKenna, County Attorney, and Carla J. Stovall, Attorney General, for appellant.

Richard M. Blackwell, of Blackwell, Blackwell & Struble, Chtd., Salina, and Rene S. Young, of Denning and Young, LLC, Salina, for appellees.

Before ROYSE, P.J., GREEN, J., and DAVID J. KING, District Judge, Assigned.

ROYSE, Judge:

Charles W. McMillin and Debra Sue Brower were charged with a variety of drug offenses after a police dog "alerted" on McMillin's automobile. The district court held the dog sniff of the vehicle was an unconstitutional

Page 951

search and seizure and suppressed the evidence of drugs. The State appeals pursuant to K.S.A. 22-3603.

The undisputed facts may be summarized as follows: On January 14, 1996, Deputy Jackson noticed a white Buick bearing Arizona license plates in the parking lot of a Motel 6 in Salina. The car [23 Kan.App.2d 101] belonged to Charles W. McMillin, who had rented a room at the motel. Deputy Jackson noticed loose clothing in the back seat of the vehicle and several fast food wrappers lying on the floorboard of the car. Deputy Jackson contacted Officer Cox and asked Cox to bring a narcotics dog to check the exterior of the car.

A few hours later, Officer Cox arrived and walked a trained narcotics dog around McMillin's car. The dog "alerted" behind the driver's side rear door.

After determining that the car belonged to McMillin, the officers contacted McMillin and obtained permission to search his car and his motel room. In the car trunk the officers found a duffel bag containing 30 pounds of marijuana. In the motel room Deputy Jackson found several marijuana buds and a marijuana smoking pipe. McMillin told the officers the marijuana and the paraphernalia belonged to him, that he had paid $10,000 for the marijuana and still owed $7,000 for it, and that he intended to deliver the drugs to friends.

The officers also spoke with Debra Brower, who was sharing McMillin's motel room. She admitted she was aware of the marijuana in the motel room, but denied any knowledge of the marijuana found in the car.

The State charged McMillin with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of marijuana without tax stamps affixed, and possession of cocaine. In addition, McMillin and Brower were each charged on misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. After a hearing, the district court granted the defendants' motions to...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP