Meadows v. State

CourtSupreme Court of Tennessee
Writing for the CourtANDERSON; REID
Citation849 S.W.2d 748
PartiesRobert H. MEADOWS, Petitioner-Appellant, v. STATE of Tennessee, Respondent-Appellee.
Decision Date16 February 1993

Page 748

849 S.W.2d 748
Robert H. MEADOWS, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
STATE of Tennessee, Respondent-Appellee.
Supreme Court of Tennessee,
at Nashville.
Feb. 16, 1993.
Rehearing Denied March 22, 1993.

John E. Herbison, Nashville, for petitioner-appellant.

Charles W. Burson, Atty. Gen. and Reporter, Kimbra R. Spann, Asst. Atty. Gen., Nashville, for respondent-appellee.

OPINION

ANDERSON, Justice.

We granted this case in order to decide whether a new state constitutional rule was announced in State v. Jacumin 1 for determining probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant. If a new rule was created, we then must determine whether it should be applied retroactively.

The trial court dismissed the petition, finding that even if we announced a new rule, it did not fit within the exceptions to the federal standard that new constitutional rules will not be applied retroactively to cases on collateral review. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed, but on the separate ground that the petitioner's claim had been "previously determined," and therefore did not present a cognizable claim for relief under the Post-Conviction Procedure Act. We conclude that Jacumin did announce a new state constitutional rule, but that the new rule does not meet our newly adopted state standard for retroactivity in claims for post-conviction relief in that it does not materially enhance the integrity and reliability of the fact finding process at trial. As a result, we affirm the lower court's dismissal of the petition.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The petitioner, Robert H. Meadows, was arrested after the police conducted a search of his living quarters pursuant to a search warrant and discovered various controlled substances. Meadows filed a motion to suppress the evidence discovered during the search on the grounds that the search warrant had been issued without probable cause, which the trial court denied. Meadows was then convicted of four counts of possession of controlled substances with the intent to manufacture, deliver or sell, was fined $222,000.00, and was sentenced to an effective 44-year period of incarceration.

Meadows appealed his convictions to the Court of Criminal Appeals, contending that the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant was insufficient to satisfy the probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and Article I, § 7 of the Tennessee Constitution. The Court of Criminal Appeals found that the affidavit, which was, in part, based upon information obtained from a confidential informant, satisfied the "totality of the circumstances" test of Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 103 S.Ct. 2317, 76 L.Ed.2d 527 (1983), and therefore provided sufficient probable cause for the magistrate to issue the search warrant. State v. Meadows, 745 S.W.2d 886, 890-91 (Tenn.Crim.App.1987). In analyzing the sufficiency of the affidavit, the intermediate court concluded that, for the purposes of both federal and Tennessee law, the "totality of the circumstances" test was the appropriate standard because the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Illinois v. Gates rejected the two-prong "reliability-basis of knowledge" test previously enunciated in Spinelli v. United States, 393 U.S. 410, 89 S.Ct. 584, 21 L.Ed.2d 637 (1969), and Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108, 84 S.Ct. 1509, 12 L.Ed.2d 723 (1964). See State v. Meadows, 745 S.W.2d at 891.

On February 1, 1988, this Court denied Meadows application for permission to appeal without comment.

In 1989, this Court decided State v. Jacumin, supra, which rejected the Gates test and held that the proper rule under Tennessee law was the Aguilar- Spinelli test. Meadows then filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the trial court, alleging that the Court of Criminal Appeals incorrectly applied the Gates "totality of the circumstances" test to the affidavit used to obtain the 1985 search warrant. Meadows contended that Jacumin announced a new rule of constitutional law that should be applied retroactively to his case and if so applied, no probable cause would have existed to issue the search warrant.

Page 750

The trial court dismissed Meadows' petition, finding that even if Jacumin had announced a new constitutional rule, the new rule did not fall within the exceptions to the federal standard adopted in Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288, 109 S.Ct. 1060, 103 L.Ed.2d 334 (1989), that new constitutional rules will not be applied retroactively to cases on collateral review. Because of its finding on the retroactivity issue, the trial court found it unnecessary to make a finding on the issue of whether Meadows' claim had been "previously determined."

The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court's dismissal of the petition, but on the grounds that the Supreme Court had "previously determined" Meadows' claim when we denied his application for permission to appeal, and that since post-conviction relief can extend only to grounds that have not been "waived" or "previously determined," see Tenn.Code Ann. § 40-30-111, the petition should be dismissed. The intermediate court found it unnecessary to determine whether the Jacumin decision was a new rule or should be applied retroactively.

JACUMIN--OLD OR NEW CONSTITUTIONAL RULE?

The first issue to be determined is whether this Court's opinion in Jacumin, supra, announced a new constitutional rule for analyzing probable cause. In Jacumin, we rejected the "totality of the circumstances" test enunciated in Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 103 S.Ct. 2317, 76 L.Ed.2d 527 (1983), and held that the proper standard by which probable cause will be measured under Tennessee law is the two-pronged "reliability-basis of knowledge" test previously enunciated in Spinelli v. United States, 393 U.S. 410, 89 S.Ct. 584, 21 L.Ed.2d 637 (1969), and Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108, 84 S.Ct. 1509, 12 L.Ed.2d 723 (1964). See Jacumin, 778 S.W.2d at 436.

In Aguilar v. Texas, in order for a search warrant to be supported by probable cause when the affidavit is based upon information provided by a confidential informant, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that:

[a]lthough an affidavit may be based on hearsay information and need not reflect the direct personal observations of the affiant, Jones v. United States, 362 U.S. 257, 80 S.Ct. 725, 4 L.Ed.2d 697, the magistrate must be informed of some of the underlying circumstances from which the informant concluded that the narcotics were where he claimed they were, and some of the underlying circumstances from which the officer concluded that the informant, whose identity need not be disclosed, see Rugendorf v. United States, 376 U.S. 528, 84 S.Ct. 825 [11 L.Ed.2d 887] was "credible" or his information "reliable."

Aguilar, 378 U.S. at 114, 84 S.Ct. at 1514, 12 L.Ed.2d at 729 (footnote omitted). Although the affidavit in Aguilar stated that the affiant had received information from a credible and reliable informant that contraband was on the premises to be searched, the Court held the affidavit insufficient because it contained nothing to demonstrate the basis of the information, i.e., whether the informant had personal knowledge, or whether he merely suspected or believed that contraband was present. Id. 378 U.S. at 113-15, 84 S.Ct. at 1513-14, 12 L.Ed.2d at 727-29.

In Spinelli v. United States, the Court granted certiorari to further explicate the principles announced in Aguilar. After rejecting a "totality of the circumstances" test and reaffirming the two-pronged "reliability-basis of knowledge" test, the Spinelli Court indicated that an affidavit could be sufficient "[i]n the absence of a statement detailing the manner in which the information was gathered [if] the tip describe[s] the accused's criminal activity in sufficient detail that the magistrate may know that he is relying on something more substantial than a casual rumor circulating in the underworld or an accusation based merely on an individual's general reputation." Spinelli, 393 U.S. at 416, 89 S.Ct. at 589, 21 L.Ed.2d at 644. The affidavit in Spinelli was held insufficient to demonstrate probable cause because the Court found that neither the detail of the informant's tip nor the independent police investigation of the tip could support "both the

Page 751

inference that the informer was generally trustworthy and that he had made his charge against Spinelli on the basis of information obtained in a reliable way." Id. 393 U.S. at 417, 89 S.Ct. at 589, 21 L.Ed.2d at 644.

In Illinois v. Gates, however, the Supreme Court abandoned the two-pronged "reliability-basis of knowledge" test of Aguilar and Spinelli for a "totality of the circumstances" approach to determine whether an informant's tip establishes probable cause for issuance of a search warrant. Gates, 462 U.S. at 230-33, 103 S.Ct. at 2328-29, 76 L.Ed.2d at 543-45. Under the "totality of the circumstances" approach, a magistrate does not consider the informant's "veracity" or "reliability," and "basis of knowledge" as separate and independent requirements to be exacted in each case. Instead, a magistrate considers the informant's "veracity" or "reliability" and "basis of knowledge" "as closely intertwined issues that may usefully illuminate the commonsense, practical question whether there is 'probable cause' to believe that contraband or evidence is located in a particular place." Id. 462 U.S. at 230, 103 S.Ct. at 2328, 76 L.Ed.2d at 543.

Following Gates in 1983, and before our opinion in Jacumin in 1989, several Court of Criminal Appeals decisions applied the "totality of the circumstances" standard on the basis of language in Sneed v. State, 221 Tenn. 6, 423 S.W.2d 857 (1968), providing that Article I, § 7 of the Tennessee Constitution should not be construed more stringently than the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. See, e.g., State v. Carpenter, 773 S.W.2d 1 (Tenn.Crim.App.1989); State v. McAloon, 708 S.W.2d 427 (Tenn.Crim.App.1986); and State v....

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57 practice notes
  • Hartman v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • March 6, 1995
    ...of the fact-finding process of the trial, it must be applied retroactively in post-conviction proceedings. See Meadows v. State, 849 S.W.2d 748, 754 (Tenn.1993); Barber v. State, 889 S.W.2d 185 (Tenn.1994). Thus, the jury in this case relied, in part, upon an invalid aggravating circumstanc......
  • Bush v. State, No. M2011–02133–SC–R11–PC.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • January 28, 2014
    ...two different frameworks. The first approach was based on Tenn.Code Ann. § 40–30–122. The second approach was based on Meadows v. State, 849 S.W.2d 748, 755 (Tenn.1993). Ultimately, the Court of Criminal Appeals decided that neither approach required that Ward v. State be applied retroactiv......
  • Smart v. State, No. A-9025.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Alaska
    • October 27, 2006
    ...should attempt "to dispense justice in a manner more befitting state concerns, history, and jurisprudence". Meadows v. State, 849 S.W.2d 748, 754 (Tenn.1993). In other words, a state court should have the flexibility to apply new rules retroactively in situations where a retroacti......
  • Adkins v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee. Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee
    • December 2, 1994
    ...and reliability of the fact-finding process at trial. Hellard v. State, 629 S.W.2d 4, 5 (Tenn.1982). Recently, in Meadows v. State, 849 S.W.2d 748, 754 (Tenn.1993), our supreme court held that retroactive application in the post-conviction setting was necessary only when "the old rule ......
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57 cases
  • Bush v. State, No. M2011–02133–SC–R11–PC.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • January 28, 2014
    ...two different frameworks. The first approach was based on Tenn.Code Ann. § 40–30–122. The second approach was based on Meadows v. State, 849 S.W.2d 748, 755 (Tenn.1993). Ultimately, the Court of Criminal Appeals decided that neither approach required that Ward v. State be applied retroactiv......
  • Keen v. State, No. W2011–00789–SC–R11–PD.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • December 20, 2012
    ...the integrity and reliability of the fact finding process of the trial.” Van Tran v. State, 66 S.W.3d at 811 (citing Meadows v. State, 849 S.W.2d 748, 755 (Tenn.1993)); see alsoTenn.Code Ann. § 40–30–122 (2006) (citing the federal standard for retroactivity under Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. at......
  • Adkins v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee. Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee
    • December 2, 1994
    ...and reliability of the fact-finding process at trial. Hellard v. State, 629 S.W.2d 4, 5 (Tenn.1982). Recently, in Meadows v. State, 849 S.W.2d 748, 754 (Tenn.1993), our supreme court held that retroactive application in the post-conviction setting was necessary only when "the old rule subst......
  • Martin v Sizemore, 97-00203
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee
    • August 22, 2001
    ...where the defendant practices law, Spalding v. Davis, 674 S.W.2d 710, 714 (Tenn. 1984), overruled on other grounds, Meadows v. State, 849 S.W.2d 748, 752 (Tenn. 1993); Cleckner v. Dale, 719 S.W.2d at 540, they do not condition the witness's ability to testify as an expert on being licensed ......
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