State v. Mayfield, No. 95632-4

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Washington
Writing for the CourtYU, J.
Citation192 Wash.2d 871,434 P.3d 58
Parties STATE of Washington, Respondent, v. John Douglas MAYFIELD, Petitioner.
Docket NumberNo. 95632-4
Decision Date07 February 2019

192 Wash.2d 871
434 P.3d 58

STATE of Washington, Respondent,
v.
John Douglas MAYFIELD, Petitioner.

No. 95632-4

Supreme Court of Washington.

Argued November 8, 2018
Filed: February 07, 2019


Mary Swift, Nielsen, Broman & Koch P.L.L.C., 1908 E. Madison Street, Seattle, WA 98122-2842, for Petitioner.

Sean M. Brittain, Cowlitz County Prosecutors Office, Hall of Justice, 312 SW 1st Avenue, Kelso, WA 98626-1739, Gretchen Eileen Verhoef, Spokane County Prosecutors Office, 1100 W. Mallon Avenue, Spokane, WA 99260-0270, for Respondent.

Nancy Lynn Talner, Attorney at Law, 901 5th Avenue, Suite 630, Seattle, WA 98164-2086, John Charles Roberts Jr., Christopher Mark Petroni, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, 701 5th Avenue, Suite 5100, Seattle, WA 98104-7036, for Amicus Curiae (American Civil Liberties Union of Washington).

Robert S. Chang, Jessica Levin, Seattle University School of Law, 901 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122-4411, for Amicus Curiae (Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality).

Thomas E. Weaver Jr., Attorney at Law, P.O. Box 1056, Bremerton, WA 98337-0221, for Amicus Curiae (Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers).

Hillary Ann Behrman, The Washington Defender Association, 110 Prefontaine Place S #610, Seattle, WA 98104-2626, for Amicus Curiae (Washington Defender Association).

YU, J.

192 Wash.2d 874

¶ 1 This case concerns an exception to the federal exclusionary rule known as the attenuation doctrine. The attenuation doctrine provides that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is not subject to the exclusionary rule if "the connection between unconstitutional police conduct and the evidence is remote or has been interrupted by some intervening circumstance." Utah v. Strieff, 579 U.S. ––––, 136 S.Ct. 2056, 2061, 195 L.Ed.2d 400 (2016). We are asked whether the attenuation doctrine is compatible with article I, section 7 of the Washington State Constitution and our state exclusionary rule.

¶ 2 We have repeatedly held that our state exclusionary rule is considerably broader than the federal exclusionary rule. Nevertheless, our exclusionary rule does not automatically require suppression of all evidence that would not have been discovered but for a prior violation of article I, section 7. Because our state exclusionary rule does not operate on a strict "but for" causation basis, it is not categorically incompatible with the attenuation doctrine. However, to comply with the heightened protections of

192 Wash.2d 875

article I, section 7,

434 P.3d 63

the attenuation doctrine must be narrow and apply only where intervening circumstances have genuinely severed the causal connection between official misconduct and the discovery of evidence.

¶ 3 It is clear that there were no intervening circumstances sufficient to satisfy the attenuation doctrine in this case as a matter of law. We therefore hold that petitioner John Mayfield’s motion to suppress must be granted, and we reverse and remand to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

¶ 4 On January 3, 2015, Derek Salte came home to find an unfamiliar truck parked in his driveway, with a man (later identified as Mayfield) asleep in the driver’s seat. Salte told Mayfield to leave, threatening to call the police if he did not. Mayfield started the truck’s engine and tried to put it in reverse, but the truck would not move. Eventually, Mayfield got out of the truck through the passenger door and ran away, leaving the door open with the engine and windshield wipers still running. Salte called the police, and Deputy Andy Nunes responded.

¶ 5 Deputy Nunes turned off the truck’s engine, placed the keys on the driver’s seat, and closed the passenger door. He "did not search for or observe anything within the truck’s passenger compartment." Clerk’s Papers (CP) at 19. He then determined that the truck was registered to Mayfield and had not been reported stolen. Around this time, Deputy Nunes spotted Mayfield walking on the other side of the street, and Salte identified him as the person who was in the truck. Deputy Nunes believed that Mayfield was trying to walk past them without making contact, which Deputy Nunes thought was odd behavior for the truck’s apparent owner. He therefore crossed the street to talk to Mayfield.

¶ 6 Mayfield initially said he was parked in Salte’s driveway because he needed to use the restroom in the church

192 Wash.2d 876

next door but later said he was there because he was having vehicle problems. Mayfield explained that he ran away because he was afraid that Salte was about to assault him. At the suppression hearing, Deputy Nunes testified that he did not suspect Mayfield of committing any crime, of being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or of being armed or dangerous. Nevertheless, Deputy Nunes thought the situation seemed strange.

¶ 7 A second officer, Sergeant Corey Huffine, arrived to assist while Deputy Nunes asked for Mayfield’s identification and checked for outstanding warrants. No warrants were discovered, but Deputy Nunes learned that Mayfield "was a convicted felon, was on active [Department of Corrections] supervision, and had prior contacts in regards to controlled substances." Id.

¶ 8 Deputy Nunes then asked Mayfield about recent drug use, which Mayfield denied. Deputy Nunes asked for consent to conduct a pat-down search and told Mayfield he could refuse. Mayfield consented, and Deputy Nunes found $464 in cash, bundled in a way that made him suspect "the money was the result of drug transactions." Id. Deputy Nunes then asked for consent to search the truck, informing Mayfield he had the right to refuse and the right to limit or revoke his consent. Mayfield consented. Deputy Nunes discovered methamphetamine in the truck and arrested Mayfield.

¶ 9 Mayfield was charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. He moved to suppress the money and the methamphetamine, arguing that Deputy Nunes unlawfully seized him without reasonable suspicion and that his consent to search was vitiated by the unlawful detention. The State contended that the attenuation doctrine provided an exception to the exclusionary rule in this case.

¶ 10 The trial court concluded that Mayfield was unlawfully seized "when Deputy Nunes began asking questions about [his] drug use, whether he would have anything

192 Wash.2d 877

illegal on his person, and when he sought permission to conduct a pat-down search." Id. at 20. However, the court denied the motion to suppress, concluding that the evidence was attenuated from the unlawful seizure

434 P.3d 64

because Deputy Nunes gave Ferrier1 warnings before Mayfield consented to the search of his truck. The court did not separately address the money discovered on Mayfield’s person, and the parties did not ask for clarification on that point. The jury convicted Mayfield as charged.

¶ 11 On appeal, Mayfield argued that the attenuation doctrine is incompatible with article I, section 7. In the alternative, he argued that Ferrier warnings alone are insufficient to satisfy the attenuation doctrine. In a split opinion, the Court of Appeals declined to reach Mayfield’s state constitutional argument because he did not conduct a Gunwall2 analysis. State v. Mayfield , No. 48800-1-II, slip op. at 5-7, 2018 WL 286810 (Wash. Ct. App. Jan. 4, 2018) (unpublished), http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/D2%2048800-l-II%20Unpublished%20Opinion.pdf. The majority further held that the federal attenuation doctrine was satisfied "[b]ecause Ferrier warnings were an intervening circumstance and there was not purposeful or flagrant police misconduct." Id. at 10. One judge dissented on the basis that "[a] Gunwall analysis is not required every time article I, section 7 is applied in a new context." Id. at 14 (Bjorgen, C.J., dissenting). We granted Mayfield’s petition for review.

192 Wash.2d 878

ISSUES

A. Was Mayfield’s argument that the attenuation doctrine is incompatible with article I, section 7 sufficiently briefed on appeal?

B. If Mayfield’s state constitutional argument was sufficiently briefed, is the attenuation doctrine compatible with article I, section 7 ?

C. If the attenuation doctrine is compatible with article I, section 7, is it satisfied in this case?

ANALYSIS

¶ 12 It is well established that article I, section 7 often provides broader protections than the Fourth Amendment. As such, we reaffirm that no Gunwall analysis is needed to justify an independent state law analysis of article I, section 7 in new contexts. Mayfield’s appellate briefing was therefore sufficient, and his argument that the attenuation doctrine is incompatible with our state exclusionary rule should be considered on its merits.

¶ 13 Carefully and narrowly applied, the attenuation doctrine is not categorically incompatible with...

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27 practice notes
  • State v. Muhammad, No. 96090-9
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • November 7, 2019
    ...that this provision is qualitatively different from the Fourth Amendment and provides greater protections. State v. Mayfield, 192 Wash.2d 871, 878, 434 P.3d 58 (2019) (citing State v. Gunwall, 106 Wash.2d 54, 720 P.2d 808 (1986) ). Article I, section 7 "is grounded in a broad right to priva......
  • In re Monschke, NO. 96772-5 (consolidated with)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • March 11, 2021
    ...United States Constitution, there is no need to conduct a Gunwall analysis each time a new question is presented. State v. Mayfield , 192 Wash.2d 871, 878-79, 434 P.3d 58 (2019) ; see State v. Gunwall , 106 Wash.2d 54, 720 P.2d 808 (1986). We "may assume an independent state analysis is jus......
  • State v. Bowman, 99062-0
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • November 10, 2021
    ...in relevant case law and statutes, and the current implications of recognizing or not recognizing an interest.’ " State v. Mayfield , 192 Wash.2d 871, 879-80, 434 P.3d 58 (2019) (quoting State v. Chenoweth , 160 Wash.2d 454, 463, 158 P.3d 595 (2007) ).¶ 40 Article I, section 7 protects "pri......
  • State v. Elwell, 99546-0
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • March 3, 2022
    ...in their briefs’ and note that article I, section 7 is often more protective than the Fourth Amendment." State v. Mayfield , 192 Wash.2d 871, 881, 895, 434 P.3d 58 (2019) (quoting State v. Rojo Armenta , 134 Wash.2d 1, 10 n.7, 948 P.2d 1280 (1997) ). Elwell does not explain how the state op......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
27 cases
  • State v. Muhammad, No. 96090-9
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • November 7, 2019
    ...that this provision is qualitatively different from the Fourth Amendment and provides greater protections. State v. Mayfield, 192 Wash.2d 871, 878, 434 P.3d 58 (2019) (citing State v. Gunwall, 106 Wash.2d 54, 720 P.2d 808 (1986) ). Article I, section 7 "is grounded in a broad right to priva......
  • In re Monschke, NO. 96772-5 (consolidated with)
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • March 11, 2021
    ...United States Constitution, there is no need to conduct a Gunwall analysis each time a new question is presented. State v. Mayfield , 192 Wash.2d 871, 878-79, 434 P.3d 58 (2019) ; see State v. Gunwall , 106 Wash.2d 54, 720 P.2d 808 (1986). We "may assume an independent state analysis is jus......
  • State v. Bowman, 99062-0
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • November 10, 2021
    ...in relevant case law and statutes, and the current implications of recognizing or not recognizing an interest.’ " State v. Mayfield , 192 Wash.2d 871, 879-80, 434 P.3d 58 (2019) (quoting State v. Chenoweth , 160 Wash.2d 454, 463, 158 P.3d 595 (2007) ).¶ 40 Article I, section 7 protects "pri......
  • State v. Elwell, 99546-0
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • March 3, 2022
    ...in their briefs’ and note that article I, section 7 is often more protective than the Fourth Amendment." State v. Mayfield , 192 Wash.2d 871, 881, 895, 434 P.3d 58 (2019) (quoting State v. Rojo Armenta , 134 Wash.2d 1, 10 n.7, 948 P.2d 1280 (1997) ). Elwell does not explain how the state op......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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