State v. Williams, No. 88-1974

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation14 Fla. L. Weekly 517,538 So.2d 1346
Parties14 Fla. L. Weekly 517 STATE of Florida, Appellant, v. Joyce WILLIAMS, Appellee.
Decision Date22 February 1989
Docket NumberNo. 88-1974

Page 1346

538 So.2d 1346
14 Fla. L. Weekly 517
STATE of Florida, Appellant,
v.
Joyce WILLIAMS, Appellee.
No. 88-1974.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
Fourth District.
Feb. 22, 1989.

Robert A. Butterworth, Atty. Gen., Tallahassee, and Joy B. Shearer, Asst. Atty. Gen., West Palm Beach, for appellant.

Richard L. Jorandby, Public Defender, and Ellen Morris, Asst. Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellee.

PER CURIAM.

The state timely appeals the trial court's order suppressing evidence against the accused because of lack of evidence of either actual or constructive possession of cocaine. We reverse.

The accused and one Frank Blake were charged with possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and trespassing on the property of Julie McCowin. Blake apparently obtained a key to an apartment owned by McCowin. When Mrs. McCowin discovered his presence in the apartment, she asked him to leave. Blake asked if he could stay. He also asked if she would accept as rent a third party check. She

Page 1347

initially agreed. However, her husband did not want to do this and he returned the check to Blake the following day and told him to leave the apartment or he would be arrested for trespassing. Later in the day, Mrs. McCowin went over to the apartment and found Blake and the accused there. She called the police and requested that they be removed as trespassers.

An officer was dispatched in response to Mrs. McCowin's call. He opened the unlocked door of the apartment, after a knock went unanswered, and discovered the accused and Blake inside the smoke-filled room. He observed a still warm base pipe on the couch in open view. The two were arrested.

The accused moved to suppress the physical evidence alleging that there was no probable cause justifying the search. The search was not incident to a lawful arrest so its seizure represented "the fruits of a poisonous tree." The accused claimed that Blake was a lessee since he tendered a check to Mrs. McCowin. Therefore, the tenant (Blake) and the accused had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the premises. Since the officer's entry into the apartment was non-consensual, the search was illegal and any contraband seized unlawfully.

A hearing was held on the motion. After the testimony of Mrs. McCowin, the trial court stated it was going to grant the motion since the accused did not have any contact with anybody. She was just in the apartment. The trial court further opined:

I don't see much need. I'm going to grant your motion, so what the hell do you want to argue about?

I don't know. She was just standing in that room. She doesn't have any contact with anybody.

The state objected and pointed out the basis for the motion was the illegal entry of the officers. The court replied:

I don't care what it was going toward. Even if they walked in there, even if they had permission to walk in, which I assume they did, but, see, as far as she's concerned, she didn't have much room to object as to how the officers got in there unless you expected she was in there with Blake and wanted some privacy. Even if everything had been otherwise, there's no showing that she had any control or possession over that. [emphasis added]

The prosecutor repeated his objection to the court's ruling:

The actual motion that has been filed did not even question the seizing of the pipe. What it stated was the pipe was the illegal product of warrantless non-consensual search.

The court then stated, "I don't care what you call something. It's still the same animal and she had absolutely no contact with anybody."

The issue now before this court is whether the trial court erred in granting the defendant's motion to suppress on a ground not set forth in the motion and which was not authorized by the applicable Rule of Criminal Procedure.

The state claims that the trial court erred in ruling on a...

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6 practice notes
  • State v. Setzler, No. 94-2497
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • October 24, 1995
    ...the burden of going forward to the prosecution. State v. Hinton, 305 So.2d 804, 808 (Fla. 4th DCA 1975); see also State v. Williams, 538 So.2d 1346, 1348 (Fla. 4th DCA 1989). The prosecution also had to demonstrate exigent circumstances, conditions which precluded applying to a neutral and ......
  • Hudson v. Sec'y, Dep't of Corr., CASE NO. 8:15-cv-1912-T-23JSS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • April 16, 2019
    ...p. 18) Hudson fails to assert a viable basis on which the trial court could have suppressed the evidence. See e.g., State v. Williams, 538 So.2d 1346, 1348 (Fla. 4th DCA 1989) (finding that actual or constructive possession of contraband did not qualify as a ground suitable for a pre-trial ......
  • Phuagnong v. State, No. 96-4705
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 15, 1998
    ...the burden of going forward to the prosecution. State v. Hinton, 305 So.2d 804, 808 (Fla. 4th DCA 1975); see also State v. Williams, 538 So.2d 1346, 1348 (Fla. 4th DCA 1989). The prosecution also had to demonstrate exigent circumstances, conditions which precluded applying to a neutral and ......
  • State v. Fortesa-Ruiz, FORTESA-RUI
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • February 27, 1990
    ...result of an unlawful stop and frisk was inadmissible, we affirm the trial court's suppression of the evidence. 1 See State v. Williams, 538 So.2d 1346 (Fla. 4th DCA 1989); Irons v. State, 498 So.2d 958 (Fla. 2d DCA 1986); Morales v. State, 407 So.2d 321 (Fla. 3d DCA 1981); Black v. State, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • State v. Setzler, No. 94-2497
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • October 24, 1995
    ...the burden of going forward to the prosecution. State v. Hinton, 305 So.2d 804, 808 (Fla. 4th DCA 1975); see also State v. Williams, 538 So.2d 1346, 1348 (Fla. 4th DCA 1989). The prosecution also had to demonstrate exigent circumstances, conditions which precluded applying to a neutral and ......
  • Hudson v. Sec'y, Dep't of Corr., CASE NO. 8:15-cv-1912-T-23JSS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • April 16, 2019
    ...p. 18) Hudson fails to assert a viable basis on which the trial court could have suppressed the evidence. See e.g., State v. Williams, 538 So.2d 1346, 1348 (Fla. 4th DCA 1989) (finding that actual or constructive possession of contraband did not qualify as a ground suitable for a pre-trial ......
  • Phuagnong v. State, No. 96-4705
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 15, 1998
    ...the burden of going forward to the prosecution. State v. Hinton, 305 So.2d 804, 808 (Fla. 4th DCA 1975); see also State v. Williams, 538 So.2d 1346, 1348 (Fla. 4th DCA 1989). The prosecution also had to demonstrate exigent circumstances, conditions which precluded applying to a neutral and ......
  • State v. Fortesa-Ruiz, FORTESA-RUI
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • February 27, 1990
    ...result of an unlawful stop and frisk was inadmissible, we affirm the trial court's suppression of the evidence. 1 See State v. Williams, 538 So.2d 1346 (Fla. 4th DCA 1989); Irons v. State, 498 So.2d 958 (Fla. 2d DCA 1986); Morales v. State, 407 So.2d 321 (Fla. 3d DCA 1981); Black v. State, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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