Constitutional Law: Search and Seizure: Motions to
reviewing a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress
based on a claimed violation of the Fourth Amendment, an
appellate court applies a two-part standard of review.
Regarding historical facts, an appellate court reviews the
trial court's findings for clear error. But whether those
facts trigger or violate Fourth Amendment protections is a
question of law that an appellate court reviews independently
of the trial court's determination.
Search and Seizure: Police Officers and
searches are considered reasonable because they serve at
least three needs unrelated to criminal investigation: (1) to
protect the owner's property while it remains in police
custody, (2) to protect police against claims that they lost
or stole the property, and (3) to protect police from
Search and Seizure. The propriety of an
inventory search is judged by a standard of reasonableness,
and such a search must be conducted in accordance with
standard operating procedures.
. An inventory search must not be a ruse for a general
rummaging in order to discover incriminating evidence.
Search and Seizure: Police Officers and Sheriffs:
Evidence: Proof. Under the inevitable discovery
doctrine, challenged evidence is admissible if the State
shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the police
would have obtained the disputed evidence by proper police
investigation entirely independent of the illegal
Constitutional Law: Search and Seizure. A
failure to strictly follow established policy does not render
an inventory search unconstitutional per se.
Neb. 341] 7. ___: ___. Whether a search is permissible under
depends on whether it is reasonable, and the test of
reasonableness cannot be fixed by per se rules; each case
must be decided on its own facts.
from the District Court for Washington County: John E.
Samson, Judge. Affirmed.
M. Conway and Kate O. Rahel, of Dornan, Troia. Howard,
Breitkreutz & Conway, PC, L.L.O., for appellant.
Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Joe Meyer for
Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, and Funke, JJ.
a traffic stop leading to a driver's arrest, officers
searched the vehicle before impounding it and discovered
methamphetamine. Contrary to policy, a completed inventory
sheet did not list the methamphetamine, and the officers
apparently failed to separately list it. The driver
unsuccessfully sought to suppress the evidence. Because we
conclude that the search was reasonable and that the
procedural defects did not raise an inference the search was
conducted to discover evidence, we affirm the judgment below.
Arrest and Overview of Search
August 2016, Mark P. Nunez was stopped by Sgt. Jacob Hoffman
of the Washington County sheriff's office for speeding.
Nunez' 7-year-old son was the only passenger. After
Hoffman approached Nunez' vehicle, Nunez informed Hoffman
that he thought his driver's license had been suspended
for failure to pay child support. Hoffman then returned to
his patrol [299 Neb. 342] car and confirmed with dispatch
that Nunez' driver's license was indeed suspended and
found that it was suspended in both Nebraska and Iowa.
Hoffman also discovered that there was an active warrant for
Nunez' arrest. Hoffman then returned to the vehicle to
arrest Nunez. Hoffman handcuffed Nunez and placed him in the
patrol car. The child was transported by another officer to
one of Nunez' friends or family. The vehicle was
the vehicle was impounded, Hoffman and another officer
searched the vehicle for the keys. While looking for the
keys, Hoffman discovered a pipe. After the keys were located,
the officers continued to search the vehicle and discovered a
black container holding a substance that tested positive for
methamphetamine. Nunez was charged with one count ...