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Florida v. Royer

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 460 U.S. 491, 103 S. Ct. 1319, 75 L. Ed. 2d 229 (1983)

Brief Fact Summary. Detectives stopped and questioned respondent Mark Royer after figuring out he fit the profile of a person transporting illegal drugs, and then asked him to accompany them to a small room about 40 feet away. Fifteen minutes later, he consented to search of his bags.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A police officer asking a suspect to accompany them to a small police room, taking their ticket and driver’s license and not mentioning that they are free to leave, has exceeded the scope of a valid stop based on reasonable suspicion under Terry.


Facts. Police officers determined that a respondent matched the profile of a drug trafficker because he was a 25-35 year old man, casually dressed, pale, nervous, paid for his ticket in cash, and was carrying a certain type of luggage with only his name and destination on its tag. They then stopped the respondent and asked to see his identification and the name on it did not match his airline ticket. They took the respondent’s documentation and asked him to go with them into a small room where they asked him if he would consent to a search of his luggage, to which he responded by handing them his key. He was convicted of felony possession of marijuana with the help of the fruits of this search, and the Florida District Court of Appeal reversed claiming that the respondent had been involuntarily confined within the small room without probable cause and that the subsequent consent was invalid because it was tainted by the unlawful confinement. The state of Florida was then granted
certiorari.

Issue. Is the permissible extent under the Fourth Amendment of a temporary Terry stop exceeded when a police officer asks a person suspected of criminal activity to go into a small closed room without telling them they may leave and they end up there for fifteen minutes?
Can a search subsequent to an invalid detention be validly consented to under the Fourth Amendment?

Content Type: Brief


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