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Defense win! Police unlawfully extended seizure and searched purse during it

State v. Ashley L. Monn, 2019AP640-CR, 9/9/20, District 3, (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity

When police executed an arrest warrant for a man at his trailer home, they found Monn there too. They cuffed her, conducted a protective search, confirmed she had no outstanding warrants, and told her she would be released without charges. Unfortunately, she asked to get her purse from the trailer.

A cop retrieved it for her. While there’s a dispute about who said what when he brought it back, Monn apparently consented to a search of her purse, which revealed residue of meth. She was arrested for misdemeanor possession of amphetamine, moved for suppression of the evidence, and lost at the circuit court level.

The court of appeals reversed because the police continued her seizure longer than necessary to effectuate its purpose. Police detained Monn to effectuate the arrest of the man she was with. That was accomplished quickly, as was the protective search and the warrant check. Under Rodriguez v. United States, 575 U.S. 348, 355 (2015), her seizure should have ended before the cop retrieved her purse and asked her to consent to a search. Opinion, ¶24.

The court of appeals also held that Monn’s consent to the search of her purse was invalid because she gave it while she was illegally seized. Opinion, ¶30 (citing State v. Floyd, 2017 WI 78, ¶31, 377 Wis. 2d 394, 898 N.W.2d 560).




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