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Stop by officer outside his jurisdiction was reasonable

State v. Darren Wade Caster, 2015AP1965-CR, District 3, 10/12/2016 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

The fact that an officer stopped Caster outside the limits of his jurisdiction does not mean the evidence garnered from the stop must be suppressed because the stop was reasonable.

A City of New Richmond police officer became suspicious of Caster’s driving and began following him as he drove out of the city and into territory under the jurisdiction of St. Croix County. Shortly after leaving the city the officer concluded he had reasonable suspicion to stop Caster, and did so; the officer had contacted the county sheriff, and after getting Caster’s identification he waited for deputies to show up and then handed the matter over to them. Sheriff’s deputies eventually arrested Caster for OWI. Caster moved to suppress the evidence from the stop, saying the officer didn’t have reasonable suspicion to stop him based on the observations he made before Caster left the city limits and, therefore, the officer wasn’t in “fresh pursuit” under § 175.40(2) and therefore had no authority to stop Caster outside his jurisdiction. (¶¶2-5).

The court of appeals doesn’t decide this issue, concluding that § 175.40 governs the officer’s authority to arrest, but not make an investigatory stop, which is all the New Richmond officer did. (¶14). Further, the court rejects Caster’s claim that the officer violated the Fourth Amendment by stopping Caster outside his jurisdiction, as the authority Caster cites for that claim—State v. Slawek, 114 Wis. 2d 332, 338 N.W.2d 120 (Ct. App. 1983), and State v. Barrett, 96 Wis. 2d 174, 291 N.W.2d 498 (1980)—is readily distinguishable. (¶¶16-20). And, the court concludes, the officer had reasonable suspicion to make the stop, even though some of his observations were made after he left the city limits:

¶15      In effect, it seems Caster is arguing [Officer] de la Cruz’s observations should not be considered, for the purposes of analyzing reasonable suspicion, at or past the point at which either Caster or de la Cruz crossed the New Richmond city limits …. We disagree. Whether de la Cruz exercised a valid extra-jurisdictional traffic stop under proper authorization from the Wisconsin Statutes and whether he exercised a valid traffic stop for the purposes of a constitutional seizure are not synonymous questions. See State v. Ewald, 63 Wis. 2d 165, 169, 216 N.W.2d 213 (1974) (recognizing the “distinction between an arrest, which in one respect was illegal, but nevertheless valid because based upon probable cause” regarding extra-jurisdictional conduct by police officers).

Finally, even if the officer’s action violated § 175.40(2) or § 62.09(13)(a) (granting police officers authority to arrest persons within their designated municipality), suppression of evidence isn’t normally a remedy for violation of a statute, and suppression under those particular statutes isn’t appropriate under the test established by State v. Popenhagen, 2008 WI 55, 309 Wis. 2d 601, 749 N.W.2d 611. (¶¶21-30).

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