≡ Menu

Terry Stop — Basis – Informant: Corroboration Lacking

State v. Calvin R. Kolk, 2006 WI App 261
For Kolk: Michael Zell

Issue/Holding: Information provided by a named, citizen informant (that Kolk had picked up drugs in Milwaukee and would be driving to Madison) was insufficiently reliable to support reasonable suspicion of criminal activity:

¶17      To recapitulate, the police were able to corroborate: (1) Kolk’s identity; (2) what kind of vehicle he drove; and (3) the fact that he would drive it, possibly on the way to Madison. This information strikes us as both more widely available and less significant than that in (Roosevelt) Williams, in which the informant provided specific information about the drug transactions that she was witnessing, and we hold it insufficient to uphold Kolk’s detention.

¶18      The State nevertheless argues that the informant in this case was able to supplypredictive information that further strengthened the reliability of the tip. Predictive information is not necessary for a tip to be reliable, but it is one of the indicia of reliability that can bolster a tip’s credibility. (Roosevelt) Williams, 241 Wis. 2d 631, ¶42. However, the informant’s prediction, as discussed above, essentially amounts to the prognostication that Kolk would drive his vehicle in a direction that would not preclude his being headed to Madison. This is a much more general prediction than the ones police relied upon in White. … Here, we have identification of a person and his vehicle, and the prediction that the person would drive the vehicle on a particular day, but we lack the precise confirmation of the time of departure or the destination found in White. [5]

¶19      The State correctly points out that neither direct observation of a crime nor predictive information are rigid requirements for a tip to be reliable. Rather, the presence of either can provide reason to believe that the tipster has truthful and accurate information. In a case like (Roosevelt) Williams, the fact that an informant is an eyewitness shows a basis for the informant’s knowledge that makes it reasonable to believe in its accuracy. In a case like White, the basis for an informant’s knowledge is not known by the police, but confirmed predictions can show that he or she is familiar enough with a person or situation to nevertheless be trusted. In this case, the officers received a tip that neither demonstrated a basis of knowledge nor allowed for much significant corroboration. We hold that under all of the facts and circumstances, the information possessed by the police was of insufficient reliability to justify Kolk’s continued detention.


{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment