The following case summaries are provided by Stacey L. Schlimmer. For complete case opinions visit kansascourts.org. All cases are individual and in no way do these cases reflect every case.
State of Kansas v. Landon Phillips, No. 108,949, Dec. 13, 2013
Finally, the Court of Appeals held that officers went too far. The defendant and co-defendant were stopped and questioned in front of a hotel room. Although the Court of Appeals held the initial encounter was voluntary, it held that the officers eventually did not have the lawful consent of the defendants to enter the hotel room. It was in the hotel room where the officers located methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. In making its decision, the Court considered the following factors:
1) within a few minutes of the initial encounter, three officers were on the scene; 2) the officers spent 18 minutes striking up a conversation with the defendants, patting them down for weapons, searching their pockets with consent and found no evidence of criminal activity;
3) the encounter resembled an investigatory detention in that the officers began the conversation with questions of illegal activity, patted down the defendants, examined one defendant’s arms for needle marks, searched the cell phone of one of the defendants and searched the vehicle without obtaining evidence of illegal activity;
4) a reasonable person would not feel free to leave when an officer takes personal property (in this case a knife) and holds onto it during the entire encounter;
5) at no point did the officers tell the defendants they were free to leave, free to refuse to answer questions or free to refuse consent, and; 5) the officer told the defendant he would get his pocket knife back after the encounter was over and that the officers would get out of the defendants’ hair after the hotel room was searched.