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State of Iowa v. Jon Eric Scanlon

March 13, 2013

STATE OF IOWA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JON ERIC SCANLON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Cynthia Moisan, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Danilson, J.

Jon Scanlon challenges the district court's denial of his motion to suppress. REVERSED.

Heard by Eisenhauer, C.J., and Danilson and Bower, JJ.

Jon Scanlon appeals the denial of his motion to suppress. Because the officers unreasonably expanded the traffic stop, we reverse.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

On August 19, 2011, Windsor Heights Police Officer Andrew Nissen and his training officer Lieutenant Rupiper initiated a traffic stop for an improper rear lamp on Jon Scanlon's vehicle in the southbound lanes of 73rd Street in Windsor Heights in the vicinity of the entrance and exit ramps to the I-235 freeway. The traffic stop was recorded by the on-board camera of the police car. A review of the camera recording shows the police car's lights were activated before reaching the northern on- and off-ramps for I-235. Scanlon proceeded at a legal speed under I-235 and pulled his car over south of the on- and off-ramps on the south side of I-235. Officer Nissen did not note any suspicious movements inside the vehicle. Both police officers approached Scanlon's vehicle; Officer Nissen obtained Scanlon's license, insurance, and registration, and the officers returned to the patrol vehicle. The officers' conversation was captured on the car's recording; one officer can be heard saying, "I mean, they didn't do anything, he wasn't moving around." The records check indicated Scanlon had a 2009 drug conviction, and the two officers discussed strategies to elicit consent to search, including calling in K-9 unit. Following the in-car conversation, Officer Nissen asked Scanlon to get out his vehicle to show him the faulty rear light and then the following occurred:

Officer Nissen: And then, also, I noticed it took you about two blocks to pull over.

Scanlon: Yea, and again that was just I didn't want to go off on the underpass.

Officer Nissen: No illegal contraband in the vehicle? Scanlon: No.

Officer Nissen: What was your drug-related conviction a couple years ago?

Scanlon: Growing marijuana.

Officer Nissen: Nothing in the vehicle now?

Scanlon: No.

Officer Nissen: Mind if I look real quick?

Scanlon: No, I'd prefer you didn't look.

Officer Nissen: Okay here's the deal, you didn't pull over in time you have to pull over like ...


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