State v. Kurokawa-Lasciak
A police officer with probable cause to believe our client had committed
disorderly conduct and theft, and who suspected our client of money
laundering, arrived in a parking lot a short time after our client parked his
car in the lot. Our client was about 30 feet from the car and walking away
when he encountered the officer. The officer arrested him and asked for
consent to search his car. Our client refused consent, handed the keys to
his girlfriend, told her to get the dog out and lock the car and not go
anywhere until he returned. The officer had another officer take our client
to jail, and then spent an hour or more talking to the girlfriend. He kept
asking her for consent to search the car. She refused for more than an hour.
He asked her whether there was any marijuana in the car. She said yes.
He again asked for her consent. She finally consent. He searched the car,
and found marijuana, hashish and almost $50,000 in cash. We argued that
the warrantless search of the car was illegal because the girlfriend had no
authority to consent to the search. The state argued that the girlfriend had
authority and, in any event, that the automobile exception applied to
legitimize the search. A Douglas County Circuit Court judge disagreed
with the state, and ordered the evidence suppressed. The state appealed.
The Oregon Court of Appeals agreed with the state's automobile
exception argument and reversed the trial court judge. We sought review.
The Oregon Supreme Court disagreed with the state's automobile
exception argument and reversed the Court of Appeals. The Court of
Appeals then agreed with our argument that the girlfriend had no authority
to consent and affirmed the trial court's suppression order.
Here's a link to the opinion of the Oregon Supreme Court:http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=10965363879834740387&q=kurokawa-lasciak&hl=en&as_sdt=2,38
Here's a link to the second opinion of the Oregon Court of Appeals:http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=9580691068840722106&q=kurokawa-lasciak&hl=en&as_sdt=2,38