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People v. Kessler

OPINION FILED SEPTEMBER 18, 1986.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

MICHAEL J. KESSLER, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. Edward W. Kowal, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE LINDBERG DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant, Michael J. Kessler, was charged by information with the offenses of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 56 1/2, par. 1402(b)) and unlawful use of weapons (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 24-1(a)(4)). Prior to trial in the circuit court of Du Page County, the trial court granted defendant's motion to suppress physical evidence because defendant had not voluntarily consented to the search. The State filed a certificate of impairment and notice of appeal pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 604(a)(1) (103 Ill.2d R. 604(a)(1)).

The State raises only one assignment of error in this court: the trial court improperly suppressed the evidence seized because defendant consented to the police officers' entry into the hotel room where the police observed the contraband in plain view. We reverse and remand.

The evidence indicated that on February 12, 1984, Officer John Marciniak was dispatched to the Hamilton Hotel in Itasca because of a complaint that a narcotics party was taking place in a suite occupied by Michael Kessler. Upon arriving at the hotel, the police officer confirmed at the front desk that Kessler was registered in suite 527. The officer and his partner, Officer Moersch, both dressed in full uniform, proceeded to the suite accompanied by two hotel security officers and the assistant manager of the hotel. Marciniak rang the doorbell, and defendant Kessler opened the door. The following colloquy from the suppression hearing describes the officers' entry into the hotel room.

"A. I asked the person who answered the door, who was a man dressed in a suit, if Michael Kessler was in the room. He indicated yes.

I asked him if he was Michael Kessler, he stated yes, and I proceeded to tell him why the police were at the suite.

Q. What did you tell him?

A. That we were investigating a complaint of a narcotics party in this location.

Q. Okay. What was said at that point?

A. Mr. Kessler or the person who identified himself as Mr. Kessler stated that `Can we talk about this?'

Q. Okay.

Now all of this conversation, sir, was taking place outside the room; is that correct?

A. I was standing outside the room. The door was open into the room with the gentleman standing by the door.

Q. At the time you were standing there talking with the person who identified himself as Michael Kessler, did you have any legal process in your ...


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