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10/27/94 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. RAYMOND TURNAGE

October 27, 1994

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT,
v.
RAYMOND TURNAGE, APPELLEE.



Nickels

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nickels

JUSTICE NICKELS delivered the opinion of the court:

This appeal is a review of a trial court order granting defendant's motion to quash his arrest and suppress evidence. The contested arrest occurred after the arresting officer relied on electronically communicated information that there was a valid arrest warrant. However, the warrant was later recalled because the defendant had been previously arrested and released on bond for the same offense. We must decide whether the "good-faith" exception to the exclusionary rule should apply to prevent the suppression of evidence recovered in the search incident to the subsequent arrest.

The circuit court of Kane County granted defendant's motion to quash the subsequent arrest and suppress the evidence, finding that the good-faith doctrine did not prevent the application of the exclusionary rule. A divided appellate court affirmed the suppression of the evidence, also finding the "good faith" doctrine did not apply, but for different reasons than the circuit court. (251 Ill. App. 3d 485.) We granted the State's petition for leave to appeal under Rule 315(a) (145 Ill. 2d R. 315(a)). We affirm.

I. Background

The evidence defendant seeks to suppress in this case came as the result of defendant's arrest on a warrant charging him with crimes for which he had already appeared and posted bond. Initially, on December 10, 1990, defendant was charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance by complaint for a preliminary hearing. The exact charge is not noted in the record on appeal. On December 13, 1990, an arrest warrant was served on defendant for this charge and he was taken into custody. The record is also not clear concerning circumstances of the execution of this warrant. Defendant was released on bond on December 17, 1990, having posted $5,000 of a $50,000 bail.

On December 18, 1990, seven days after being charged by complaint and the day after being released on bond, a grand jury indicted defendant on the same charge. Based on this indictment, a different Judge issued a second warrant for defendant's arrest. This duplicate warrant remained active while defendant made at least three court appearances on the original charges brought by complaint. Defendant was not advised that an indictment had issued against him or that a warrant was pending for his arrest. The repetitive warrant was served on defendant some three months later on March 23, 1991. A search incident to this second arrest produced the evidence that is the subject of the criminal charges in the present case. The record also reveals that this repetitive warrant, although already served on March 23, 1991, was recalled on April 11, 1991.

Officer Podschweit of the Aurora police department served the repetitive warrant on defendant and uncovered the evidence that is the subject of the motion to suppress. Officer Podschweit testified at the suppression hearing that he recognized the defendant driving a white Bronco. Having seen the defendant's name on an active warrant list on approximately three earlier occasions, Officer Podschweit pulled over the Bronco and called over his radio to confirm the warrant with the sheriffs department. After being advised that the warrant was still active, Officer Podschweit arrested the defendant over defendant's objection that there was no active warrant. On cross-examination, Officer Podschweit admitted that he had no other basis to stop or arrest defendant other than serving the warrant at issue.

Officer Podschweit further testified that after placing defendant under arrest, he located a gun between the seats of defendant's Bronco. In addition, while Officer Podschweit waited for a van to transport the defendant, a sheriffs car with a canine unit arrived at the scene. When the canine alerted the officers to the presence of drugs in the Bronco, a search was conducted that turned up narcotics. Defendant was subsequently charged with one count each of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) with intent to deliver (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 56 1/2, par. 1401(a)(2)(A)), unlawful possession of a controlled substance (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 56 1/2, par. 1402(a)(1)(A)), unlawful use of a weapon (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 24-1(a)(4)), unlawful possession of a firearm without a firearm owner's identification card (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 83-2), and unlawful possession of cannabis (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 56 1/2, par. 704(a)).

Defendant filed a motion to quash the arrest and suppress the resulting evidence based on the repetitive nature of the warrant. At the hearing on the motion, Officer Podschweit was the only witness and testified to the circumstances surrounding his execution of the warrant. Defendant argued that the repetitive warrant was invalid and therefore the arrest should be quashed and the resulting evidence suppressed.

The trial Judge then heard argument on whether to apply the good-faith exception to the general rule excluding illegally seized evidence. The State argued that Officer Podschweit acted in objectively reasonable reliance on a facially valid warrant and therefore the good-faith doctrine as set forth in United States v. Leon (1984), 468 U.S. 897, 82 L. Ed. 2d 677, 104 S. Ct. 3405, should prevent the suppression of the evidence. The trial court held that Leon did not apply because Leon involved a police officer's reliance on a probable cause determination of a Judge or magistrate, while in the instant case a grand jury determined the existence of probable cause. The trial court accordingly quashed the defendant's arrest and suppressed the evidence, and the State appealed. 134 Ill. 2d R. 604(a)(1).

A divided appellate court affirmed the suppression of the evidence found as a result of defendant's arrest, but found for different reasons that the good-faith doctrine articulated in Leon did not apply. The court first determined that the second arrest warrant was invalid. (251 Ill. App. 3d at 489.) It then turned attention to whether the good-faith doctrine should prevent exclusion of the evidence. The court rejected the distinction made by the trial court that Leon only applies to good-faith reliance on a probable cause determination by a Judge. (251 Ill. App. 3d at 489.) It found that such a determination by a grand jury is equally conclusive as to probable cause and therefore such a distinction was not a valid basis to distinguish Leon. 251 Ill. App. 3d at 490.

Although rejecting the reasoning of the trial court, the appellate court found that the good-faith doctrine of Leon should not apply and therefore the evidence was properly suppressed. The court reasoned that a repetitive warrant is a circumstance where law enforcement officials can claim no "reasonable grounds" on which to base an objectively reasonable belief in the validity of a warrant. (251 Ill. App. 3d at 492.) Unlike a judicial determination of probable cause, the repetitive nature of a warrant is not a matter in which deference to a Judge is expected. (251 Ill. App. 3d at 491.) In addition, the court noted that in this instance the deterrent function of the exclusionary rule would be served by providing an incentive to keep records up to date and preventing fishing expeditions based on old warrants. 251 Ill. App. 3d at 492.

The Dissenting Justice agreed that the repetitive warrant was invalid, but argued that the good-faith doctrine of Leon should apply to prevent suppression of the evidence seized. According to the Dissenting Justice, there was nothing more that the officer could ...


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