Terry V. Clark Case Summary

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On November 9, 1989 at approximately 8:15pm, two officers in a marked squad car were patrolling the city’s north side. The officers witnessed an individual leaving a 12-unit apartment building on Morgan Avenue North that was a known drug trafficking residence. When the respondent spotted the officers he abruptly turned and entered an alleyway. Given Dickerson’s location and the actions of the respondent the officers had reason to believe he was involved in criminal activity. The officers stopped the respondent and demanded him to submit to a pat down. Upon administering the pat down, the officers did not discover a weapon; nonetheless, the officer did feel a “lump” in the respondent’s jacket. The officer probed further and discovered the lump was a cellophane bag containing cocaine.

The respondent moved to have the cocaine evidence be suppressed because the officer violated his Fourth Amendment rights to a lawful search and seizure. Nonetheless, the trial court rejected that request based the reasonable cause the officers had to search him. Falling on Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) the state felt that due to Mr. Dickerson’s demeanor was enough for reason to perform a search. While performing the search the officers discovered a cellophane bag of cocaine. The respondent was charged and found guilty; however, the guilty verdict was appealed. Thus, the
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JL, the respondent was forced to a pat down based on an anonymous tip that he was carrying a weapon. Even though there was an anonymous tip the officers 1) did not know how reliable the induvial making the tip could be, and 2) the officers had no reason to perform a search on him. J.L. was charged under state law with carrying a concealed weapon without a license; additionally, he was charged with possession of a firearm by a minor. After appealing the verdict, The Supreme Court ruled that this search was performed against the Fourth Amendment and the guilty charge was

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