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State v. Boyd

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

August 22, 2017

STATE OF DELAWARE,
v.
JERMAINE BOYD, Defendant.

          Submitted: July 21, 2017

         Upon Defendant's Motion to File Motion to Suppress Out of Time DENIED

         Upon Defendant's Motion to Suppress DENIED

          ORDER

          William L. Witham. Jr. Resident Judge

         The issue before the Court is whether to grant Jermaine Boyd's ("Defendant") Motion to File Out of Time and accept Defendant's untimely filed Motion to Suppress. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motions are DENIED.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         1. On March 26, 2017, a Delaware State Police Officer observed a white Cadillac Escalade (the "Vehicle") change lanes without signaling and make an illegal left turn. The Officer pursued the Vehicle but lost track of it when the Vehicle entered a nearby neighborhood. The Officer eventually discovered the Vehicle parked in front of a residence located within the neighborhood. The Vehicle was unoccupied and the Officer was unable to locate the driver. The Officer observed a bottle of alcohol in the back seat of the Vehicle, as well as an odor of marijuana emanating from the Vehicle. As the Vehicle was involved in numerous traffic violations, the Officer intended to have the Vehicle towed. In preparation for the towing, and as a result of the marijuana odor, the Officer conducted a brief search of the Vehicle. The Officer found a digital scale and firearm ammunition in the Vehicle's glove compartment. The Officer thereafter terminated the search in order to obtain a warrant. In a subsequent search of the Vehicle pursuant to the warrant, marijuana was discovered.

         2. The Officer continued his investigation, whereby he identified Defendant as the probable driver of the Vehicle. Defendant disputed this fact, claiming that he did not operate the Vehicle on the date in question. Defendant also denied ownership of the Vehicle, but allegedly admitted that he left the ammunition discovered by the Officer in the Vehicle's glove compartment. Therefore, Defendant was charged with Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition By a Person Prohibited, as he had a prior felony conviction. Defendant was also charged with Possession of Marijuana.

         3. On May 3, 2017, the C2ourt issued a scheduling order setting forth the following: (1) the first case review was scheduled for June 13, 2017; (2) a final case review was scheduled for July 26, 2017; and (3) trial was scheduled for August 1, 2017. The scheduling order granted the parties twenty (20) days after the first case review to file motions related to discovery or suppression.

         4. On July 6, 2017, twenty-three days after the first case review occurred, Defendant filed the disputed motion to suppress. Defendant, citing Wong Sun v. United States, contends that "evidence seized as the result of an unlawful search or seizure must be suppressed as the fruit of the illegal search or seizure."[1] Furthermore, 3Defendant cites Caldwell v. State, explaining that traffic stops by law enforcement are limited to the initial purpose of the stop.[2] Finally, Defendant argues that his state and federal constitutional rights were violated. Therefore, Defendant requests that the Court suppress all evidence seized as a result of the Officer's search of the Vehicle.

         5. On July 12, 2017, Defendant, realizing that his motion to suppress was untimely, filed a motion to file his suppression motion out of time. In support of his Motion, Defendant contends that: (1) he mistakenly filed the motion after the Court's July 3, 2017, deadline; (2) he is being held on a high cash bond; and (3) "all of the Defendant's cases involve police officers witnesses [sic], no civilians."

         6. On July 21, 2017, the Court held a hearing to determine whether to accept Defendant's untimely filed motion to suppress. Defendant's counsel clarified that the motion was filed after the Court's deadline because of a scheduling error. The State opposed Defendant's motion to file the suppression motion out of time. The State contends that the Court should deny Defendant's motion to suppress, not only because it is untimely, but also because it fails to allege that Defendant has standing. The Court reserved decision.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         7. Pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 12(c), the Court is vested with authority to set the time for pretrial motions, either at the time of arraignment or "as soon thereafter as practicable . .. ."[3] Accordingly, pursuant to this Court's criminal case management plan, pretrial motions including motions to suppress must be filed within 10 days of the initial case review unless otherwise ordered by the ...


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