Thursday, June 05, 2008

Summary 2008 WY 61

Summary of Decision issued June 5, 2008

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Case Name: Seymour v. State

Citation: 2008 WY 61

Docket Number: S-07-0255

Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County, the Honorable Peter G. Arnold, Judge.

Representing Appellant (Defendant): Dion J. Custis of Dion J. Custis, PC, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff): Bruce A. Salzburg, Wyoming Attorney General; Terry L. Armitage, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Graham M. Smith, Assistant Attorney General.

Facts/Discussion: Seymour pled guilty to felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. The issue was whether the search of Seymour’s vehicle violated his rights guaranteed by article 1, § 4 of the Wyoming Constitution or the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Under both the United States and the Wyoming Constitutions, the Court examines the totality of the circumstances to determine whether the consent was voluntary. The videotape of the stop reflected the Trooper’s courteous and respectful questions and Seymour’s assent to further questioning. This was not an instance where the driver was not informed that he was free to leave and that he was not required to consent to further questioning. The canine sniff was reasonable given the totality of the circumstances some of which included continued nervous behavior, a rental car not rented by the driver, the driver not knowing the last name of the renter of the car, and the driver intending to return the car prior to the end of the rental agreement which would increase his cost.

Holding: It was undisputed that the initial detention for speeding was justified and that it did not exceed the scope of the stop. After the Trooper told Seymour he was free to go, Seymour voluntarily consented to further questioning. His voluntary consent vitiated the requirement of showing reasonable suspicion for the second detention. Based upon the totality of the circumstances at the time the Trooper called for the canine unit, he had reasonable suspicion to detain Seymour for the purpose of the canine sniff. The detention did not violate Seymour’s rights under article 1, § 4 of the Wyoming Constitution or the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.


J. Kite delivered the decision.


[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. Please note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you pinpoint cite to a quote, you should cite to this paragraph number rather than to any page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library.]

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