UPDATES & ANALYSIS

12.04

U.S. Supreme Court denies Iowan’s appeal challenging Fourth Amendment exception

by Rox Laird | December 4, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from an Iowa man who argued that his drunk-driving conviction was the product of an unconstitutional search and seizure.

The Court on Monday issued a list of cases considered at the justices’ Nov. 30 conference, and no new cases were accepted for review.

Terry Lee Coffman’s appeal focused on the reach of what’s known as a “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment in situations where a law-enforcement officer stops to assist a motorist. The exception allows a warrantless seizure based on an officer’s reasonable belief that an emergency exists or an individual needs assistance.

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