Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

People v. Horacek

Supreme Court of Michigan

December 8, 2017

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DANIEL HORACEK, Defendant-Appellant.

         Oakland CC: 2012-241894-FH

          Stephen J. Markman, Chief Justice Brian K. Zahra Bridget M. McCormack David F. Viviano Richard H. Bernstein Kurtis T. Wilder Elizabeth T. Clement, Justices

          Order

          On November 7, 2017, the Court heard oral argument on the application for leave to appeal the September 15, 2015 judgment of the Court of Appeals. On order of the Court, the application is again considered, and it is DENIED, because we are not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court.

          Markman, C.J. (concurring).

         I concur in this Court's order denying leave to appeal. I write separately only to emphasize that in determining whether there are exigent circumstances that justify a warrantless entry into a residence to arrest a suspect, the determinative question is "whether a law enforcement officer was faced with an emergency that justified acting without a warrant . . . ." Missouri v McNeely, 569 U.S. 141, 149 (2013). While this Court has laid out factors for a court to consider in making this determination, see People v Oliver, 417 Mich. 366 (1983), courts should avoid assessing these factors in a mechanical manner that distracts from this determinative question.

         In Oliver, this Court recognized that "the validity of a warrantless arrest in a motel room is not without limitations in that it depends upon the reasonableness of the officer's response to the situation perceived as requiring immediate action. The question is whether a reasonable person would have perceived a need to immediately secure the motel room." Oliver, 417 Mich. at 383.[1] This Court then went on to set forth "a number of factors [that] have been identified which are used in determining whether an exigency exists." Id. at 384. These factors include:

(1) whether a serious offense, particularly a crime of violence, is involved; (2) whether the suspect is reasonably believed to be armed; (3) whether there is clear showing of probable cause; (4) whether strong reason exists to believe the suspect is in the premises being entered; (5) whether there is a likelihood that the suspect will escape if not swiftly apprehended; (6) whether the entry is forcible or peaceful; and (7) whether the entry is at night.
. . . In addition to these factors, there are other factors such as: (1) preventing the destruction of evidence, (2) ensuring the safety of law enforcement personnel, (3) ensuring the safety of citizens, and (4) the ability to secure a warrant. In short, all these factors weigh in allowing action without warrants by police. Each case, however, must be judged on its own facts. [Id. (citation omitted).]

While all these factors are relevant to making a determination of exigent circumstances, they are not all relevant in the same way and they are not all relevant in every case. See, e.g., People v Blasius, 435 Mich. 573, 589 (1990) (stating that the Oliver "factors (at best) provide guidance in cases of arrests without warrants") (emphasis added). Indeed, some are also confusingly imprecise. For example, "whether there is a clear showing of probable cause" and "whether strong reason exists to believe the suspect is in the premises being entered" are effectively threshold inquiries-- an officer must have probable cause and a strong reason to believe that the suspect is on the premises being entered before the officer can enter onto the premises in the first place in order to arrest without a warrant-- but these do not necessarily support a conclusion that "immediate action" is required. See, e.g., In re Forfeiture of $176, 598, 443 Mich. 261, 266 (1993) (noting that the exigent-circumstances exception to the warrant requirement "still requires reasonableness and probable cause"); United States v Vasquez-Algarin, 821 F.3d 467, 480 (CA 3, 2016) (holding that "law enforcement . . . may not force entry into a home based on anything less than probable cause to believe an arrestee . . . is then present within the residence"). Similarly, whether the entry is forcible or peaceful and whether the entry is during the day or during the night may be relevant to the overall reasonableness of an officer's warrantless entry to arrest a suspect, but these considerations again are not necessarily relevant to whether "immediate action" was required. See, e.g., People v Burrill, 391 Mich. 124, 134 n 18 (1974) (explaining that courts consider whether "the entry can be made peaceably although in proper circumstances forcible entry might be justified"); Wilson v Arkansas, 514 U.S. 927, 934 (1995) (holding that "the method of an officer's entry into a dwelling [is] among the factors to be considered in assessing the reasonableness of a search or seizure"); United States v Kelley, 652 F.3d 915, 917 (CA 8, 2011) (stating that "we have little doubt that in some circumstances an officer's nighttime entry into a home might be unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment").

          Other factors listed in Oliver are likely to be dispositive on their own. If officers have probable cause to believe that evidence would be destroyed, or that law enforcement personnel or the public are presently endangered, a warrantless entry might well be justified on the basis of those facts alone. See, e.g., Kentucky v King, 563 U.S. 452, 460 (2011). On the other hand, if officers have the "ability to secure a warrant" before entering the premises without suffering an adverse consequence, a warrantless entry might well be unjustified by those facts alone. See, e.g., Birchfield v North Dakota, __US__; 136 S.Ct. 2160, 2173 (2016) ("The exigent circumstances exception allows a warrantless search when an emergency leaves police insufficient time to seek a warrant."); Michigan v Tyler, 436 U.S. 499, 509 (1978).

         In sum, in determining whether exigent circumstances justify a warrantless entry to arrest a suspect, courts should only use the Oliver factors as tools to determine whether, under the totality of the circumstances, exigent circumstances required immediate action, rather than examining each factor individually and then balancing them in some uncertain manner. Blasius, 435 Mich. at 589; United States v Moreno, 701 F.3d 64, 73 (CA 2, 2012) (holding that similar factors "are not germane in every exigent circumstances situation, " that they "are merely illustrative, not exhaustive, " and that "[t]he core question is whether the facts, as they appeared at the moment of entry, would lead a reasonable, experienced officer to believe that there was an urgent need to render aid or take action") (quotation marks and citations omitted). Once again, the assessment of the totality of the circumstances must be undertaken pursuant to the following ultimate standard: "whether a law enforcement officer was faced with an emergency that justified acting without a warrant[.]" McNeely, 569 U.S. at 149.

          Wilder, J., did not participate because he was on the Court of Appeals panel.

          Clement, J., did ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.