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Nop.Computer; I.R.A.C. – Kansas v. Glover; Composed May, 2022;

Issue: Is it a Fourth Amendment violation to stop a vehicle which an alert is given due to the vehicle’s registrant being noted in the state’s Department of Revenue database as a license revoke, potential danger to drivers and pedestrians, and possibly a liability to their self without liability insurance because of disqualification of insurability?

Rule: No, it is not a violation of the Fourth Amendment to stop a vehicle in motion when under the reasonable suspicion that the motor vehicle is being operated by an individual with a suspended or revoked license. It is a violation of the Kansas Statutes to operate a motor vehicle without insurance, and a registrant must have a valid driver’s license in order to obtain car insurance.

Analysis: The defendant is claiming that the law enforcement officer, Deputy Mehrer, violated his Fourth Amendment right by way of stopping him without proper probable cause, yet there is more than reasonable suspicion, especially in the context that the defendant was stopped—an alert of the vehicle registrant’s license suspension which is the cause which lead to the effect of the deputy’s reasonable suspicion of who the vehicle’s driver is, and the need to confirm whether or not the identities of registrant and operator were the same person and not another individual operating the defendant’s vehicle.
The Fourth Amendment states, “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and persons and things to be seized.”

Taking into consideration that discovery of an unlicensed driver on the road, and especially the instance a driver with a revoked or suspended license, creates an emergency-like situation because the license revokee is at that point and even before, a danger to themselves other drives, pedestrians, and anyone they may potentially have an accident with; Mainly due to the fact that being historically documented as an offensive driver can be a signal that the driver has the propensity to commit acts of equal or greater egregiousness.

“Driving is a privilege. We all share our roads and highways. No one has a right to drive if they refuse to follow the rules of the road.” This ought to be considered common sense amongst drivers within the state of Kansas due to the necessity of reading the document for the driving examination, as it’s a message from the Governor of Kansas, stressing emphasis on reading the “Rules of the road” to operate their vehicles in a safe manner, which in turn creates a common sense amongst drivers regarding vehicle operation on the roads of the state.

Furthermore, the Kansas Driving Book states that driving privileges may be suspended or revoked for two separate lists of offenses. Suspension offenses are more along the lines of misdemeanors like driving under the influence, and revocation offense are along the lines of criminal offenses such as vehicular homicide, fleeing the scene of an accident. The list of revocation-worthy offenses also includes less egregious offenses such as missing court appearances and not paying fines. The acts of missing court appearances, not paying fines, and then remaining on the road even with a revoked license demonstrates that the revokee doesn’t respect the law.

Deputy Mehrer’s intentions were to perform a Terry stop upon realization of incongruence between the law and the situation at-hand, which was a vehicle in operation yet registered to a license revokee. The first problem with this is that it’s Kansas’ law for voided driver’s licenses to be used for car insurance policies. Also, it’s stated in the Kansas Driving Book, on page 108 that drivers should “Be prepared when going on any trip. Remember to take: Insurance information in case you are in a crash.”

Although insurance policy information was missing from the texts of this case, the Driving book also states: “Failing to maintain continuous liability insurance on your vehicle is a mandatory indefinite suspension.”, therefore, with a revoked license and no liability insurance of his own, the defendant would be charged further for driving with a revoked license in addition to a charge for not having proper and required insurance coverage on his vehicle. 
Since the defendant’s license was revoked, that brings total implausibility to the argument that anyone else could have been operating the same motor vehicle lawfully as the vehicle’s insurance is as void as the defendant’s license, unless the vehicle is insured to someone else’s policy then the claim by the defense that someone else could have been the operator of the vehicle would only be lawfully valid in accordance with K.S.A. 40-3104.

The interaction between the officer and the defendant may be considered along the lines of a Terry stop or a knock and talk: There is suspicion yet not enough evidence for a search warrant, required in accordance with the Fourth Amendment. In fact, deputy Mehrer’s stoppage of the defendant’s vehicle is reasonable because of the suspicion regarding the identities of the vehicle’s registrant and license revokee, and it was evident that the evidence pertaining to the situation of suspicion was present in the vehicle(In this case, the driver’s identity), through the windows, and reflecting off of the mirroring of the vehicle, so the actor of the suspicion and the instrument of the act were in plain view of the officer.

Taking into consideration the potential danger(s) that a licensee revoke may pose to the general public, it’s fair to err on the side of reason which concludes that the stop of the defendant is not a violation of the Fourth Amendment because the whole case is within the bounds of compliance of the Fourth Amendment, although the suspicion was within the bounds of a safety concern for the safety of others.

This case is of the defendant claiming that the deputy was wrong and in violation of his Fourth Amendment right(s), and is very much akin to the case of United States v. Sharpe, in which it was held that the DEA agent involved went about his dealings of the investigation in a professional manner but the defendant claimed that their Fourth Amendment right was violated and about how long the Terry stop took, blaming the DEA agent involved, yet the delay in the stop and interaction was due to the unwillingness of defendant to cooperate in the investigative stop with the officer. Also, the driver was transporting an oversized load which contained marijuana—the stop resulted in an arrested.

This defendant in Kansas v Glover, and the defendant in United States v Sharpe apparently have the same modus operandi, which is to feign innocence and get away from the consequences of their unlawful acts by exploitative abuse of the Fourth Amendment.

Similarly, in Kyllo v United States, the police received a warrant to search Danny Kyllo’s house after utilizing high-tech equipment to perform a thermal imaging scan of Kyllo’s home. However, in this situation, the evidence which lead to the incarceration of Danny Kyllo was obtained by way of a warrant which was granted after invading the Kyllo’s privacy that Kyllo is entitled to by the Fourth Amendment, which means that the state did indeed violate his Fourth Amendment right. There would have been a different outcome if the evidence was in plain view. It follows that Kansas v Glover is not the same situation, and a warrant wasn’t necessary for Deputy Mehrer to verify if the identities of the person in the stopped vehicle and the Kansas Department of Revenue’s were a match.

Conclusion: The defendant’s Fourth Amendment right(s) were not violated by the deputy who stopped him, as it was within reason to suspect that the driver of the vehicle was the driver’s license revokee. That being the case, that it is a license revokee, is cause for worry because license suspension and revocation are a two-fold of punishment and rehabilitation without prison so that the offender isn’t a danger to himself and others on the road, also to realize the privilege of driving they are missing out on, sans prison. The means of punishment and rehabilitation without sending the defendant to prison weren’t enough to deter further offenses, and it seems as though the defendant will continue to unlawfully operate motor vehicle on public property unless they are faced with harsher consequences to deter future violation because license suspension and revocation aren’t accepted as restrictions by Glover.