COURT OF APPEALS
DATED AND FILED
November 10, 2010
A. John Voelker
Acting Clerk of Court of Appeals
This opinion is subject to further editing. If published, the official version will appear in the bound volume of the Official Reports.
A party may file with the Supreme Court a petition to review an adverse decision by the Court of Appeals. See Wis. Stat. § 808.10 and Rule 809.62.
IN COURT OF APPEALS
John J. Neff,
from a judgment of the circuit court for
¶2 After a criminal complaint charging Neff with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, third offense, and operating a motor vehicle with a prohibited blood alcohol concentration, third offense, was filed, Neff filed a motion to suppress, asserting that the police officers had neither reasonable suspicion nor probable cause to support an investigatory stop of his vehicle. After a short evidentiary hearing, the circuit court denied the motion.
¶3 The only witness at the suppression hearing was Officer Mandy
Rudolph of the City of Mequon Police Department. She testified that, based on a call, she and
Officer Moertl were dispatched to the Sybaris Pool Suites in the city of
type was a disorderly conduct. And the
information I received was that one of the hotel clerks from the
The clerk had advised our dispatch that the subjects refused to leave the property.
¶4 According to Rudolph, she arrived first at the
¶5 Based upon this terse testimony, the circuit court ruled:
Okay. Well, in this case the officers were
dispatched because of a report from the
that report I don’t necessarily believe that she had the name of the
individual, but they were identified—the person was identified as being
associated with the
¶6 Neff appeals, asserting that “the information possessed by [Rudolph] … was not sufficient to give rise to probable cause for arrest or reasonable suspicion to conduct a further investigation.”
¶7 Both Neff and the State agree that whether the physical
evidence should be suppressed depends upon the application of Florida
v. J.L., 529 U.S. 266 (2000), and State v. Williams, 2001 WI 21, 241
¶8 The temporary detention of a citizen constitutes a seizure
within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment and triggers Fourth Amendment
protections. State v. Harris, 206
¶9 In J.L., the United States Supreme
Court was skeptical that an anonymous tip could create the necessary reasonable
suspicion to support a Terry stop, noting that “an
anonymous tip alone seldom demonstrates the informant’s basis of knowledge or
veracity.” J.L., 529
¶10 In Williams, the Wisconsin Supreme Court applied J.L.
to determine whether “an anonymous tip containing a contemporaneous report of
drug trafficking, combined with independent observations and corroboration of
details from the tip justified the investigatory stop.” Williams, 241
¶11 The Wisconsin Supreme Court also examined J.L. in State
v. Rutzinski, 2001 WI 22, 241
[T]o corroborate a tip, the [United States Supreme] Court explained, the police must do more than verify easily obtainable information that tends to identify the suspect; they must verify information that tends to indicate the informant’s basis of knowledge about the suspect’s alleged illegal activity. Hence, a totally anonymous tip must contain not only a bald assertion that the suspect is engaged in illegal activity (e.g., that the suspect illegally possesses a gun), but also verifiable information indicating how the tipster came to know of the alleged illegal activity (i.e., the informant’s basis of knowledge). In [J.L.] … the anonymous tip did not contain any information such as a prediction regarding the suspect’s future behavior which, if corroborated, would indicate the informant’s basis of knowledge.
¶12 We now turn to the anonymous tip in this case. The tip was that two individuals were
possibly intoxicated in the
(5) The tipster pointed out the vehicles being driven by the parties as they exited the parking lot of the
¶13 Like Williams and Rutzinski, there is
information that the tipster put her identity at stake. It was known the tipster was calling from the
¶14 The conclusion reached in Williams is applicable to this case:
The information upon which the police proceeded was substantial in both quality and quantity. The anonymous tip was supported by a wide array of indicia of reliability—contemporaneous eyewitness account accompanied by details promptly verified by the police. A reliable tip, such as this one, provided information of substantial quality. Added to that was information of not insignificant quantity—[two vehicles leaving the parking lot shortly after] the police’s arrival. Accordingly, consideration of the totality of circumstances compels the conclusion that [Rudolph] acted reasonably in deciding to detain [Neff]. We have here the necessary “cumulative detail, along with reasonable inferences and deductions which a reasonable officer could glean therefrom, [that] is sufficient to supply the reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot and to justify the stop.” We therefore conclude that the State has met its burden of showing that the investigatory stop of [Neff] was justified—that there was reasonable suspicion.
By the Court.—Judgment affirmed.
This opinion will not be published. See Wis. Stat. Rule 809.23(1)(b)4.
 This appeal is decided by one judge pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 752.31(2)(f) (2007-08). All references to the Wisconsin Statutes are to the 2007-08 version unless otherwise noted.
was before the court for a second time.
The first decision of the court was vacated by the United States Supreme
Court and remanded for further consideration in light of Florida v. J.L., 529 U.S.
266 (2000). State v. Williams, 2001
WI 21, ¶1, 241
No person shall within the limits of the City of
(1) In any public or private place engage in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct which tends to cause or provoke an immediate disturbance of public order or tends to disturb any other person or persons.
(2) Intentionally cause, provoke or engage in any fight, brawl, riot or noisy altercation.
(3) Operate a vehicle in such a manner on any public street, private property, or parking lot that causes unnecessary noise.
http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=13876&stateId=49&stateName=Wisconsin (last visited Oct. 8, 2010).