Winterrowd v. Municipality of Anchorage (06/23/2006) ap-2050

Winterrowd v. Municipality of Anchorage (06/23/2006) ap-2050


     The  text  of this opinion can be corrected before  the

     opinion  is published in the Pacific Reporter.  Readers

     are  encouraged to bring typographical or other  formal

     errors  to  the attention of the Clerk of the Appellate



             303 K Street, Anchorage, Alaska  99501

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) Court of Appeals Nos. A-9233 & A-9234


) Trial Court Nos. 3AN-04-4649,


) 3AN-05-3893, & 3AN-05-3894 MO






) O P I N I O N




) No. 2050 June 23, 2006







          Appeal  from the District Court,  Third  Judi

          cial  District, Anchorage, Jennifer K. Wells,



          Appearances:  Ralph Kermit Winterrowd 2nd, in

          propria  persona,  Knik, for  the  Appellant.

          Rachel     Plumlee,    Assistant    Municipal

          Prosecutor,   and   Frederick   H.    Boness,

          Municipal Attorney, Anchorage, for the  Appel



          Before:   Coats, Chief Judge, and  Mannheimer

          and Stewart, Judges.


          MANNHEIMER, Judge.


          On  January  3,  2004, and again on October  11,  2004,

Ralph  Kermit Winterrowd 2nd was stopped for speeding.   On  both

occasions,  the  police asked Winterrowd to produce  his  drivers

license,  his  vehicle registration, and proof of  motor  vehicle


          During   the   January  3rd  traffic  stop,  Winterrowd

produced  his drivers license and registration, but  he  did  not

produce  proof  of  insurance.  Instead, Winterrowd  invoked  his

privilege  against  self-incrimination  and  his  right  to   the

assistance  of  counsel under the Fifth Amendment to  the  United

States Constitution.  Because Winterrowd did not produce proof of

motor  vehicle  insurance,  he was cited  for  violating  Section

09.28.030(B)(1) of the Anchorage Municipal Code (failure to carry

proof of motor vehicle insurance).

          During   the  October  11th  traffic  stop,  Winterrowd

produced his drivers license, but he did not produce his  vehicle

registration  or  proof of insurance.  Again, Winterrowd  invoked

his  Fifth  Amendment  privilege against  self-incrimination  and

right to counsel.  This time, Winterrowd was cited for failing to

produce  proof of motor vehicle insurance upon the  demand  of  a

police  officer,  AMC 09.28.030(B)(2), and for failing  to  carry

motor vehicle registration, AMC 09.52.020.

          These  three  charges  were jointly  adjudicated  in  a

single  bench  trial  in  the  district  court.   At  his  trial,

Winterrowd argued that, because he was subjected to a seizure  of

his  person  within  the  meaning of the  Fourth  Amendment,  and

because  he  thereafter  invoked  his  privilege  against   self-

incrimination and his rights to silence and to the assistance  of

counsel under the Fifth Amendment, he could not be penalized  for

failing to produce the documentation that the officers asked  him

for.   The  district  court  rejected  this  argument  and  found

Winterrowd guilty of all three offenses.

          Winterrowd  now appeals his convictions,  renewing  the

constitutional argument that he presented to the district court.

          Winterrowd is correct that a motorist who is  subjected

to  a  traffic  stop  is  seized for Fourth  Amendment  purposes.

However, not all Fourth Amendment seizures amount to custody  for

purposes  of  Miranda  v.  Arizona.1  That  is,  not  all  Fourth

Amendment seizures trigger the Fifth Amendment rights to  silence

and to the assistance of counsel recognized in Miranda.

          We addressed this point of law in McNeill v. State, 984

P.2d 5 (Alaska App. 1999):


               Generally,  in  determining  whether   a

          person is in custody for Miranda purposes,  a

          court    must   ask   whether,   under    the

          circumstances of the police interaction  with

          the  suspect, ... a reasonable person [would]

          have felt free to break off the interrogation

          and,  depending on the location, either leave

          or ask the police to leave.  [quoting Long v.

          State,  837 P.2d 737, 740 (Alaska App. 1992)]

          ...    This  wording  suggests  that  Miranda

          warnings  will be required whenever a  person

          is  seized for Fourth Amendment purposes, but

          that  is  not  the law.  The  cases  applying

          Miranda recognize that there are some  Fourth

          Amendment  seizures  of  temporary   duration

          most notably, routine traffic stops and other

          investigative   stops    in   which   Miranda

          warnings  are not required, even  though  the

               person is temporarily in custody and the

          police can properly ignore a request that the

          officers depart and leave the person alone.


McNeill,  984 P.2d at 6-7 (emphasis omitted), citing Berkemer  v.

McCarty, 468 U.S. 420, 439-440; 104 S.Ct. 3138, 3150; 82  L.Ed.2d

317  (1984) (holding that Miranda does not apply when a  motorist

is  subjected  to  roadside questioning during a routine  traffic

stop);  Blake v. State, 763 P.2d 511, 514-15 (Alaska  App.  1988)

(holding  that police officers are not required to  give  Miranda

warnings  during  an  investigative stop  unless  and  until  the

initial  stop  ripens into custody as that  term  is  defined  in

Miranda  jurisprudence).  See also Wayne R.  LaFave,  Search  and

Seizure:  A  Treatise  on the Fourth Amendment  (4th  ed.  2004),

 9.3(b), Vol. 4, pp. 367-377.

          In  his reply briefs, Winterrowd asserts that he is not

attempting   to  raise  a  Miranda  issue.   Instead,  Winterrowd

asserts,  he is relying on the Fifth Amendment rights to  silence

and  to  the assistance of counsel that the law gives  him  apart

from  Miranda.  But in roadside encounters like the ones in these

cases, there is no Fifth Amendment right to silence or to counsel

apart  from  situations of custodial interrogation as defined  in

Miranda jurisprudence.  See State v. Garrison, 128 P.3d 741,  747

(Alaska  App. 2006) (holding that, because the defendant was  not

in  custody  for Miranda purposes, the police could  continue  to

question him despite his arguable request for an attorney).

          Because  Winterrowds traffic stops did  not  constitute

custody  for Miranda purposes, the police could continue  to  ask

Winterrowd  to  produce  his vehicle registration  and  proof  of

insurance  even  after  Winterrowd invoked  his  Fifth  Amendment

rights to silence and to the assistance of counsel  because those

rights did not apply in Winterrowds situation.

          The  remaining issue is whether Winterrowd, by invoking

his  privilege against self-incrimination, could lawfully  refuse

the   police  officers  demands  that  he  produce  his   vehicle

registration  and  proof  of  insurance.   The  answer   is   no:

motorists  have  no  Fifth Amendment right to  refuse  authorized

police requests for production of their vehicle registration  and

proof of insurance.

          See  Larkin v. Hartigan, 620 N.E.2d 598, 602 (Ill. App.

1993)  (There  is  nothing  unconstitutional  about  requiring  a

vehicle  owner to verify [that] his insurance sufficiently  meets

all  legal requirements.); People v. Goodin, 668 N.W.2d 392, 395-

96 (Mich. App. 2003) (motorists have no Fifth Amendment privilege

to  refuse  to  produce their drivers license, registration,  and

name and address).

          Accord:   State  v. Adams, 891 P.2d 251, 253-54  (Ariz.

App.  1995); State v. Melemai, 643 P.2d 541, 545-46 (Haw.  1982);

People  v.  Lucus, 243 N.E.2d 228, 230-31 (Ill. 1968); People  v.

Samuel,  277  N.E.2d  381, 386; 327 N.Y.S.2d 321,  329-330  (N.Y.

1971);  Lamb v. State, 488 P.2d 1295, 1296-97 (Okla.  Crim.  App.

1971);  Commonwealth v. Long, 831 A.2d 737, 747-750  (Pa.  Super.

2003);  State v. Smyth, 397 A.2d 497, 499-500 (R.I. 1979);  Banks

v. Commonwealth, 230 S.E.2d 256, 257-59 (Va. 1976).

          See also Byers v. California, 402 U.S. 424, 427-434; 91

S.Ct. 1535, 1537-1540; 29 L.Ed.2d 9 (1971) (holding that hit-and-

run statutes that require motorists to produce identification  do

not violate the Fifth Amendment).

          For  these reasons, the district courts judgements  are




  1 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966).