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Case No. 20-0652

For summaries from opinions prior to August, 2018, view PDF versions here

State of Iowa
James Dow Flanagan


State of Iowa


James Dow Flanagan

Attorney for the Appellee

Genevieve Reinkoester, Assistant Attorney General

Attorney for the Appellant

Melinda J. Nye, Assistant Appellate Defender

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Oct 06, 2021

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Christopher Kemp and Carol L. Coppola, District Associate Judges.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Heard by Tabor, P.J., and Greer, and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  Dissent by Greer, J.  (21 pages)

            James Dow Flanagan was pulled over because his passenger was not wearing her seat belt.  As the trooper processed the seat belt violation, he launched a collateral operating-while-intoxicated investigation into Flanagan.  On appeal, Flanagan seeks to suppress the fruits of the stop, arguing that the state trooper improperly expanded the stop’s duration and scope.  OPINION HOLDS: The trooper unlawfully extended the stop’s duration by placing Flanagan in his patrol car and investigating collateral matters despite lacking reasonable suspicion.  So we reverse the conviction and remand.  DISSENT ASSERTS: I dissent from the majority's conclusion that the traffic stop was extended without sufficient cause and would affirm the denial of the motion to suppress.  In my view, this case falls into a category where a traffic-violation stop leads to the officer recognizing a strong possibility of other criminal activity justifying further investigation.  I find nothing wrong with asking Flanagan to move to the patrol car and the investigation into his impairment that followed. 

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