AMA Amicus Brief

November 21, 2017

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AMA Amicus Brief

Yesterday, the American Motorcyclist Association filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in a little publicized motorcyclist’s rights case titled Ryan Austin Collins v. Commonwealth of Virginia. It is a Suzuki case which is one of the reasons readers here may not have heard of it. You may care about it anyway.

“On June 4, 2013, Officer Matthew McCall of the Albemarle County Police Department was patrolling on Route 29 near the border of Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville when he observed a traffic infraction by the operator of an orange and black motorcycle with an extended frame. Officer McCall activated his emergency lights and attempted to stop the motorcycle, but the motorcycle eluded him at a high rate of speed.”

Several weeks later the Suzuki outran David Rhodes, another Albemarle County cop. Rhodes eventually came to suspect that the speedy rider was Ryan Collins. Collins denied he had the Suzuki.

No Warrant

Eventually, Rhodes entered Collins’ property while Collins was gone without a warrant and found the speeding motorcycle under a motorcycle cover. When he looked at the VIN, Rhodes determined that the bike was stolen. When Collins returned, he denied having ridden the motorcycle. Rhodes then searched Collins and found the bike key in Collins pocket.

Collins argued that the warrantless search was illegal. Eventually, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that, because Collins’ vehicle was a motorcycle and not a car or truck, the officer who searched under Collins’ motorcycle cover did not need a warrant to do so.”

In yesterday’s friend of the court brief, the AMA argued that the police should have a warrant before they can legally search a parked motorcycle. The brief argues that the “Court’s analysis should not be affected by the fact the vehicle searched was a motorcycle rather than a car or truck…. There is nothing inherently suspicious – and no inherent justification for a search – in the use or ownership of a motorcycle.”

In a press release issued today, AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman said that “motorcyclists’ rights can be threatened at all levels – and branches – of government.’

“The AMA and its members must be vigilant at all times, because we can never know where the next threat will be,” Dingman said. “The U.S. Supreme Court is the final arbiter on matters of Constitutional rights, and the Court’s decisions direct the enforcement of law across the country at all levels. When motorcyclists’ freedoms are before the Court, it’s critical that we speak forcefully and convincingly to defend those rights.”

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62 Responses to “AMA Amicus Brief”

  1. Gandalf Says:

    Many (most?) People have a strange way of judging people in General. I figured out the people of Waco and have decided they Label ALL people as Good or Bad. It’s as simple as that. Good people are innocent and bad people are guilty no matter what the evidence. Trump-Clinton is the same way. If you want an answer as to why extreme Trump defenders ignore the Obvious or the Extreme Clinton defenders do the same. It’s because of the Good/Bad theory. I know I don’t do it much so it looks obvious to me when someone can defend Reyna, “He’s a Good Man” and convict the Bandits, “They are bad people” I’m not sure any Trump defenders understand that the Titanic is headed for the Iceberg and on cruse control. I say this because of real evidence that I had to pick out of Stories by CNN and FOX. At Twin Peaks I knew the only thing I really knew was the death Toll. 8-1. It’s easy for me to presume the Cop Shooters shot the aggressors… That 1 fact told me volumes. I don’t believe a Cop would kill a guy ON PURPOSE who wasn’t doing anything. If you believe ALL Cops are bad you would miss this important Fact maybe saying, “They Targeted the Cossacks in cold blood” You just lost that Important clue. The people of Waco couldn’t see Reyna was “bad” because they thought He was good and the “bad” guys are Bandits. LONG STORY SHORT. NEVER believe ANY group of People or ANY person is guilty because they are “bad” and NEVER believe a person is innocent because He/She is a “Good” person. Ya gotta get past that or you are a Sheep led by whatever Shepard. All Cops ARE NOT BAD. All hood Blacks are not bad. All Baptists and church goers are not good…. The very second you profile Bikers, Cops, Cossacks, Bandits, Blacks, Mexicans, Arabs… You lose. You will miss far to many clues. Believing CNN is all Fake News! You lose. Fox is all Fake news! You lose. Believing The Waco Trib is an honest and truth full rag! You lose. To judge Paladin or any other Cop and profile them will lead you down a bunny trail trying to figure out what is real. I Take Paladins (and everyone’s) posts 1 at a time and decide 1 at a time. I’m not saying LE should be allowed into Clubs at all. They should not for safety. But to say all Cops are bad (or good ie:innocent) or all Bandits are good (or bad ;ie Guilty) is just plain wrong if you are truly concerned with Justice and the Truth. I hate to say it but simply believing even Rebel can’t be just a givin. His info might be wrong by accident or just biased by design. I can think of a few stories on this Blog that I thought… Hmmmm that doesn’t sound right. Those things go into my “Grey File” neither true or False. BTW in Wisconsin those Cops shot and killed that biker fleeing from a bike shop robbery…. the 1st shot might have been an accident but the other 12 was pure Murder by Cops with a real Motive. The Waco Cop shooters didn’t have a REAL Motive. In my mind those Cop shooters were never in Question. No Motive, Obviously shooting crazed Cossacks executing people in a Mall Parking Lot. We all have our bias…. but it doesn’t help you when looking for answers or being on a Jury. There are no really “good” people or really “bad” people when it comes to solving a crime. Waco is the Textbook case of this good/bad rational. So corrupted that The “Good” people actually pick The “bad” people then convict or acquit depending. I like Bandits. Respect them… But if I saw a story about 1 robbing a bank I would only be concerned with the facts. Recently I saw a Story about a Waco area Guy who plotted to kill the Chief of Police. His X-Sister in Law was Chief of Police and it was a Bitter divorce. Dude was in jail for warrants and 2 Inmates said He asked them to Kill Her (The Chief). All I kept Hearing is how “Good” The Chief of Police was and How “bad” the guy was. That’s all these people need to believe to convict. Me and you know Jailhouse informants (esp in Waco) are almost always full of shit and/or sent By LE to fabricate a lie. Dude wasn’t even really bad at all. Just a few small charges. Now He was charged with Hiring someone to kill the Chief of Police. Only in Waco. “Where The Good are always Innocent and Bad are always Guilty… and WE get to decide who is who”

  2. Mark Says:

    My post was to James, to his post and was not a back door against Paladin. I don’t know the man, it’s not my board, and if I can’t say it to a man, straight up and to his face, I don’t say it. If a poster here was a cop at one time, ain’t none of my business and it never is going to be any of my business. This board is Rebel’s property, I respect that and being Rebel’s guest, that’s the way I see it.

  3. The Kraut Says:

    I’ve yet to meet Paladin, and his being a badge is a non-issue as I prefer to believe he was the exception to the usual expected donut inhaler with a shield.

    That being said, I was assigned as a USN SP for 6 months in the late 80’s…I could have been an asshole to the sailors and Marines I came into contact with.

    I had the attitude that I was there to help my fellow service-members when they were in need of help after imbibing too much at the EM/NCO clubs on the 32nd St. NavSta.

    I kept that attitude in spite of how absolutely obnoxious and assholish several were after drinking too excess.

    All the while I served on active duty as an SP I was a member of an MC.

    @Paladin, respects to you for your postings and who and what you have and continue to be…None of us are born to this life, but as water seeks its own level, we gravitate to the life we live as who and what we are in our hearts, guide’s us to it.

    Respects to those who warrant respect

    The Kraut

  4. Old & Jaded Says:

    Damn shame what you’ve gone through Mark. Sadly, you have a lot of company. Dishonest cops belong unemployed and in jail – period. From all I have read over the years however, Paladin is not one of them. He’s been helpful to others here and decent. If I recall correctly, he’s shared that he was no kid when he joined LASD. Cops (and robbers) are a fact of life. I think we need cops like him – mature with some life experience under the belt. I don’t dislike honest cops – they have a job and everyone knows what it is. You screw up and get caught, that’s the price you pay for the play. The problem is the number out there with badges that are weighing about ten pounds, those that suffer from the “little man” complex, that lack empathy for people and that are so afraid, immature or just screwed up, that they will lie. When that happens innocent people get hurt and the justice system to them is understandably forever a joke. Okay, off my soapbox and back to football.

  5. Brad H Says:

    Paladin:
    Thank you for your answer.

    To all others, this was not a “beat up on Paladin” post. I asked a question of a man and was answered in the way a man should answer questions: to the point and with respect. Whatever his background, he answered satisfactorily. Time to move on.

  6. Paladin Says:

    @ Hero,

    There will always be those that hate cops, retired or otherwise. There will always be those that hate bikers, patched or otherwise. There will always be those that hate others for real or imagined reasons. It’s what people do.

    I don’t happen to agree with all that Mark states in his post, but he is certainly entitled to his posted opinion as are others. I do agree with Mark regarding crooked cops. I was never one of them, but the facts don’t lie. Crooked cops are definitely out there.

    Long May You Ride,

    Paladin

  7. Hero Says:

    What the heck happened here? Is this beat up on Paladin day or what? Stop that crap. I have been posting on here for years and reading the articles and comments even longer. In the entire time Paladin has been a staple in the comments section. His post are always well though out and interesting to read. I may not always agree with his comments but I do respect them. His former job is no concern to me as I’m not hanging out with the guy. Respect the blog if you don’t respect the comments posted.

  8. Mark Says:

    @ James WC

    There is no honor in being a cop and none of them have any honor. The fact is, every single cop has seen other cops railroad the innocent. Planting evidence, lying on the stand under oath, the whole nine yards. Which makes the, “honest or honorable cop” a complete and total myth. And a felon as a matter of fact.
    With all due respect, but we are miles apart on this one. The single worst things that have ever happened to me in my life were crooked cops setting me up. The only thing that saved me was my lawyers and the cops were so far out of line the judge didn’t buy it. But you know something, I still have that BS on my NCIC, reguardless of being found not guilty, which btw/ that crap on the NCIC has really fucked me over with employment. So much for innocent until proved guilty. The fucking slimeballs couldn’t get me the first time so they tried again, to fail at their injustice. I have zero respect for cops and the assholes that are government lawyers. May they burn in the hottes parts of hell.

  9. James W Crawford Says:

    Re Brad H:

    Paladin is not being a hypocrit for posting on this sight if he is former LE.

    Most members of OMCs have a hostile opinion of police in general. However; in spite of indoctrination and training, there is considerable variation of attitude and conduct among LE. The official, systematic bias against motorcyclists certainly does not engender respect, but not all cops buy into it. Some LE are idiots and thugs, while others are honorable. A lot of years as a cop followed by a second career can be educational and grant perspective.

  10. Paladin Says:

    Brad H,

    The answer to your question and any other questions you may have about me can be found in the Saloon. There is no hypocrisy involved.

    Paladin

  11. Brad H Says:

    @ Paladin: Have a question to ask and would like to ask it in open forum. Several months ago on this blog, you were in a bit of a flame war with some ass clown who’s handle I could care less about. In that war of words, the two of you argued something about courthouse people and individuals you knew in the legal system. Ass clown claimed to have worked at a courthouse in some capacity and suggested you had intimate knowledge of the same. You responded you had either been an LACSO or infered affiliations with such.

    Am I remembering this wrong? Didd I misinterpret this exchange? Were you somehow, as you admitted on this site, involved at some level with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office? I hope I’m wrong because it would be a bit hypocritical for someone with such a history to post on this site, in spite of 1st amendment rights.

    Regardless, you seem well informed on a number of legal points and many topics. A number of folks refer to your well thought out posts and responses to articles.

    I truly mean no disrespect. I am just curious.

  12. Old & Jaded Says:

    @Dutchboy – Yup, this Doofus not only posted a photo on Facebook of a bike he bought knowing it was hot, the cop had seen the photo and found the bike parked next to the same house in the same spot as the bike in the photo. To top it all off, it had a distinctive body, so even under the tarp the cop thought it was the same bike he’d previously seen. This was not helped by Doofus arriving home and being willing to talk, and oh, did I mention he admitted riding it and finally to knowing it was stolen? Next time this guy just needs to walk into the police station and hand them a confession; save a lot of time.

  13. Gandalf Says:

    I read that “Keyboard Warrior” comment about Paladin and 1st thought it was kinda odd because it’s used as an insult usually. Since Twin Peaks I have been a “Keyboard Warrior” waging battle with the keyboard Warriors of Waco and LEs Warriors. Heck Putin has a whole army of Keyboard Warriors and I’m sure we do too. Heck Rebel is a “Keyboard Warrior” with honors, metals and a few Purple Hearts. LOL These days and in that comment I decided it was a compliment to Paladin. Long may you type. LOL
    (I guess if a person was ONLY a Keyboard Warrior it’s an insult but I’m thinking Y’all could use more Keyboard Warriors… It’s actually why I do it. Because you can’t by your rules. I think.)
    Respect to those who deserve it and these days to all the Keyboard Warriors fighting the good fight… like Rebel who is a big reason Reyna is Fucked. IMHO

  14. Dutchboy Says:

    Let me get this straight, this duffus posted pics of a stolen bike in his possession, then the Duffus COP couldn’t bother to take that to a favorite judge and get a proper search warrant?? By any chance is incest legal in that State? Seems to be a whole lot of stupid concentrated in one area.

  15. Paladin Says:

    @ stroker,

    Maybe I was a bit too hard on Lijaha. However, Lijaha’s post really rubbed me the wrong way, especially when asking if those that were commenting on this story were OK with Collins’ being a bike thief and then asking again when mentioning one’s Fourth Amendment rights if we couldn’t find “a better hill to die on.” When Lijaha stated he was financially recovering from his third stolen motorcycle, I should have gotten the clue and just moved on. I apologize for not having done so. Last but certainly not least, thank you for the kind words. And as always, long may you ride.

    Paladin

  16. Paladin Says:

    To be absolutely crystal clear, I believe those that steal motorcycles should be treated to the same remedy afforded horse thieves of the past. That said, after reading the court’s dissent (thanks for the link Mazer), I’ve come to the usual, inescapable conclusion that the parties involved should have kept their damn mouths shut.

    How ’bout this? NEVER TALK TO THE COPS! My door mat reads: “COME BACK WITH A WARRANT”, and I mean it, no exceptions!

    Paladin

  17. stroker Says:

    @Lijaha:

    No….it’s not a “closed club.”
    I simply tried to defend Paladin after you took what I perceived to be a swipe at him (“sweet keyboard warrior”). That sounds derogatory to me. If you didn’t mean it that way, feel free to reprimand me.
    If you say you’ve posted on here long before….well, ok…maybe I missed your previous posts.
    But I will stick up for brother Paladin…..he’s hardly a “keyboard warrior” or keyboard commando as some like to call people who post here, and try to talk the talk, without any real experience in our world.
    If you didn’t mean anything negative towards Paladin, then fine.
    We’re done here.

  18. Lijaha Says:

    @Stroker I’ve posted on this site long before now. But what’s that got to do with anything? If it’s a closed club, maybe you should let Rebel know?

  19. Freebird Says:

    The AMA is hedging their bet’s on what they believe is the best option to win. Once you pick your horse you better be ready to ride it till the end! IMO their on a donkey right now!

  20. stroker Says:

    @Lijaha:
    Paladin is hardly a “keyboard warrior.” He’s been posting on this site a long time, and he has creds here.

    Never heard of you til now!?!

  21. Old & Jaded Says:

    Mazer – thanks for that link. The facts as laid out there suggest that this may be an unsuccessful bid on the part of the AMA. Why would this dude post photos on Facebook of a bike he knew was stolen? My policy – stay the hell off of Facebook. As noted by El Chuntaro, where were they re Waco? Oh that’s right…never mind.

  22. El Chuntaro Says:

    and where has the AMA been during the Waco debacle?

  23. Mazer Says:

    Here is a dissenting opinion from the appellate court.
    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/va-supreme-court/1748177.html

  24. Dutchboy Says:

    Part of the problem is moral relativism. The cop broke the law? That’s okay, he meant well. Like participation trophies. I ran cross country in High School. Never brought home a trophy. Know why? I didn’t EARN it. What you meant, how you felt about it, how sorry you are shouldn’t matter a fiddler’s damn to the law. What did you DO. Reality doesn’t care about your feelings, neither should the law.

  25. Mark Says:

    A little history on the law. The cops used to go onto people’s private property and dig through their trash cans. Many times like magic they would find residue of drugs on foil, plastic bags, roaches whatever. The magician cops would get warrants and raid people’s homes with the trash can finds as the reason for the warrant being signed off on by a judge. Long story should, this BS ended when courts started throwing out any convictions for the cops stompping around on private property and digging through private property. So the cops can’t touch a trash can until it get put out on public domain. Then it’s open season.
    All being said, this matter is just another lawyer wordsmithing game to open a new door to allow cops to go stompping on people’s private property? This kind of BS of going onto private property without an invite or a warrant puts everyone in danger. The cop/s and or the property owners and is clearlly outside of the intent of the 4th Amendment.
    btw/ The A-holes on the SCOTUS pulled off a fast one with Roe v Wade by taking the absolute meaning of the 4th and turning it into a Constitutional right to. “privacy’, which is isn’t. The 4th as well as first 10 Amendments know as the Bill of Rights are about, Justice. The whole corner stone of the foundation of the USA is a civilized country based on, “Justice” for all. Not taking a citizens property and their papers, is about, Justice and nothing else. The Founders would have gone in a rage if someone even hinted about giving cops and judges, mostly judges, Absolute immunity. Doing something like that or trying to, would have been seen as Treason. The Founders would have had no issues with putting the rope on someone’s neck themselves for trying to give judges and cops Absolute immunity. Truth be known. Nothing has damaged this country more than the Bankers and their lawyers.
    And to all: Happy Thanksgiving

  26. Hero Says:

    @Rebel
    Happy thanksgiving.

    @all readers. Happy thanksgiving. Leo excluded.

  27. Lijaha Says:

    @Dutchboy Thanks. BTW, I didn’t say the bike cost ten grand. I said I was down ten grand on it after I got the bits back. Ten grand’s worth of damage in other words. All new panels, plus engine rebuild etc. Couldn’t afford a new one, so built my own. ;)
    @Paladin I’ve had three bikes stolen in my life. I’m now well into my sixties and still don’t own a car. Works out at about one every 15 years riding. Fair enough. Price worth paying. I live in a big bad city and that last was stolen from a garage where they ignored CCTV, heavy duty immobiliser and parts ID system. I thought I knew a lot about bike theft but thanks for the advice. Let’s hope it never happens to a sweet keyboard warrior like you. The judge gave them a small fine and a suspended sentence. He didn’t think it was a big deal either. I was just amazed they were caught. Sometimes the cops surprise you.

  28. Iron Rider Says:

    The thing that bothers me is that the courts these days seem to be more than not allowing Prosecutors to keep a case alive even when Law Enforcement has broken the law to obtain evidence, unlawful searches, illegal entry etc.

    How often do we see the court give Law Enforcement a pass by saying there was “good faith” with this or that and to allow certain evidence etc to stay as part of a case.
    I’m pretty sure in the way the laws are written that there is no good faith clause. Somewhere along the lines the courts have been pressured by the Government at the Federal and State to allow good faith exemptions in cases where the defense has alleged a violation of the law by Law Enforcement/prosecution and is seeking to get whatever was obtained thrown out or to excluded etc and the Judges these days are too closely aligned with Prosecutors and Law Enforcement to be impartial and lean more to what the prosecution wants.

    It is why I have said that you are guilty until you can prove your innocence, the days of innocent until proven guilty died long long ago. Looks at the Waco Twin Peaks case and you will see a perfect illustration of prosecutors too closely aligned with the court. I fell sorry for anyone who has to go up against the prosecution in Waco, because there is no impartiality at all in a Waco courthouse with a judge hearing a case there. Honestly the amount of ass kissing the judges get from Waco prosecutors is unparalleled .

    Everyday more and more peoples rights are being violated and the common person has the deck stacked against them in a court of law and it is win at all costs by Law Enforcement and prosecutors with judges ensuring that the prosecution has the scales tipped in it’s favor

  29. Dasein Says:

    Interesting isn’t it that we must protect the thieves in order to protect ourselves.

  30. Dutchboy Says:

    @Paladin, come on dude, “bus pass”? Really? Hell, a good used late model Harley is more than ten Gs. As for “in the street with the engine running” had a friend loose a really nice custom during Bike Week. Disc locks on both wheels, front end locked and chained to a light pole. Crew of four with bolt cutters and two pipes claiming to be bank repo took it in broad daylight in front of hundreds of people. They even left a “receipt” taped to the light pole. Fake of course. Like my pa use to say, “Locks keep honest folks honest, a professional thief can get it and be gone before you know it”. @ Lijaha I Feel Your Pain.

    Fair Winds

  31. Paladin Says:

    Lijaha Says:
    November 23, 2017 at 2:26 am

    “The average person may see just another criminal getting away with it, backed by the AMA.”

    Lijaha,

    The majority of those that post on Rebel’s page are anything but average. The AMA is pretty clear on where it stands with regard to Mr. Collins’ situation. It is true that no one ever went broke over estimating the stupidity of the American public, but I think even the average person would “get it”, regarding the
    violation of an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights.

    You stated: “I’m down ten grand on the last bike I had stolen and that still hurts.” Just how many bikes have you had stolen? Do you park them in the street with the engines running? Next time around, you might want to buy a bus pass instead of another motorcycle.

    Paladin

  32. Lijaha Says:

    @Paladin @Rojas @East Coast @Dutchboy Thanks for the thoughtful replies. I take your points. I’m maybe too emotionally involved in the theft issue. I’m down ten grand on the last bike I had stolen and that still hurts. We’re all on the same page about the illegal search but this case – in-your-face speeding, theft – helps give us all a bad name. The average person may see just another criminal getting away with it, backed by the AMA. Not a good look for bikers in the bigger picture. Win a battle, lose a war. But, yeah, it’s a battle that needs fought. Sadly.

  33. Dutchboy Says:

    Blackstone Formulation “Better 10 guilty go free than one innocent suffer”. IMHO the only good bike thief is the one taking the room temperature challenge, BUT LEOs should be held to a higher standard than the average person. Unfortunately they are more often given a pass.

  34. Rojas Says:

    @ Lijaha

    Man for All Seasons

    Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!

    More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

    Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

    More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake

  35. East Coast Says:

    To Get he was a guilty bike stealing scum bucket, the cops still can’t go on private property and look under a bike cover. The same rights apply to those on two wheels as those on four.
    Virginia supreme court = the usual morons.
    Respects Rebel

  36. Freebird Says:

    @ Lijaha

    When and where you get engaged is never the ground you would pick to defend yourself. I believe what defines us as men is the ability to pick up a turd from the clean end. In this specific case the search was the fruit of the poisons tree. I hope the DA takes a big ass bite out of that apple!

  37. Freebird Says:

    @ Paladin

    The Hill question engulfed my mind today. I was trying to think what Hill deserved my blood? I have to say you picked the hill of hills.

  38. Dutchboy Says:

    @ Paladin, well said

  39. Paladin Says:

    Lijaha Says:
    November 22, 2017 at 10:22 am

    “I get it about the illegal search but can’t we find a better hill to die on?”

    Lijaha,

    You’re absolutely right. It is all about the illegal search. Please tell me a better hill to die on than atop the hill of our Constitutional rights.

    Paladin

  40. Bradley Ward Says:

    @Lijaha, yeah the guy was probably guilty as hell. All the more reason for the cops to play it by the book and get a warrant.

    I don’t want cops (or anyone else, for that matter) going through my leather saddle bags just because they don’t have a lock.

  41. Lijaha Says:

    Hate to rain on the parade here but this bike was allegedly stolen, presumably from someone. I’ve had three bikes stolen and there is a dark corner of hell – and hopefully a dark alleyway before that – reserved for thieves of any sort. I’ve zero sympathy for this guy if he’s one. Or are we all OK with that part of the story? I got my last bike back from the cops in bits after several years ‘cos the a-hole who stole it dropped and ran when he hit someone on the street, and it obviously wasn’t his first rodeo. Easy come, easy go – perhaps why this guy was so casual about the police chases? I get it about the illegal search but can’t we find a better hill to die on?

  42. Bradley Ward Says:

    @Woodstock, due to the location of the VIN I highly doubt they can casually cruse around and run them. However, on most vehicles (bikes included) the VIN is in plain view. So walking around the parking lot running VINs is entirely reasonable. On cars (maybe some bikes?) the VIN is also barcoded so a handheld barcode scanner and a smartphone can make running VINs in a parking lot very efficient.

    But, if the vehicle (car, bike, boat, whatever) is covered then the question becomes whether or not that is considered plain view. I would suggest not, especially in the case of a cover secured with a locking tether.

  43. Woodstock Says:

    It is my understanding that the technology exists and is already being used in some places that allows cops to scan and run license plates as they cruise parking lots. Vin numbers can’t be far behind. Does this type of technology render probable cause moot?

  44. Bradley Ward Says:

    Makes no difference if car, truck, or bike. Removing the cover to expose the vehicle (and therefore, the VIN) should be the controlling factor.

  45. Maven Says:

    Not only is this fucked up, but it’s lazy by the cop. How hard would it have been to get a warrant if he had a reasonable explanation for suspecting this guy?

  46. Dutchboy Says:

    Well how about a rail dune buggy? Under a tarp, parked out of site of the street? If the LEO broke the law of trespass, which he did, who is to say HE didn’t break the law and put the crotch rocket there? The Keys? Easily planted as well. Not saying anything was or wasn’t planted, but this is why “the fruit of the poison tree” is inadmissible. At least in jurisdictions that care about tiny things like civil rights.

  47. david Says:

    So….according to the faulty reasoning of the imbecile attorneys who comprise the Supreme Ct. of the State of Virginia, the protected Right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures of motor vehicles only includes vehicles which cannot out-run pig cruisers.

    What the idiot attorneys in public judicial office are forgetting, if they are even aware, is a parked car or truck in a yard generally has a readable VIN through the windshield, and a warrant to read it would not be required to read it and run it through a data-base of stolen vehicles.

    For a bike, a solution to this example of gov. non-sense would be to install a lock box over the VIN and accidentally lose the key somewhere between Oxnard,CA and Bayone, NJ.

  48. Paladin Says:

    It would be interesting to know how Officer Rhodes articulated his reasonable suspicion that lead to Officer Rhodes’ probable cause that Ryan Collins was in fact in possession of the bike in question.

    “The plain view doctrine allows an officer to seize, without a warrant, evidence and contraband that are found in plain view during a lawful observation.” However, according to the article, the motorcycle was under a motorcycle cover. Therefore, the motorcycle in question was NOT in plain view (A motorcycle kept under a cover is not necessarily THE motorcycle in question), which violates the Plain View Doctrine, making the trespassing onto Collins’ property for the sole purpose of inspecting the covered motorcycle unlawful. At least that’s the way it used to work. I’ve never been to Virginia.

    Paladin

  49. Iron Rider Says:

    I agree with the AMA, the cops want to search, get a warrant. My guess is the cops didn’t think they would meet the requirements for a warrant so they didn’t bother trying to get one. Never mind the fact that the cops trespassed onto private property to search for this motorcycle, which furthers the claim in my mind that the search should be invalid as the cop had no legal justification to enter the property to conduct a search.

    With that said lets take a dive into some semantics here. The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that, because Collins’ vehicle was a motorcycle and not a car or truck, the officer who searched under Collins’ motorcycle cover did not need a warrant to do so. Lets see if it was a car or truck and the doors were unlocked but shut the cops would need a warrant to search, but because a motorcycle is accessible it doesnt require a search warrant even though it could have contained saddle bags or other compartments that are closed or lockable much like a vehicle can. So is the court trying to say a motorcycle is a different from other motor vehicles?

    Why is it that this cop didnt just run the vin? The vin would have come up as stolen (although I dont see how you steal a motorcycle with a key unless said bonehead owner left the key in it) My guess is the cop had no idea it was stolen until he got the vin by illegally entering onto Collins property to copy down the vin to run it,m that is unless this cop has some psychic powers that allows him to read vin’s from his car.

    How does the court ignore the fact that the cop would have had to enter the property to search for a motorcycle in order to even get the vin? Without being able to obtain the vin the cop woudnt know it was stolen. So in mind this whole shebang ought to have been tossed, you know the unreasonable search and seizure thing in the constitution

  50. Freebird Says:

    The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that, because Collins’ vehicle was a motorcycle and not a car or truck, the officer who searched under Collins’ motorcycle cover did not need a warrant to do so.”

    Yea like what other conclusion could you draw? added sarcasm for effect

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