FLORIDA v. MEYERS
Meyers was charged with sexual battery. Police officers searched his automobile at the time of his arrest, and then impounded the vehicle at a private facility. Eight hours later, the police re-entered the facility, without a warrant, and searched the car a second time. A Florida court suppressed evidence obtained in the second search, arguing the warrantless search was unconstitutional. The Florida Supreme Court denied review. The Supreme Court subsequently accepted the State's petition for certiorari.
Was the Court's summary disposition of the case constitutionally legitimate?
Legal provision: Amendment 4: Fourth Amendment
In a per curiam opinion, a majority of the Court held that the Florida court had misapplied the law and that a warrantless search of the automobile was permissible since the vehicle was already in police custody. The dissenting opinion, written by Justice Stevens, argued that the Supreme Court's decision to bypass the Florida Supreme Court judgment and to consider the case was ill- advised. Justice Stevens maintained that summarily disposing of such cases unduly enlarged the Supreme Court's responsibilities and deemed state judges incompetent to decide Fourth Amendment questions.