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Withholding Identity From a Law Officer: Your Right or Not?
Associated Press ^ | March 23, 2004 | Gina Holland

Posted on 03/23/2004 6:10:30 AM PST by wallcrawlr

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Do you have to tell the police your name? Depending on how the Supreme Court rules in a case before it Monday, the answer could be the difference between arrest and freedom.

The court took up the appeal of a Nevada cattle rancher who was arrested after he told a deputy that he had done nothing wrong and didn't have to reveal his name or show an ID during an encounter on a rural highway four years ago. Larry Hiibel, 59, was prosecuted under a state statute that requires people to identify themselves to the police if stopped "under circumstances which reasonably indicate that the person has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime."

The case will clarify police powers in the post-Sept. 11 era, determining whether officials can demand to see identification whenever they deem it necessary.

Nevada Senior Deputy Attorney General Conrad Hafen told the justices that "identifying yourself is a neutral act" that helps police in their investigations and doesn't -- by itself -- incriminate anyone.

But if that is allowed, several justices asked, what will be next? A fingerprint? Telephone number? E-mail address?

"The government could require name tags, color codes," Hiibel's attorney, Robert Dolan, told the court.

At the heart of the case is an intersection of the Fourth Amendment, which protects people from unreasonable searches, and the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Hiibel claims both of those rights were violated.

Justice Antonin Scalia, however, expressed doubts. He said officers faced with suspicious people need authority to get the facts. "I cannot imagine any responsible citizen would have objected to giving the name," Scalia said.

Justices are revisiting their 1968 decision that said police may briefly detain someone on reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, without the stronger standard of probable cause, to get more information. Nevada argues that during such brief detentions, known as Terry stops after the 1968 ruling, people should be required to answer questions about their identities.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor pointed out that the court has never given police the authority to demand someone's identification without probable cause that they have done something wrong. But she also acknowledged that police might want to run someone's name through computers to check for a criminal history.

Hiibel was approached by a deputy in May 2000 next to a pickup truck parked off a road near Winnemucca, Nev. The officer, called to the scene because of a complaint about arguing between Hiibel and his daughter, asked Hiibel 11 times for his identification or his name. He refused, at one point saying, "If you've got something, take me to jail."

Hiibel was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest. He was fined $250.

(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News
KEYWORDS: hiibel; id; privacy; scotus; yourpapersplease
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1 posted on 03/23/2004 6:10:30 AM PST by wallcrawlr
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To: wallcrawlr
Slam dunk. Of course you have to identify yourself to police.
2 posted on 03/23/2004 6:11:48 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: wallcrawlr
At the heart of the case is an intersection of the Fourth Amendment, which protects people from unreasonable searches, and the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

The courts are too busy inventing new "rights" (e.g., abortion and gay sex) to protect the ones we already have.

3 posted on 03/23/2004 6:13:32 AM PST by Sweet Land
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To: wallcrawlr
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely...a corrupt Police State is what we will reap..
imo
4 posted on 03/23/2004 6:13:56 AM PST by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: Wolfie
Of course you have to identify yourself to police.

Why?

5 posted on 03/23/2004 6:14:09 AM PST by Sweet Land
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: Wolfie
I dunno...could go all sorts of ways. Constitution means whatever a coupla people in robes say it means nowadays.

Wasn't there a penumbra of an emanation of privacy at the basis of Roe v Wade? Does that apply?
7 posted on 03/23/2004 6:16:18 AM PST by blanknoone (Give Kerry enough nuance, and he will hang himself.)
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To: wallcrawlr
The cops had nothing - NOTHING! - to charge him with, so they charged him with not identifying himself?

This was in the United States?

Do you know how Fascist that sounds?
8 posted on 03/23/2004 6:18:19 AM PST by Redbob (ultrakonservativen click-guerilla)
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To: Wolfie
Why not have a look at your bank and tax records. Nothing to hide, eh ?
9 posted on 03/23/2004 6:18:56 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Wolfie
Er, uh, as of now, no you don't.
10 posted on 03/23/2004 6:21:32 AM PST by Centaur (Member of "The RAM", formerly VRWC)
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To: blanknoone
Wasn't there a penumbra of an emanation of privacy at the basis of Roe v Wade? Does that apply?

You may exercise your privacy only at the expense of babies' lives, not at the expense of the authority of the State.

11 posted on 03/23/2004 6:22:09 AM PST by Sweet Land
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To: Wolfie
Of course you have to identify yourself to police.

But a name really isn't identification - too easy to give them someone elses. So do we have to provide a drivers license? Those are pretty easy to fake - especially if you use an out-of-state one the officer wouldn't be familiar with. So I guess we have to give any officer who wants it our fingerprint? That would i.d. us - with a national fingerprint database of course.

12 posted on 03/23/2004 6:23:28 AM PST by green iguana (I am for none of the above...)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: Eric in the Ozarks
We're close enough to that point already, don't you think? Seriously, I say the cops can screw off, but the Supreme Court won't. Bet on it.
14 posted on 03/23/2004 6:35:46 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: Redbob
The cops had nothing - NOTHING! - to charge him with, so they charged him with not identifying himself?

NO! They charged him with resisting arrest according to the article. That makes even less sense. Unfortunately the courts, particularly the "conservitive" judges never find a police state action that they can't accept.

15 posted on 03/23/2004 6:37:04 AM PST by FreePaul
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To: wallcrawlr
I have viewed the tape, and I believe that since Mr Hiibel freely admitted to parking the truck where it was, and that parking spot was on the shoulder of a public right of way, the police officer should have been justified in asking Mr Hiibel to provide an operators license.

However, the officer asked for ID, and said it was only "to investigate and investigation". That is not the same as proving one is licensed to drive.

Now if Mr. Hiibel, or any American citizen, is not operating a vehicle, and is not trying to enter any space that is limited for security, then no police officer should have the right to ask you to identify yourself.
16 posted on 03/23/2004 6:38:51 AM PST by American_Centurion (Daisy-cutters trump a wiretap anytime - Nicole Gelinas)
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To: wallcrawlr
I think the cop was sent there for a legitimate call. I would have locked the guy up too.
17 posted on 03/23/2004 6:40:12 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: American_Centurion
The cop was way too full of himself.
18 posted on 03/23/2004 6:41:06 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Cap'n Crunch
I think the cop was sent there for a legitimate call.

That's irrelevant to whether he was obligated to identify himself.

I would have locked the guy up too.

On what charge?

19 posted on 03/23/2004 6:43:22 AM PST by Sweet Land
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To: Sweet Land
Here it would have been Obstructing Official Business. Or Domestic Violence or Disorderly Conduct, Persisting. Whatever I felt like at the moment.
20 posted on 03/23/2004 6:45:30 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: Sweet Land
Someone else said the truck was parked illegally, that plus being sent there on a complaint of two people arguing, that's my in.
21 posted on 03/23/2004 6:49:31 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
"The cop was way too full of himself"

90% of them are. It's been years since I met a young LEO who wasn't on a power trip. Something has changed in the training that manifests itself in the LEO being a A-hole.

Still, I believe, that if the cop had simply asked for an operators license he would have been justified completely due to Mr. Hiibel obviously being the driver.
22 posted on 03/23/2004 6:50:16 AM PST by American_Centurion (Daisy-cutters trump a wiretap anytime - Nicole Gelinas)
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To: American_Centurion
I have viewed the tape, and I believe that since Mr Hiibel freely admitted to parking the truck where it was

No, his daughter was driving.

23 posted on 03/23/2004 6:51:02 AM PST by green iguana
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Seems to be the norm lately.

I live in Fairfield County, CT and the town in which I live voted the police dept out of existence in favor of a resident State Trooper program. Cheaper and a lot more efficient.

The underlying reason for the outcome of the vote was exactly as you stated. They could (and did) turn routine traffic stops into near riots (car searches, personal searches).

A perfect example of PC and no-tolerance policies self destructing.

24 posted on 03/23/2004 6:51:08 AM PST by kahoutek
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To: Cap'n Crunch
Here it would have been Obstructing Official Business. [...] or Disorderly Conduct, Persisting.

That's the question: should there be laws against refusal to give one's name?

Or Domestic Violence

Neither the article nor the charges filed suggest there was sufficient evidence to support that charge.

Whatever I felt like at the moment.

A telling remark.

25 posted on 03/23/2004 6:52:37 AM PST by Sweet Land
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To: American_Centurion
I don't think it's the training because cops have to eat alot more crap today then we did say 10 years ago.

My opinion is that it's our society as a whole that has changed. People in general are ruder than they used to be, from my observations anyhow.

26 posted on 03/23/2004 6:54:20 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: wallcrawlr
Here's an interesting corollary to that - if the Supreme Court rules that we must provide identification to a police officer if asked, does that mean that soon will follow a requirement to carry identification documents at all times? Of course, when driving you already must have your license, but what about just walking down the street?

It does start to sound like the "your papers, please?" kind of scenario. On the one hand, sure, if someone has done something wrong, why should they mind providing identification? But conversely, if someone has done nothing wrong, why should they be compelled by law to provide it?

Here's a scenario and it happens a couple times a year. Police are doing one of their "beat the bushes" operations looking for suspects. They run into someone who has a name LIKE someone they are looking for. Boom, ruin one perfectly good day for an innocent civilian. (Actually happened to a brother in law of mine about 12 years ago).

It will be very interesting to hear what the Supremes have to say about this.
27 posted on 03/23/2004 6:54:24 AM PST by jeffo (Your papers, please?)
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To: Cap'n Crunch
Someone else said the truck was parked illegally, that plus being sent there on a complaint of two people arguing, that's my in.

How is that an "in" for demanding names?

28 posted on 03/23/2004 6:54:31 AM PST by Sweet Land
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To: green iguana
He said on the tape "Am I parked illegally? I'm not parked illegally." Several other times during the tape he spoke similar words, and never did he say he wasn't the driver.

Based on those statements, the officer could reasonably believe, as I did, that Mr. Hiibel was the operator, and the officer could rightfully ask him for a license.

Don't get me wrong, the officer did not ask him for a license, he asked Mr. Hiibel to ID himself and gave no legal justification for doing so. The officer did not ask the right questions, and Mr. Hiibel was within his rights to refuse.
29 posted on 03/23/2004 6:57:42 AM PST by American_Centurion (Daisy-cutters trump a wiretap anytime - Nicole Gelinas)
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To: Cap'n Crunch
Or Domestic Violence

Then the cop wold be arresting the wrong person - Hiibel's daughter hit him. He didn't hit her abck, he asked for her to stop to let him get out of the car where he was smoking a cigarette when the cop pulled up. If interested, here's his web site:

http://papersplease.org/hiibel/

30 posted on 03/23/2004 6:58:08 AM PST by green iguana
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To: Sweet Land
I've had people not tell me their names before, no big deal, they didn't have to. I conducted my business and went on my way. In this particular incident I believe the cop was justified (from what I've seen) on identifying this guy.

I don't know how the cop conducted himself the entire time but from what I saw he did OK.

I wonder what Hiibles screen name is?

31 posted on 03/23/2004 6:58:52 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: green iguana
Don't forget the portable retina scan machines, coming soon to a police cruiser near all of us.
32 posted on 03/23/2004 6:59:36 AM PST by 7.62 x 51mm (Dogs have masters; Cats have staff.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
With the new Matrix database they'll probably be able to do just that. Oh, and don't forget CAPS II. If you have nothing to hide it shouldn't be a problem for you. You want to help in the war on terror don't you?
33 posted on 03/23/2004 6:59:40 AM PST by dljordan
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To: wallcrawlr
At the heart of the case is an intersection of the Fourth Amendment, which protects people from unreasonable searches, and the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Hiibel claims both of those rights were violated.

Ms. Gina Holland, (the reporter-ette for this story) should go back to journalism school.
The fifth amendment to the U.S. Constitution states "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."

The "right to remain silent" is not part of the fifth amendment. It is the Maranda (sp?) rights which (I believe) only comes into play AFTER one has been charged/arrested.

34 posted on 03/23/2004 6:59:47 AM PST by cuz_it_aint_their_money (The only way liberals win national elections is by pretending they're not liberals. - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: American_Centurion
90% of them are. It's been years since I met a young LEO who wasn't on a power trip. Something has changed in the training that manifests itself in the LEO being a A-hole.

Good point. The zero-tolerance attitude begins right in the academy.

"Do everything to CYA and nothing to get sued for".

Judgement is out of the question. And litigation costs as a result of it have skyrocketed.

35 posted on 03/23/2004 7:01:04 AM PST by kahoutek
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To: Cap'n Crunch
In this particular incident I believe the cop was justified (from what I've seen) on identifying this guy.

What about this particular incident justified it?

36 posted on 03/23/2004 7:02:23 AM PST by Sweet Land
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To: Cap'n Crunch
IMO people being ruder is no excuse for the "professional" in a situation to reciprocate.

Salesmen know if they are rude to a rude customer they won't make much money. Waiters know the same thing. If LEOs want to lean on authority instead of manners and dignity when faced with rudeness, those of us who aren't rude will rightfully view them as a-holes.

Every job has to deal with bad clientelle, professionals don't get emotionally caught up with that and rise above it. IMO you LEOs with more than 10 yrs in should be leading the younger ones by example, I think you would see a huge change in how LEOs are treated by society at large.
37 posted on 03/23/2004 7:03:43 AM PST by American_Centurion (Daisy-cutters trump a wiretap anytime - Nicole Gelinas)
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To: green iguana
A cop coming on scene probably doesn't know who hit who. That's why he has to ask some questions.

I'll take people's word (here) for the cop not asking the right questions. You have to know how to talk to people, I believe in treating people with respect and dignity.

38 posted on 03/23/2004 7:03:46 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: FreePaul
NO! They charged him with resisting arrest according to the article.

Actually, the article says he was convicted of resisting arrest but that is false. The article is so full of errors it is worse than worthless.

39 posted on 03/23/2004 7:04:58 AM PST by cinFLA
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To: wallcrawlr
Hiibel was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest. He was fined $250.

How can one be guilty of resisting arrest if they aren't also convicted of another crime?

40 posted on 03/23/2004 7:05:57 AM PST by connectthedots
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To: Cap'n Crunch
I'll take people's word (here) for the cop not asking the right questions. You have to know how to talk to people, I believe in treating people with respect and dignity.

You take the word of a bunch of guys that have read an error-filled article? Go view the tape. The cop was not perfect but he was dealing with an a$$hole who showed the signs of drinking.

41 posted on 03/23/2004 7:06:50 AM PST by cinFLA
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To: American_Centurion
I agree with you.

It is just my observation that people are ruder than they used to be.

42 posted on 03/23/2004 7:07:06 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: connectthedots
How can one be guilty of resisting arrest if they aren't also convicted of another crime?

Because the article is wrong.

43 posted on 03/23/2004 7:07:26 AM PST by cinFLA
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To: connectthedots
How can one be guilty of resisting arrest if they aren't also convicted of another crime?

That's something I have always wondered about.

44 posted on 03/23/2004 7:07:55 AM PST by muggs
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To: JackRyanCIA
If you have done nothing wrong, why should someone be able to hustle you? Many cops love to hustle people. Makes them feel powerful.

Go view the tape and then come back and say that the cop was hustling this a$$hole who had been reported to have been hitting his daughter, displayed signs of drinking and had 'parked' his car via a four-wheel slide on the side of the road at an angle.

45 posted on 03/23/2004 7:10:15 AM PST by cinFLA
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To: cinFLA
Go view the tape.

Link?

46 posted on 03/23/2004 7:10:16 AM PST by Sweet Land
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To: cinFLA
Not only that, the guy DEMANDED to be handcuffed. That would have freaked me out immediately. I would have slapped the cuffs on him just to comply with his request.
47 posted on 03/23/2004 7:10:27 AM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: cinFLA
I saw part of the tape. I said I would have locked him up also, from what I saw. Looked like plenty to go with there. But I haven't seen the whole tape.
48 posted on 03/23/2004 7:10:38 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: American_Centurion
never did he say he wasn't the driver

I haven't seen the whole tape yet. But, I have read enough about the case to know that the original complaint the officer received identified the truck as being driven by a female. And his daughter was still behind the wheel when the officer pulled up.

49 posted on 03/23/2004 7:11:05 AM PST by green iguana
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To: Cap'n Crunch
I don't know if it's a larger percentage of the pop. that's ruder, or if it's just that since the pop. has grown so drastically that the percentage remains the same but we see more of them.

Either way you cut it there are more rude people out there. It just seems to fit that LEO's have to deal with them most, criminals tend to have bad manners.
50 posted on 03/23/2004 7:11:31 AM PST by American_Centurion (Daisy-cutters trump a wiretap anytime - Nicole Gelinas)
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