State v. Williams/Kelly, 254 N.J. 8 (2023)


Aidan P. O'Connor argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of amicus curiae ACDL-NJ that the Donis rule, which permits police to conduct an investigatory stop based on a mobile data terminal inquiry revealed that the owner of the car had a suspended license, should be overruled as it disproportionately burdens people of color. ACDL-NJ further argued that even under the Donis rule, once police approached the car and it was apparent that the driver did not match the description of the owner whose license was suspended, they had no constitutional basis to continue the stop. While the Court did not overturn the Donis rule, it found on the facts before it, once the officer had ascertained that the driver was not the person with the suspended license, he had an obligation to end the stop and inform the driver that they were free to leave. Because the stop was extended and contraband obtained therefrom, the evidence against the defendants was suppressed. CJ Griffin authored the brief.

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