Reasonable Belief that a Person Has Authority

The defendant, a convicted felon, was on supervised release when law enforcement officers stopped a vehicle in which he was a passenger.  Reasonable suspicion the occupants were involved in bank fraud led to a Terry Stop, the Terry Stop led to consent to search the vehicle, and the consent led to the discovery of evidence that led to the arrest of the defendant Ojudun. Ojudun argued the consent to search was invalid because the person who granted consent did not have actual authority to grant consent. The Second Circuit affirmed the District Court’s denial of the motion to suppress, holding that reasonable suspicion existed to justify the stop and that the person who granted consent had apparent authority to grant consent and therefore the subsequent search of the vehicle was reasonable.

This case provides a good analysis of both reasonable suspicion and apparent authority.  It’s worth a read!

To read or download a copy of the decision CLICK HERE