UNDERSTANDING THE LIMITATIONS OF ANONYMOUS CALLERS
A REVIEW OF NAVARETTE v. CALIFORNIA
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article reviews the U.S. Supreme Court case of Navarette v. California. The information is meant to educate the reader on the latest U.S. Supreme Court rulings on important law enforcement functions. However, like all of our articles, the information provided here should in no way be considered legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their local prosecutors and judges in light of the Navarette decision to gain guidance on the acceptable level of enforcement in local jurisdictions.
Navarette v. California
This case stems from a 911 call to the California Highway Patrol. On August 23, 2008 CHP dispatchers in Mendocino County received information from their counterparts in Humboldt County regarding a reckless driver on Highway 1. The caller provided dispatchers the suspect’s vehicle description, a “silver, Ford F150”, and included the F-150‘s specific California license plate. The caller claimed the driver of the F150 ran the caller off the road and was continuing southbound on Highway 1 from mile marker 88. The information was broadcast about 5 minutes after the actual call.