United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
Lovett-McGill moves to dismiss the two-count, misdemeanor DUI
criminal Complaint against her. Doc. 10. It arises from her
encounter with a Fort Stewart Military Police Department
roadblock. She contends that the roadblock violated her
Fourth Amendment rights, thus warranting suppression of all
derived evidence and, in turn, dismissal. Doc. 10 at 2.
Alternatively, she moves to suppress all evidence derived as
fruit from a constitutionally invalid Terry stop.
See Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) (upholding a
brief investigatory stop of an individual on less than
probable cause). Doc. 11 at 4.
gist of defendant's dismissal motion pivots on the
constitutional limits placed on roadblocks. The U.S. Supreme
never approved a checkpoint program whose primary purpose was
to detect evidence of ordinary criminal wrongdoing. Rather,
our checkpoint cases have recognized only limited exceptions
to the general rule that a seizure must be accompanied by
some measure of individualized suspicion. We suggested in
(Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648 (1979)] that we
would not credit the "general interest in crime
control" as justification for a regime of suspicionless
stops. 440 U.S. at 659, n. 18. Consistent with this
suggestion, each of the checkpoint programs that we have
approved was designed primarily to serve purposes closely
related to the problems of policing the border or the
necessity of ensuring roadway safety.
City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32, 41-42
(2000) (cite omitted); LaFave, 4 SEARCH & SEIZURE §
9.7(b) (5th ed.).
purposes for roadblocks include "roadway safety"
(license and registration) checks, or an "appropriately
tailored roadblock set up to thwart an imminent terrorist
attack or to catch a dangerous criminal who is likely to flee
by way of a particular route.... While we do not limit the
purposes that may justify a checkpoint program to any rigid
set of categories, we decline to approve a program whose
primary purpose is ultimately indistinguishable from the
general interest in crime control." Edmond, 531
U.S. at 44; see also Michigan Dept. of State
Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444, 455 (1990);
Merrett v. Moore, 58 F.3d 1547, 1550-51
(11th Cir. 1995). In that regard,
[a] roadblock in Georgia is valid when it meets five
requirements: (1) supervisory officers decided where and when
to implement it for a legitimate purpose; (2) all vehicles
were stopped; (3) the delay to motorists was minimal; (4) the
operation was well identified as a police checkpoint; and (5)
the screening officer was competent to determine which
motorists should be given field tests for intoxication.
United States v. Cole, 2010 WL 3210963 at * 7
(N.D.Ga. Aug. 11, 2010) (quoting Coursey v. State,
295 Ga.App. 476, 477 (2009)); accord, Spraggins
v. State, 324 Ga.App. 878, 880 (2013); Evans v.
Jones, 2010 WL 4639260 at * 3 (M.D. Ga. 2010) (the
police "conducted the roadblock in a constitutionally
appropriate manner because all vehicles were stopped, the
delay to motorists was minimal, the roadblock was clearly
identified as such, and the [police] had been adequately
trained to conduct the roadblock[, so] the Plaintiff suffered
no constitutional violation . . . because of the
says the roadblock "implemented by the Ft. Stewart
Military Police Department fails to meet the criteria set
forth above. Specifically, [it] was instituted for general
law enforcement purposes, which has been held
constitutionally impermissible." Doc. 10 at 2. But she
does not cite any factual support; instead, she
baldly claims that the roadblock was constitutionally flawed.
She evidently expects a hearing where the Government must
the Government insists that she has failed to comply with
S.D. Ga. Loc. Cr. R. 12.1 and United States v.
Broadnax, 2016 WL 102197 at *1 (S.D. Ga. Jan. 8, 2016)
("[a]n unacceptable amount of judicial and prosecution
resources are consumed if suppression motions are reached
that fail to comply with S.D. Ga. Loc. Cr. R.
12.1. Enforcement of that Rule spares wasteful
hearings based on supposed if not imagined
Government prevails here. As recently explained:
"'A motion to suppress [hence, a motion to dismiss
based on suppression] must in every critical respect be
sufficiently definite, specific, detailed, and nonconjectural
to enable the Court to conclude that a substantial claim is
presented. ... A court need not act upon general or
conclusory assertions. . . .'" United States v.
Cooper, 203 F.3d 1279, 1284 (11th Cir. 2000) (quoting
United States v. Richardson, 764 F.2d 1514, 1527
(11th Cir. 1985)) (emphasis added). A defendant is not
entitled to a hearing on his suppression motion unless he
"allege[s] facts that, if proved, would require the
grant of relief." Richardson, 764 F.2d at 1527
(emphasis added). It is not sufficient for defendants to
"'promise' to prove at the evidentiary hearing
what they did not specifically allege in their motion to
suppress." Cooper, 203 F.3d at 1285.
United States v. Bostic, 2016 WL 4523832 at * 1
(S.D. Ga. Aug. 29, 2016).
Bostic, the defendant filed a suppression motion but
the only facts he asserted were "that the police
warrantlessly seized him and his vehicle, 'removed'
him from that vehicle, executed the warrantless search of the
vehicle after he was handcuffed and placed in the back of the
patrol car, and then seized the pistol that forms the basis
of his prosecution." Bostic, 2016 WL 4523832 at
*2. "Of course, " this Court concluded,
the mere assertion that police conducted a warrantless
seizure and search of Bostic and his vehicle does not show
that his rights were in any way violated or that he is
entitled to the suppression of evidence. Legions of cases
have upheld warrantless searches and seizures as
"reasonable" within the meaning of the Fourth
Amendment. Simply alleging that a search or seizure was