From Casetext: Smarter Legal Research

Com. v. Labron

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Feb 26, 1997
690 A.2d 228 (Pa. 1997)

Summary

holding that our Court will not consider an issue of whether a defendant has standing to seek suppression of evidence if the issue was not raised in the lower court

Summary of this case from Payne v. Com. Dept. of Corrections

Opinion

Submitted August 6, 1996.

Decided February 26, 1997.

No. 433 Eastern District Appeal Docket 1994, on Remand from the United States Supreme Court.


OPINION ANNOUNCING THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT


This case is before us on remand from the United States Supreme Court for further proceedings not inconsistent with its per curiam opinion, Pennsylvania v. Labron, ___ U.S. ___, 116 S.Ct. 2485, 135 L.Ed.2d 1031 (1996).

We issued an opinion in this matter on December 29, 1995, which details the factual and procedural history of the case. Commonwealth v. Labron, 543 Pa. 86, 669 A.2d 917 (1995). We held that evidence obtained from a warrantless search of an automobile was properly suppressed. The United States Supreme Court summarily reversed our decision, along with Commonwealth v. Kilgore, 544 Pa. 439, 677 A.2d 311 (1995), holding that the warrantless searches of the automobiles did not violate the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution because probable cause was established. The Court further stated that "[t]he law of the Commonwealth thus appears to us 'interwoven with the federal law, and . . . the adequacy and independence of any possible state law ground is not clear from the face of the opinion.' " ___ U.S. at ___, 116 S.Ct. at 2487, citing Michigan v. Long, 463 U.S. 1032, 1040-1041, 103 S.Ct. 3469, 3476-3477, 77 L.Ed.2d 1201 (1983).

Justice Stevens, joined by Justice Ginsburg, dissented.

Appellant, Edwin Labron, has filed a Petition for Clarification and/or Affirmance of this Court's Judgment as Resting Upon State Constitutional Grounds. We now reaffirm our holding in Labron, and explicitly note that it was, in fact, decided upon independent state grounds, i.e., Article I, Section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Although we cited United States Supreme Court cases in our discussion of the automobile exception, we continually referred to our Court's prior interpretation of the exception to the warrant requirement. Specifically, we relied upon our decision in Commonwealth v. White, 543 Pa. 45, 669 A.2d 896 (1995), which was decided the same day. In White, we discussed the automobile exception and noted that, "this [C]ourt, when considering the relative importance of privacy as against securing criminal convictions, has struck a different balance than has the United States Supreme Court, and under the Pennsylvania balance, an individual's privacy interests are given greater deference than under federal law." Id. at 56, 669 A.2d at 902. Following this citation to White, we concluded in Labron that "this Commonwealth's jurisprudence of the automobile exception has long required both the existence of probable cause and the presence of exigent circumstances to justify a warrantless search." Labron, 543 Pa. at 100, 669 A.2d at 924.

The Commonwealth did not seek review of White in the United States Supreme Court.

Having determined that Labron preserved his state constitutional claim before the suppression court and that our previous decision rests on independent state grounds, we reinstate our previous order reversing the order of the Superior Court.

CASTILLE, J., files a dissenting opinion in which NEWMAN, J., joins.

NIGRO, J., concurs in the result.


I respectfully dissent on the basis of my dissenting opinion in Commonwealth v. Labron, 543 Pa. 86, 669 A.2d 917 (1995), rev'd, ___ U.S. ___, 116 S.Ct. 2485, 135 L.Ed.2d 1031 (1996).

NEWMAN, J., joins this Dissenting Opinion.


Summaries of

Com. v. Labron

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Feb 26, 1997
690 A.2d 228 (Pa. 1997)

holding that our Court will not consider an issue of whether a defendant has standing to seek suppression of evidence if the issue was not raised in the lower court

Summary of this case from Payne v. Com. Dept. of Corrections

following reversal and remand by United States Supreme Court based on its conclusion that state court had not expressly grounded its holding on state constitution, Pennsylvania Supreme Court reaffirmed its original holding, explicitly stating that its prior order had been decided on state constitutional grounds

Summary of this case from State v. Brillon

reaffirming on independent state grounds

Summary of this case from Com. v. Perry

departing from Fourth Amendment "automobile exception" to warrant requirement

Summary of this case from Com. v. Glass
Case details for

Com. v. Labron

Case Details

Full title:COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellee v. Edwin LABRON, Appellant

Court:Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Date published: Feb 26, 1997

Citations

690 A.2d 228 (Pa. 1997)
690 A.2d 228

Citing Cases

Com. v. Perry

White, however, is not binding precedent for the proposition that this Court follows an Article I, Section 8…

State v. Brillon

Accordingly, our opinion still stands on independent state constitutional grounds, and on remand we should…