United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. Hood, Senior U.S. District Judge
matter is before the Court upon Defendant Joshua Kelley
Pyles's Motion to Alter or Amend [DE 38] the Court's
Memorandum Opinion and Order of July 20, 2017 [DE 35],
wherein it rejected his efforts to suppress evidence seized
by Kentucky State Police during a traffic stop in April 2016.
The Court permitted his co-Defendants, Robbie Neal Whitis and
Jason Whitis, to join in his Motion [DE 41, 44, 47]. The
United States having filed a Response in Opposition [DE 50],
this matter is now ripe for the Court's review. For the
reasons stated in the Memorandum Opinion and Order of July
20, 2017, and reiterated today, the Motion to Alter or Amend
decision to reopen a suppression hearing is left to the sound
discretion of the court.” United States v.
White, 455 F. App'x 647, 650 (6th Cir. 2012)
(finding no merit in the defendant's argument that the
trial court did not “closely scrutinize” evidence
produced at trial, even though it tended to disprove a police
officer's testimony at a prior suppression hearing).
“Generally, a court should be reluctant to reopen a
case, and that principle has been applied to suppression
hearings.” Id. When making such a request, the
moving party must first provide “a reasonable
explanation for failing to present the evidence
initially.” Id. “Then the timeliness of
the motion, the character of the testimony, the effect of
granting the motion, and whether the opposing party will be
prejudiced by reopening the hearing should be
explained in the Court's Memorandum Opinion and Order of
July 20, 2017, Trooper Ramsey ran the license plate of the
vehicle Defendants were driving and discovered that its
owner, Angela Burdine, was subject to an active arrest
warrant. In such circumstances, an officer is entitled to
presume that the registered owner of a vehicle is one of its
occupants and initiate a traffic stop on that basis, unless
he is aware of facts that make such a presumption
unreasonable. See United States v. Chartier, 772
F.3d 539, 543 (8th Cir. 2014); United States v.
McBrown, 149 F.3d 1176, 1998 WL 413981, at *10 (5th Cir.
1998); United States v. Montalvo-Rangel, 2010 WL
1417745, at *3 (W.D. Tex. Apr. 5, 2010) (quoting People
v. Khoshaba, 2006 WL 932408, at *2 (Mich. App. 2006));
State v. Howard, 766 N.E.2d 179, 183 (Ct. App. Ohio
2001). Defendants insist that Trooper Ramsey was unreasonable
in making such an assumption because he believed Angela
Burdine was a female and could see that the three occupants
of the vehicle were all male.
support of this proposition, Defendants point to the
Q: Mr. Pyles was in the passenger seat in the back?
A: That's correct.
Q: And you saw a passenger in the back?
Q: Mr. Pyles' appearance was fairly close to his
Q: And he does not have long hair as some women have,