For these two hypothetical fact patterns, address the questions in essay answers, using IRAC format. Make sure to fully address all the facts and explain how the law applies to them.
1. Officer Martin was patrolling his beat in uniform when he observed Nelson “continually from the hours of 4:00 p.m. to midnight in the vicinity of 742 Broadway.” During that period, Officer Martin saw Nelson in conversation with six or eight persons whom Officer Martin knew from past experience to be narcotics addicts. The officer testified that he did not overhear any of these conversations and that he did not see anything pass between Nelson and any of the others. Late in the evening, Nelson entered a restaurant and saw Nelson speak with three more known addicts inside the restaurant. Once again, nothing was overheard and nothing was seen to pass between Nelson and the addicts. Nelson sat down and ordered pie and coffee, and, as he was eating, Officer Martin approached him and told him to come outside. Once outside, the officer said to Nelson, “You know what I am here.” Nelson mumbled something and reached into his pocket, but at the same time, Officer Martin thrust his hand into the same pocket, discovering several glassine envelopes, which, it turned out, contained heroin.
Nelson was arrested and charged with the possession and distribution of narcotics. Prior to trial, he moved to have the drug evidence suppressed, arguing that it was seized in an unconstitutional search.
Explain how the court should rule on the motion? Explain your answer fully using IRAC structure.
2. Officer Samuel Lasky of the New York City Police Department was at home in his apartment in Mount Vernon, New York, at about 1 p.m. He had just finished taking a shower and was drying himself when he heard a noise at his door. His attempt to investigate was interrupted by a telephone call, but when he returned and looked through the peephole into the hall, Officer Lasky saw two men tiptoeing out of the alcove toward the stairway. He immediately called the police, put on some civilian clothes, and armed himself with his service revolver. Returning to the peephole, he saw a tall man tiptoeing away from the alcove and followed by a shorter man toward the stairway. Officer Lasky had lived in the 120-unit building for 12 years and he did not recognize either of the men as tenants.
Believing that he had happened upon the two men in the course of an attempted burglary, Officer Lasky opened his door, entered the hallway, and slammed the door loudly behind him. At the sound, the two men ran down the stairs and Officer Lasky gave chase. His apartment was located on the sixth floor, and he apprehended Peters between the fourth and fifth floors. Grabbing Peters by the collar, he continued down another flight in unsuccessful pursuit of the other man.
Peters explained his presence in the building to Officer Lasky by saying that he was visiting a girlfriend. However, he declined to reveal the girlfriend’s name, on the ground that she was a married woman. Officer Lasky patted Peters down for weapons and discovered a hard object in his pocket. Officer Lasky believed that the object did not feel like a gun, but that it might have been a knife. He removed the object from Peters’ pocket. It was an opaque plastic envelope, containing burglar’s tools.
Peters was charged with attempted burglary. Prior to trial, Peters filed a motion to suppress evidence of the burglary tools, arguing that the search of his pocket was illegal.
How should the court rule? Fully explain your decision and use IRAC to format your answer.
Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion
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