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State ex rel A.O.

November 15, 2007

STATE OF NEW JERSEY IN THE INTEREST OF A.O. JUVENILE-APPELLANT.


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Essex County, Docket No. FJ-07-2722-05.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Decided October 3, 2006

Submitted September 20, 2006

Remanded by Supreme Court September 10, 2007

Resubmitted October 30, 2007

Before Judges Parker and C.S. Fisher.

In our earlier decision in this appeal, we set aside the adjudication of delinquency because it was based on evidence unconstitutionally seized from the juvenile, A.O., after the police chased and apprehended him following his flight from a field inquiry. At the time, we relied extensively on our decision in State v. Williams, 381 N.J. Super. 572 (App. Div. 2005), which -- following our decision here -- was reversed by the Supreme Court, State v. Williams, 192 N.J. 1 (2007).

While State v. Williams was pending undecided in the Supreme Court, the Court granted the State's petition for certification in the case at hand. State In The Interest of A.O., 189 N.J. 430 (2007). Once the Court decided State v. Williams, the State moved in this matter for summary disposition. On September 11, 2007, the Supreme Court entered an order granting the State's motion "to the end that the matter is summarily remanded to the Appellate Division for reconsideration on the merits in light of" the Court's decision in State v. Williams, and did not retain jurisdiction. 192 N.J. 474 (2007).

We asked for and received supplemental briefs from the parties regarding the impact of the Supreme Court's decision in State v. Williams to this case. After careful review, we conclude that this matter presents materially different factual circumstances than those upon which the Court's decision in State v. Williams turned, and, as a result, we adhere to our earlier decision reversing the adjudication of delinquency.

In our earlier opinion in this matter, we described the police encounter that led to the search of the juvenile:

[O]n January 8, 2005, Officers Anthony Farmer and Lenny Randolph of the Irvington Police Department were advised by their sergeant of a report made by an unknown confidential informant to the Prosecutor's Office. The informant advised that a person known as "Smiley" was one of the alleged instigators of a death threat against two Irvington police officers. The informant stated that "Smiley" was wearing a camouflage jumpsuit and a green knit hat and that he frequented the area around Springfield and Ellis Avenues in Irvington. The officers were subsequently sent to patrol the area to look for "Smiley."

At approximately 6:15 p.m. that evening, the officers were patrolling the intersection of Springfield and Ellis Avenues in an unmarked vehicle when they observed six individuals standing in front of a restaurant. Two of these individuals were dressed in camouflage jumpsuits, one of whom was also wearing a green knit hat. As the officers approached the individuals in camouflage for what they described as "investigative purposes," the individuals started to walk away, causing the officers to call out for them to stop, identifying themselves as police. When these persons did not stop, Officer Farmer again called out for the person in the camouflage suit and green knit hat, to stop. This person began to run up Springfield Avenue, while Officer Farmer pursued and repeatedly called out for him to stop. When Officer Farmer caught up with this individual, A.O., he spat out six vials with orange tops onto the ground in front of him. Officer Farmer suspected the items to be ...


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