State of Iowa v. Jayel Antrone Coleman ( 2016 )


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  •                     IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF IOWA
    
                                       No. 15-0752
                                   Filed April 27, 2016
    
    
    STATE OF IOWA,
         Plaintiff-Appellee,
    
    vs.
    
    JAYEL ANTRONE COLEMAN,
         Defendant-Appellant.
    ________________________________________________________________
    
    
          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Christine Dalton
    
    Ploof, District Associate Judge.
    
    
    
          A defendant challenges the continuation of a traffic stop leading to his
    
    driving-while-barred conviction. AFFIRMED.
    
    
    
          Micki Mayes of Micki M. Mayes Law Firm, Davenport, for appellant.
    
          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Darrel Mullins, Assistant Attorney
    
    General, for appellee.
    
    
    
          Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
                                            2
    
    
    TABOR, Presiding Judge.
    
          Jayel Coleman appeals his conviction for driving while barred.           He
    
    contends the district court wrongly denied his motion to suppress evidence of his
    
    license status obtained by a police officer after reasonable suspicion for the
    
    traffic stop had evaporated. Because Iowa case law allows an officer to ask for
    
    the driver’s operating license even after resolving any ambiguity as to whether
    
    criminal activity was afoot, we affirm the suppression ruling and Coleman’s
    
    conviction.
    
    I.    Facts and Prior Proceedings
    
          Patrolling Highway 61 at 9:30 p.m. on August 18, 2014, Eldridge police
    
    officer Jim Morris stopped a Pontiac Bonneville after his computer check
    
    revealed the car’s female owner had a suspended driver’s license. Only upon
    
    approaching the driver’s side window did Officer Morris realize the driver was not
    
    a woman. Despite knowing he no longer had reasonable suspicion to investigate
    
    the driving status of the car’s female owner, Officer Morris asked the male driver
    
    for “his license, registration, and proof of insurance.” Jayel Coleman “was not
    
    able” to give the officer the registration but produced identification and told the
    
    officer he had borrowed his sister’s car. The officer checked Coleman’s driving
    
    status, learned that his license was barred, and arrested him.
    
          The State filed a trial information charging Coleman with driving while
    
    barred as an habitual offender in violation of Iowa Code section 321.561 (2013).
    
    Coleman filed a motion to suppress evidence seized as a result of a traffic stop.
    
    On December 30, 2014, the district court held a suppression hearing and denied
    
    Coleman’s motion with the following ruling:
                                              3
    
    
           The officer had probable cause to stop the car. Although the
           probable cause was resolved when the officer approached the car
           and realized the driver was a male, he was justified in determining
           the identity and driving privileges of the actual driver and to ensure
           Defendant had authority to be driving the owner’s car.
    
           Coleman agreed to a bench trial on the minutes of evidence, and the
    
    district court found the State established the elements of driving while barred
    
    beyond a reasonable doubt.       The court sentenced Coleman to unsupervised
    
    probation. Coleman filed an appeal to challenge the suppression ruling.
    
           After the Iowa Supreme Court transferred the appeal to our court, we
    
    requested further briefing to address the impact of three recent cases—
    
    Rodriguez v. United States, 
    135 S. Ct. 1609
     (2015); In re Pardee, 
    872 N.W.2d 384
     (Iowa 2015); and People v. Cummings (Cummings II), 
    46 N.E.3d 248
     (Ill.
    
    2016) (following order from United States Supreme Court granting certiorari,
    
    vacating previous decision, and remanding for Illinois Supreme Court to consider
    
    Rodriguez)—on the issue raised by Coleman.          The parties filed supplemental
    
    briefs on April 6, 2016.
    
    II.    Scope of Review
    
           We review the suppression ruling de novo because Coleman raises a
    
    constitutional argument.1 See State v. Pals, 
    805 N.W.2d 767
    , 771 (Iowa 2011).
    
    
    
    
    1
     Coleman’s appellate brief mentions both the federal and state constitutions but does
    not contend these facts call for an analysis under article I, section 8 of the Iowa
    Constitution distinct from our examination under the Fourth Amendment. At trial,
    Coleman did not assert a state constitutional basis for suppressing the evidence
    obtained during the stop. Further, on appeal Coleman largely relies on State v. Vance,
    
    790 N.W.2d 775
    , 780 (Iowa 2010), which limits its discussion to the Fourth Amendment.
    Accordingly, we will not look for an independent basis for suppression under our state
    constitution. See State v. Prusha, 
    847 N.W.2d 627
    , 630 (Iowa 2016); see also State v.
    Lowe, 
    812 N.W.2d 554
    , 556 (Iowa 2012).
                                            4
    
    
    III.   Analysis
    
           Both the Fourth Amendment and article I, section 8 prohibit law
    
    enforcement from conducting unreasonable searches and seizures. See State v.
    
    Tyler, 
    830 N.W.2d 288
    , 291 (Iowa 2013). A traffic stop constitutes a seizure and,
    
    to be considered reasonable, must be supported by either probable cause or
    
    reasonable suspicion. Id. at 292. The seizure incident to a traffic stop is more
    
    like a Terry stop than a formal arrest. See Knowles v. Iowa, 
    525 U.S. 113
    , 117
    
    (1998) (citing Berkemer v. McCarty, 
    468 U.S. 420
    , 439 (1984), in turn citing Terry
    
    v. Ohio, 
    392 U.S. 1
     (1968)). An officer has reasonable suspicion to initiate a
    
    traffic stop to investigate whether the driver has a valid operator’s license “when
    
    the officer knows the registered owner of the vehicle has a suspended license,
    
    and the officer is unaware of any evidence or circumstances indicating the
    
    registered owner is not the driver of the vehicle.” Vance, 790 N.W.2d at 781.
    
           On appeal, Coleman does not argue Officer Morris’s stop of the Pontiac
    
    Bonneville was invalid at its inception. Indeed he cannot, given the holding in
    
    Vance. “To be reasonable is not to be perfect . . . .” Heien v. North Carolina,
    
    
    135 S. Ct. 530
    , 536 (2014) (explaining the Fourth Amendment allows for some
    
    mistakes by police).   Instead, Coleman argues: “At the point that the officer
    
    discovered the gender of the driver was not the same gender as the registered
    
    owner, the officer should have ceased any further investigation.”
    
           In response, the State contends Officer Morris had authority under State v.
    
    Jackson, 
    315 N.W.2d 766
    , 767 (Iowa 1982), to ask Coleman for his driver’s
                                                 5
    
    license.2 In Jackson, the officer stopped a car for failure to display a license
    
    plate. 315 N.W.2d at 767. When the officer approached the car, the driver
    
    directed his attention to a properly displayed department of transportation (DOT)
    
    paper plate. Id. Our supreme court held at that point in their encounter, “there
    
    arose no requirement that [the officer] treat the defendant as if he had never
    
    seen him.” Id. (noting traffic stop was not “random or selective” and did not
    
    violate the parameters of constitutional stops outlined in Delaware v. Prouse, 
    440 U.S. 648
    , 661 (1979)).
    
             The Jackson court reasoned:
    
             Section 321.174, The Code, requires all persons operating a motor
             vehicle upon a highway in the state to have immediate possession
             of a valid operator’s license, and to display the same upon the
             demand of a peace officer. Notwithstanding the fact that a mistake
             concerning the license plates led to the defendant’s stop, there was
             nothing illegal about the fact that, once he was stopped and
             exonerated, he was asked to display his operator’s license.
    
    Id.
    
             Our court has applied the Jackson rationale to justify a peace officer
    
    asking for license and registration where the investigatory stop was based on a
    
    reasonable mistake of fact.         See State v. Saffold, No. 14-0223, 
    2015 WL 1849398
    , at *2-3 (Iowa Ct. App. Apr. 22, 2015) (“Because the deputy did not
    
    learn the driver was someone other than the owner until he had reached the
    
    window and was questioning the driver, the reasonable suspicion he acquired on
    
    checking the registration of the owner allowed him to complete the inquiry.”); see
    
    also State v. Knight, 
    853 N.W.2d 273
    , 278 (Iowa Ct. App. 2014) (rejecting
    
    defendant’s position that deputy “acted unreasonably in going to the driver’s
    
    2
        Coleman does not discuss Jackson in his briefing.
                                               6
    
    
    window to explain his mistake and ask for Knight’s license”).3                 We are
    
    constrained to abide by the same line of reasoning here. See State v. Hastings,
    
    
    466 N.W.2d 697
    , 700 (Iowa Ct. App. 1990) (“We are not at liberty to overrule
    
    Iowa Supreme Court precedent.”).
    
           Although we are not at liberty to overrule Jackson, we do recognize some
    
    questions about its continuing vitality. In Vance, our supreme court noted the
    
    defendant did not raise the issue of the whether the stop continued to be valid
    
    upon the officer’s discovery that the driver was, in fact, not the registered owner
    
    of the car. Vance, 790 N.W.2d at 783 n.1. The court cited Florida v. Royer, 
    460 U.S. 491
    , 500 (1983), for the proposition that “the scope of an investigatory stop
    
    must be carefully tailored to its underlying justification and last no longer than
    
    necessary to effectuate the purpose of the stop.” Id. Without acknowledging
    
    Jackson, the Vance court appeared to view the officer’s authority to ask for the
    
    operating license after realizing the driver was not the owner as an open question
    
    in Iowa. The court wrote: “A number of jurisdictions have invalidated the further
    
    detention or investigation of a suspect after the initial purpose of an investigatory
    
    stop has been resolved.” Id. (collecting cases). Ultimately, Vance expressed “no
    
    opinion on the merits of this issue” because it was not preserved for appellate
    
    review. 790 N.W.2d at 783 n.1.
    
    
    
    3
     As an aside, in both Knight and Saffold, the officers developed independent reasonable
    suspicion after approaching the drivers. Saffold, 
    2015 WL 1849398
    , at *3 (explaining
    “Saffold showed signs of intoxication” when officer asked for his license); Knight, 853
    N.W.2d at 278 (“Even assuming the deputy could do no more than tell the driver why he
    had made the stop and then allow him to be on his way, once the deputy smelled alcohol
    and saw Knight’s eyes were bloodshot and watery during that conversation, the deputy
    developed reasonable suspicion to launch an investigation into possible drunk driving.”).
                                             7
    
    
           The majority of jurisdictions that have examined this issue have decided
    
    once probable cause or reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop is dispelled, an
    
    officer may not continue the detention for any investigation, including asking a
    
    motorist for a driver’s license. See, e.g., United States v. Trestyn, 
    646 F.3d 732
    ,
    
    744 (10th Cir. 2011) (holding request for driver’s license exceeded scope of
    
    stop’s underlying justification); United States v. Edgerton, 
    438 F.3d 1043
    , 1044
    
    (10th Cir. 2006) (reiterating United States v. McSwain, 
    29 F.3d 558
    , 561 (10th
    
    Cir. 1994), instructs that trooper, “as a matter of courtesy,” should have explained
    
    to defendant the reason for the initial stop and then allowed her to continue on
    
    her way without requiring her to produce her license and registration); United
    
    States v. Valadez, 
    267 F.3d 395
    , 398–99 (5th Cir. 2001) (holding where an
    
    officer properly initiated a stop to investigate a motor-vehicle law violation and
    
    learned no violation had occurred, the purpose of the investigatory stop was
    
    satisfied and any further detention or investigation violated the Fourth
    
    Amendment); United States v. Wise, 
    418 F. Supp. 2d 1100
    , 1107 (S.D. Iowa
    
    2006) (holding deputy illegally detained defendants when he asked driver for
    
    identification because his investigation was no longer related to the purpose of
    
    the stop); People v. Redinger, 
    906 P.2d 81
    , 86 (Colo. 1995) (holding once
    
    purpose of initial investigation was satisfied, police conduct in requiring
    
    defendant to produce information without either reasonable suspicion or probable
    
    cause was unwarranted); State v. Diaz, 
    850 So. 2d 435
    , 436 (Fla. 2003) (finding
    
    no justification for continuing restraint of motorist and obtaining information from
    
    him after no question remained concerning the car’s temporary license plate);
    
    Holly v. State, 
    918 N.E.2d 323
     (Ind. 2009) (finding initial detention lawful because
                                              8
    
    
    officer knew registered owner had suspended license and person driving could
    
    not be seen before stop, but once officer determined driver was male, while
    
    registered owner was female, officer had no reason to conduct additional
    
    inquiry); State v. Diaz-Ruiz, 
    211 P.3d 836
    , 844 (Kan. Ct. App. 2009) (ruling
    
    “because the trooper’s reasonable suspicion evaporated once he observed that
    
    the ladder was secure, the trooper had no reason to detain the defendants to
    
    perform the tasks incident to an ordinary traffic stop”); State v. Chatton, 
    463 N.E.2d 1237
    , 1238–41 (Ohio 1984) (holding officer who stopped vehicle with no
    
    visible license plates had no authority to further detain driver or ask for his
    
    driver’s license after officer determined car had valid temporary permit);
    
    McGaughey v. State, 
    37 P.3d 130
    , 140 (Okla. Crim. App. 2001) (holding “an
    
    officer who realizes that his stop of a vehicle was mistaken—and who has no
    
    other cause for reasonable suspicion of the driver—has no authority to further
    
    detain the driver or his vehicle”); State v. Farley, 
    775 P.2d 835
    , 836 (Or. 1989)
    
    (holding police had no authority to routinely ask for driver’s license and detain
    
    drivers while checking on their status after satisfying initial reason for stop); State
    
    v. Hayen, 
    751 N.W.2d 306
    , 311 (S.D. 2008) (holding officer’s request for driver’s
    
    license and proof of insurance constituted an unconstitutional detention); State v.
    
    Morris, 
    259 P.3d 116
    , 124 (Utah 2011) (holding that after resolving reason for
    
    stop, officer may approach driver only to explain mistake and may not
    
    constitutionally ask for identification, registration, or proof of insurance, unless
    
    officer develops independent probable cause to extend detention); State v.
    
    DeArman, 
    774 P.2d 1247
    , 1247–49 (Wash Ct. App. 1989) (holding officer who
    
    initially believed vehicle might be disabled because it remained motionless at
                                               9
    
    
    stop sign for one minute had no authority to detain, question, or seek
    
    identification from driver once it became clear that vehicle not disabled).
    
           But other jurisdictions have allowed officers to request a driver’s license
    
    even without a continued reason to detain the motorist.            See, e.g., State v.
    
    Gulick, 
    759 A.2d 1085
    , 1088 (Me. 2000) (holding “[a]fter an officer stops a
    
    vehicle, he may request verification of the operator’s right to drive, even when the
    
    original reason for a stop has disappeared, or evaporated, before the request is
    
    made”); Hart v. State, 
    235 S.W.3d 858
    , 861 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007) (where the
    
    initial traffic stop is valid, a license check of the driver, even if conducted after the
    
    officer has determined that the motorist is not guilty of the violation for which he
    
    or she was originally stopped, is not unreasonable so long as it does not unduly
    
    prolong the motorist’s detention); State v. Williams, 
    655 N.W.2d 462
    , 468 (Wis.
    
    2002) (finding police had authority under state statute to require driver to display
    
    license on demand if driver was already stopped for lawful purpose).
    
           Our supreme court’s decision in Jackson aligns with the minority point of
    
    view. Jackson’s discussion of the officer’s authority to ask the motorist to display
    
    his operator’s license even after he was “exonerated” relies on Iowa Code
    
    section 321.174. 315 N.W.2d at 767. Subsection (3) of that statute requires a
    
    licensee to have his or her driver’s license in immediate possession at all times
    
    when operating a motor vehicle and “to display the same upon demand” of a
    
    peace officer, judge, or DOT official. Iowa Code § 321.174(3). Jackson does not
    
    specifically address whether it is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment for the
    
    officer to prolong the detention of the motorist to demand his or her driver’s
    
    license. 315 N.W.2d at 767.
                                               10
    
    
           The constitutionality of prolonging a traffic stop was discussed last year by
    
    the United States Supreme court in Rodriguez and the Iowa Supreme Court in
    
    Pardee.    Those cases confirmed an officer “may conduct certain unrelated
    
    checks during an otherwise lawful traffic stop” but “may not do so in a way that
    
    prolongs the stop, absent the reasonable suspicion ordinarily demanded to justify
    
    detaining an individual.” Pardee, 872 N.W.2d at 393 (citing Rodriguez, 135 S. Ct.
    
    at 1615). In Rodriguez, the Court explained: “Like a Terry stop, the tolerable
    
    duration of police inquiries in the traffic-stop context is determined by the
    
    seizure’s ‘mission’—to address the traffic violation that warranted the stop, . . .
    
    and attend to related safety concerns.” Rodriguez, 135 S. Ct. at 1614 (internal
    
    citations omitted).
    
           In his supplemental brief, Coleman focuses on the “mission” discussion.
    
    In Rodriguez, the officer’s mission was to find out why the defendant had veered
    
    off the road, not to investigate whether Rodriquez was carrying drugs, which is
    
    why the court concluded the officer had no reason to continue detaining
    
    Rodriguez once the officer determined the driver veered to miss a pothole and a
    
    warning ticket was issued. Id. at 1614-15. Coleman contends in his case, “[t]he
    
    mission of the stop was to determine if the registered owner was the driver and
    
    cite or arrest her for driving illegally. The mission was concluded as soon as the
    
    officer determined that the driver was not the registered owner.”
    
           By contrast, the State’s supplemental brief emphasizes the “related safety
    
    concerns” language from Rodriquez. The State quotes the case’s next passage:
    
           Beyond determining whether to issue a traffic ticket, an officer’s
           mission includes “ordinary inquiries incident to [the traffic] stop.” . . .
           Typically such inquiries involve checking the driver’s license,
                                                11
    
    
           determining whether there are outstanding warrants against the
           driver, and inspecting the automobile’s registration and proof of
           insurance.
    
    Id. at 1615 (internal citations omitted).
    
           The State acknowledges under Rodriguez and Pardee, an officer may not
    
    prolong a traffic stop to call for a drug-dog sniff or engage in other questioning
    
    aimed at detecting evidence of criminal wrongdoing, without suspicion. But the
    
    State asserts an officer may make “ordinary inquiries” such as asking for a
    
    driver’s license and registration without violating the Fourth Amendment. The
    
    State categorizes those “ordinary inquiries” as checks that “relate to safety of the
    
    officer and those who share the road with the motorist.” The State argues “even
    
    if the purpose of the stop—the traffic infraction—has dissipated, the traffic stop
    
    still presents a danger to the officer that justifies the typical inquiries.”
    
           The danger to peace officers inherent in traffic stops emerged as the key
    
    consideration for the Illinois Supreme Court as it recently confronted an almost
    
    identical factual scenario. See Cummings II, 46 N.E.3d at 251-52. Originally, a
    
    majority of the Illinois high court decided a police officer violated the Fourth
    
    Amendment when, after stopping a van solely because it was registered to a
    
    woman with an outstanding arrest warrant, the officer asked the male driver for
    
    his operator’s license. People v. Cummings (Cummings I), 
    6 N.E.3d 725
    , 727,
    
    733 (Ill. 2014) (holding “unless a request for identification is related to the reason
    
    for the stop, it impermissibly extends the stop and violates the Constitution”).
    
    The United States Supreme Court granted the government’s petition for writ of
    
    certiorari, vacated the original decision, and remanded for further consideration in
    
    light of Rodriguez. Illinois v. Cummings, 
    135 S. Ct. 1892
     (2015).
                                               12
    
    
           On remand, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously held the officer’s
    
    request for Cumming’s license did not impermissibly prolong the traffic stop, even
    
    though reasonable suspicion had vanished when the officer saw the defendant
    
    was not the vehicle’s registered owner. Cummings II, 46 N.E.3d at 252-53. The
    
    Illinois court read Rodriguez as reasoning “unrelated inquiries impermissibly
    
    prolong the stop beyond its original mission, when those inquiries are not
    
    precipitated by reasonable suspicion,” but “[o]rdinary inquiries incident to the stop
    
    do not prolong the stop beyond its original mission, because those inquiries are a
    
    part of that mission.” Id. at 252. Rejecting Cummings’ argument that the State
    
    had not proven how checking the driver’s license promotes officer protection, the
    
    Illinois court opined: “[W]here a traffic stop is lawfully initiated, the interest in
    
    officer safety entitles the officer to know the identity of a driver with whom he is
    
    interacting.”
    
           The State embraces the rationale in Cummings II decision, citing statistics
    
    showing the perils faced by officers during traffic stops and asserting: “An officer
    
    may choose to mitigate his risk by identifying the person he has met from license
    
    and registration, and it does little to impair the motorist’s constitutional rights.” It
    
    is true routine traffic stops raise a concern for officer safety, but “the threat to
    
    officer safety from issuing a traffic citation . . . is a good deal less than in the case
    
    of a custodial arrest.” Knowles, 525 U.S. at 117. And arguably the threat to
    
    officer safety would be even less if the officer waved the motorist on with a brief
    
    explanation for the mistaken stop, rather than extending the encounter by asking
    
    for license, registration, and proof of insurance.
                                            13
    
          In his supplemental briefing, Coleman discusses Cummings I decision,
    
    arguing the Illinois court was correct in originally deciding when reasonable
    
    suspicion ended the seizure and continued investigation was unlawful. Coleman
    
    contends under the Terry standard, Officer Morris did not have “articulable facts”
    
    to reasonably warrant the intrusion of asking for his license after discovering he
    
    was not the car’s registered owner. See Terry, 392 U.S. at 20; see also Royer,
    
    460 U.S. at 498 (explaining person “may not be detained even momentarily
    
    without reasonable, objective grounds for doing so”).
    
          While Coleman’s position has won over a majority of courts addressing
    
    this question in other jurisdictions, our supreme court has yet to expressly retreat
    
    from its position in Jackson. Moreover, the majority’s analysis in Rodriguez may
    
    be read to approve of the sentiments in Jackson that there is “nothing illegal”
    
    about asking a driver to display his operator’s license “once he was stopped and
    
    exonerated” because such an “ordinary inquiry” is part of the officer’s “traffic
    
    mission.” See Cummings II, 46 N.E.3d at 252.
    
          The final chapters may yet be written on the constitutional question arising
    
    in this case.   For instance, the United States Supreme Court may decide to
    
    directly address the application of Rodriguez to a factual scenario where the
    
    officer makes “ordinary inquiries” concerning license and registration after
    
    reasonable suspicion has vanished rather than amid a traffic stop based on
    
    reasonable suspicion or probable cause.        Or the Iowa Supreme Court may
    
    decide to answer the question it left open in Vance regarding the propriety of an
    
    investigation after the initial purpose of an investigatory stop has been resolved.
    
    But for now, we are compelled to follow Jackson and decide the Fourth
                                                14
    
    
    Amendment did not prohibit Officer Morris from asking for Coleman’s license
    
    despite the fact a mistake concerning the identity of the Pontiac Bonneville’s
    
    registered owner led to the traffic stop.
    
           AFFIRMED.
    
           Bower, J., concurs; McDonald, J., concurs specially.
                                              15
    
    
    MCDONALD, Judge. (concurring specially)
    
           I respectfully concur in the judgment of the court.         I write separately,
    
    however, because I do not share the majority’s apparent reluctance in concluding
    
    an officer’s request for driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance
    
    following an undisputedly lawful traffic stop is constitutional.
    
           I begin with first principles.
    
                  The Fourth Amendment protects the right of the people to be
           secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
           unreasonable searches and seizures. As the text indicates, the
           ultimate touchstone of the Fourth Amendment is reasonableness.
           We have defined reasonableness in objective terms by examining
           the totality of the circumstances and by considering the traditional
           protections against unreasonable searches and seizures afforded
           by the common law at the time of the framing. When traditional
           protections have not provided a definitive answer, our precedents
           have analyzed a search or seizure in light of traditional standards of
           reasonableness by assessing, on the one hand, the degree to
           which it intrudes upon an individual's privacy and, on the other, the
           degree to which it is needed for the promotion of legitimate
           governmental interests.
    
    Rodriguez v. United States, 
    135 S. Ct. 1609
    , 1617-18 (2015) (Thomas, J.,
    
    dissenting) (internal marks and citations omitted).
    
           I readily conclude the officer’s request for Coleman’s driver’s license,
    
    registration, and proof of insurance was reasonable. The officer lawfully initiated
    
    a traffic stop. Although the officer’s suspicion quickly dissipated upon realizing
    
    the driver was not of the same gender as the registered owner of the vehicle, the
    
    officer was allowed to conduct regulatory inquiry related to enforcement of the
    
    traffic laws and officer safety once there. The officer’s ability to conduct such
    
    inquiry is justified, for constitutional purposes, by the government’s legitimate
    
    interests in enforcement of the traffic laws and protecting officer safety when
                                             16
    
    balanced against the de minimis imposition upon the detained motorist. See
    
    Virginia v. Moore, 
    553 U.S. 164
    , 171 (2008) (determining reasonableness by
    
    balancing the legitimate governmental interests against the degree of intrusion
    
    on an individual’s privacy). The government’s interests in enforcement of the
    
    traffic laws and protecting officer safety exist independent of the officer’s reason
    
    for initiating the traffic stop. See Rodriguez, 135 S. Ct. at 1616 (“Highway and
    
    officer safety are interests different in kind from the Government’s endeavor to
    
    detect crime in general or drug trafficking in particular.”).      This is why, for
    
    example, an officer may ask for proof of insurance during the course of any
    
    lawfully initiated traffic stop even when the request for proof of insurance has no
    
    relation to the reason for the stop. See, e.g., United States v. Gregory, 
    302 F.3d 805
    , 809 (8th Cir. 2002) (“The Fourth Amendment grants an officer conducting a
    
    routine traffic stop latitude to check the driver’s identification and vehicle
    
    registration . . . .”). It necessarily follows then that, following a lawful stop, the
    
    officer always has independent justification for carrying out de minimis regulatory
    
    inquiry related to enforcement of the traffic laws and protecting officer safety,
    
    including a request for records related to operation of the vehicle.
    
           This conclusion is squarely supported by Rodriguez. The Supreme Court
    
    clearly stated that “the mission” of any lawfully initiated traffic stop includes
    
    regulatory inquiry related to enforcement of the traffic law. Rodriguez, 135 S. Ct.
    
    at 1615 (stating an “officer, in other words, may conduct certain unrelated checks
    
    during an otherwise lawful traffic stop”). Further,
    
           an officer’s mission includes ordinary inquiries incident to the traffic
           stop. Typically such inquiries involve checking the driver’s license,
           determining whether there are outstanding warrants against the
                                             17
    
    
           driver, and inspecting the automobile’s registration and proof of
           insurance. These checks serve the same objective as enforcement
           of the traffic code: ensuring that vehicles on the road are operated
           safely and responsibly.
    
    Id. (internal citations and marks omitted).
    
           The two most relevant cases decided post-Rodriguez support the same
    
    conclusions. In Pardee, the Iowa Supreme Court stated, “[u]nrelated checks . . .
    
    are matters that do not ‘serve the same objective as enforcement of the traffic
    
    code: ensuring that vehicles on the road are operated safely and responsibly.’”
    
    In re Pardee, 
    872 N.W.2d 384
    , 393 (Iowa 2015) (citation omitted). The Illinois
    
    Supreme Court applied the same basic framework in Cummings:
    
           We believe Rodriguez supports the State’s interpretation. A traffic
           stop is analogous to a Terry stop, and its permissible duration is
           determined by the seizure's mission. The seizure’s mission
           consists of the purpose of the stop—in Rodriguez, traffic
           enforcement—and related safety concerns. Those related safety
           concerns include ‘ordinary inquiries incident to the traffic stop, and
           typically involve checking the driver's license, determining whether
           there are outstanding warrants against the driver, and inspecting
           the automobile's registration and proof of insurance. Those checks
           serve also to enforce the traffic code.
    
           Ordinary inquiries within the traffic stop's mission clearly do not
           offend the fourth amendment.
           ....
           Defendant's view of the ordinary inquiries, that they must relate to
           the initial purpose of the stop, would be in direct conflict with Holt’s
           officer safety justifications as favorably cited in Rodriguez.
           Rodriguez makes clear that unrelated inquiries impermissibly
           prolong the stop beyond its original mission when those inquiries
           are not precipitated by reasonable suspicion. Ordinary inquiries
           incident to the stop do not prolong the stop beyond its original
           mission, because those inquiries are a part of that mission. Indeed,
           defendant's view would collapse the two parts of the mission—the
           initial purpose of the stop and ordinary inquiries of the stop—into
           just the purpose of the stop. Nothing in Rodriguez suggests that
           license requests might be withdrawn from the list of ordinary
           inquiries for a nontraffic enforcement stop.
                                             18
    
    People v. Cummings, 46 N.E.2d 248-251-52 (Ill. 2016) (internal citations and
    
    marks omitted).
    
           The conclusion that the officer’s request for records during a lawfully
    
    initiated traffic stop is independently justified without regard to the purpose of the
    
    stop and without regard to whether the officer’s reasonable suspicion is
    
    confirmed has been noted by at least one commentator:
    
                   As one court has aptly put it, the “primary law enforcement
           purposes” for making a traffic stop are: “(1) to verify that a violation
           of the traffic laws has occurred or is occurring and, (2) to provide for
           the issuance of an appropriate ticket or citation charging such traffic
           violation or make an arrest of the driver based upon such violation.”
           This being the case, it might be thought that a close application of
           the Terry doctrine to traffic stops would mean that the police could
           not use the occasion to check, via radio or computer, various
           government records concerning the status of the driver and the
           vehicle; rather, the officer should merely investigate sufficiently to
           verify (where necessary) that his pre-stop suppositions about the
           violation are correct (sometimes they are not) and then simply
           proceed with citation or arrest. But the court responsible for the
           above-quoted pronouncement followed it with this postscript: “In
           furtherance of these purposes, the police officer is authorized to
           require the driver of the vehicle to produce a valid driver’s license
           and documentation establishing the ownership of the vehicle and
           that required public liability insurance coverages are in effect on
           such vehicle,” after which “the officer may run a computer check on
           the driver’s license and registration.” This kind of checking of
           government records incident to a “routine traffic stop,” which usually
           takes a matter of minutes, is well established as a part of the
           “routine,” and has consistently been approved and upheld by both
           federal and state courts.
    
    Wayne R. LaFave, The “Routine Traffic Stop” From Start to Finish: Too Much
    
    “Routine,” Not Enough Fourth Amendment, 
    102 Mich. L
    . Rev. 1843, 1874-75
    
    (2004) (footnotes omitted).
    
           As the majority concludes, Jackson is the controlling case. The rationale
    
    of Jackson has not been undermined by subsequent doctrinal developments. To
                                         19
    
    the contrary, Jackson is rooted in long-standing Fourth Amendment principles.
    
    Those principles were reaffirmed in Rodriguez and Pardee.    I concur in the
    
    judgment.