Back in February, a panel of the Court of Appeals ruled that the mere fact that a guy’s car had a peeling inspection sticker wasn’t enough to justify a police officer’s stop. That fact alone didn’t provide the “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity needed to make the stop, according to the panel, which suppressed evidence and drugs and a gun found in the car.
The 2-1 panel opinion was written by Chief Judge Walter S. Felton Jr., joined by Senior Judge Johanna L. Fitzpatrick. Judge Elizabeth A. McClanahan dissented. This morning, the appeals court issued a notice that it will rehear the case, Moore v. Commonwealth, en banc.
By the way, the defendant’s lawyer, John B. Mann of Richmond, told us that the actual sticker on the defendant’s car was in a lot better shape than the illustration we used with our story in February (see above).