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MCELRATH v. GOODWIN

August 24, 1988

MARK WILLIAM McELRATH, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
COL. TOMMY GOODWIN et al., DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: EISELE

 GARNETT THOMAS EISELE, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:

 Before the court is a motion to show cause filed by several class members in this case. On February 8, 1988, the parties to this action entered into a Consent Decree in settlement of this matter. This case involves various alleged practices of the Arkansas State Police, particularly officers assigned to the Criminal Apprehension Program ("CAPS officers"), which the plaintiffs claim violate the Fourth Amendment. The Consent Decree was designed to remedy the alleged violations. However, the parties interpret the decree differently, and the plaintiffs allege that the State Police have merely continued those practices challenged in the law suit despite the existence of the Consent Decree.

 The Consent Decree states in relevant part:

 
The parties to this case enter into the following Consent Decree:
 
1. The Arkansas State Police will adopt a policy within 30 days that specifically addresses the following issues:
 
(a) Vehicles or drivers or passengers shall not be stopped or detained on less than probable cause or by pretext.
 
(b) A traffic stop cannot be used to question or detain the driver and occupants of a vehicle without reasonable suspicion of criminality.
 
(c) Reasonable suspicion cannot be used to detain a person longer than fifteen minutes. A.R.Crim.P. 3.1.
 
(d) Officers shall be advised of and ordered to comply with the Arkansas "stop and detain" law. Ark. Code Ann. s.s. 16-81-201; 16-81-209; A.R.Crim.P. 3.1-3.2.
 
(e) Evidence or property cannot be seized from a vehicle or person without probable cause to believe that the evidence is contraband or evidence of a crime.
 
(f) A vehicle consent search form will be adopted in both English and Spanish in substantially the form appended to this order, providing at least:
 
(2) The driver or person in apparent control shall be told that they will be allowed to go on their ...

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