Mr. Terry was pulled over for two minor traffic infractions while driving a rental truck. By the time Mr. Terry was able to pull the truck over in the lot of a gas station, officers had already determined that the truck was a rental and had not been reported stolen. Two officers then removed Mr. Terry from the truck at gunpoint and demanded his license and ID. Mr. Terry produced his license, which showed he had no outstanding warrants, but when he was asked for the rental truck's insurance and registration, he could only shrug. The officer then searched the truck's glove compartment and claims he saw contraband sticking out from under the front passenger seat. We argue that Mr. Terry's rental truck should never have been searched, that any exemption to the warrant requirement that would have allowed the search is unconstitutional, and that -- even if the exemption is constitutional here, the officer otherwise failed to follow the law.

The case was argued on October 11, 2017. On March 14, 2018, a divided New Jersey Supreme Court held that the search was permissible. Three dissenting judges questioned the validity of the driving documents exception.

Date filed

February 21, 2017


New Jersey Supreme Court