Ryan Huntsman's case against the Police Department will not be helped by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down an Iowa law granting police broad powers to search vehicles of drivers cited for minor violations, Newport Beach police said. Huntsman has sued the department over issues of illegal search and seizure.
The ground rules in the Iowa statute do not come into play in Huntsman's case, authorities said. A search of Huntsman's car was based on probable cause and consent, police said.
David Shores, Huntsman's attorney, disagreed, saying the ruling improved his case against the Police Department and Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Huntsman's attorneys have filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking $5 million from each agency.
Huntsman was stopped by police Feb. 19 for playing his car stereo loudly. Police said they found a plastic marijuana leaf stem on the floor of the car, smelled marijuana and searched his vehicle, reportedly finding a pipe with the residue of marijuana in it.
While cited only for noise pollution, Huntsman was also suspended from Corona del Mar High School for violating a district policy and was transferred to Newport Harbor. His suspension was overturned in Superior Court and he returned to Corona del Mar High and graduated in June.