The state Supreme Court has expanded the group of defendants who can benefit from its March 4 ruling, in State v. Carty, 170 N.J. 632, that police must have a “reasonable and articulable” reason for asking motorists for permission to search their cars.

Acting sua sponte, the court said in a one-page order last Tuesday that Carty“shall apply in all cases pending in the trial court and on direct appeal as of June 23, 2000,” the day the Appellate Division issued its reported opinion in the case at 332 N.J. Super. 200.

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