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Criminal Law Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS: The state appeals an order granting appellee Matthew Wayne Kurtz’s motion to suppress. The issue presented is whether a Plano police officer had jurisdiction to stop Kurtz in the city of Frisco. HOLDING: Affirmed. The court rejects the state’s reliance on Angel v. State,740 S.W.2d 727 (Tex. Crim. App. 1987) for the proposition that a police officer’s jurisdiction is countywide. In Angel, the Court of Criminal Appeals, relying on former revised civil statutes articles 998 and 999, held that a city police officer’s jurisdiction is countywide. Articles 998 and 999 were later replaced by chapter 341.001 and 341.021 of the local government code, which likewise included provisions that the courts construed gave city police officers countywide jurisdiction. However, chapter 341.001 applied only to Type A General-Law Municipalities. The city of Plano is a home-rule municipality. Regardless, in 1995, the Legislature repealed the statutory language upon which the case law was based. The court agrees with the Waco court that prior case law relying on the repealed statutory language cannot justify a conclusion that a municipal police officer’s jurisdiction is countywide. Gerron v. State, 57 S.W.3d 568 (Tex. App. – Waco 2001), rev’d on other grounds, 97 S.W.3d 597 (Tex. Crim. App. 2003). The court recognizes that the Fort Worth court has disagreed with the Waco court, holding a city police officer’s jurisdiction remains “at least” countywide. Brother v. State, 85 S.W.3d 377 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth 2002, pet. filed). Similarly, the Houston’s 1st Court of Appeals has held that a city police officer’s jurisdiction remains countywide. Dogay v. State, 101 S.W.3d 614 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, no pet.). The Fort Worth and Houston courts relied on the legislative history of article 14.03, which was enacted at the same time the Legislature repealed the language in the local government code that allowed for countywide jurisdiction. According to these courts, the legislative history of article 14.03 showed that the Legislature’s overall intent was to increase the geographic jurisdiction of city officers to make arrests to the entire state of Texas. Article 14.03(g) itself expressly limits its expansion of jurisdiction to arrest for offenses other than traffic offenses. Thus, while the Legislature plainly intended to expand an officer’s jurisdiction to arrest for offenses other than traffic offenses, the same cannot be said of its intent with respect to traffic offenses. Courts nevertheless ignored that the Legislature repealed the language that allowed for countywide jurisdiction. They did so by assuming the Legislature could not have intended to reduce police officers’ jurisdiction to arrest for traffic offenses while increasing their jurisdiction to arrest for other offenses. In light of the Legislature’s clear decision to treat traffic offenses differently from other offenses, the court cannot agree with this assumption. Moreover, in reaching its conclusion, these courts ignored the well-established principle that the legislature is aware of court decisions construing Texas statutes and was thus aware it repealed the very language that provided for countywide jurisdiction. The state asserts the trial court erred in granting the motion to suppress because the officer was permitted to detain Kurtz for a breach of the peace. It relies on Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 14.03(d), which governs the authority of peace officers to arrest. The state does not assert that prior to the stop, the officer had probable cause to believe Kurtz was driving while intoxicated. Instead, the state maintains the officer had “reasonable suspicion” to believe Kurtz was committing the offense. An arrest under article 14.03 must be upon probable cause. Article 14.03 does not authorize officers to investigate possible breaches of the peace outside their jurisdiction only on reasonable suspicion. OPINION: O’Neill, J., delivered the court’s opinion. DISSENT: Fitzgerald, J. “I respectfully dissent. In its first issue, the State argues the Plano officer actually stopped Kurtz within the boundaries of the officer’s geographic jurisdiction. I agree with the majority that the intra city agreements, as they were offered at trial, did not establish the officer’s jurisdiction included the city of Frisco. However, I agree with our sister courts in Houston and Fort Worth that the Plano officer’s jurisdiction by law was countywide. See Dogay v. State, 101 S.W.3d 614, 617 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, no pet.); Brother v. State, 85 S.W.3d 377, 385 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2002, pet. filed). The majority’s argument against countywide jurisdiction stresses the 1995 repeal of certain statutory provisions related to Type A general law municipalities. However, no action by the 1995 Legislature addressed the geographical jurisdiction of an officer in a home-rule municipality (such as Plano) in any manner. Indeed, the legislative history of the 1995 amendments, discussed in Dogayand Brother, supports the conclusion that the Legislature intended only to broaden the authority of police officers throughout the state, not to limit it. Accordingly, I would conclude that a municipal police officer retains the countywide jurisdiction he presumptively held before 1995, and that this officer had the authority to stop Kurtz for the traffic violation.”

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