Brief filed: 10/30/2023
Niemeyer v. Colorado
Colorado Supreme Court; Case No. 2023SC117
People v. Niemeyer, No. 18CA1877 Colo. App. Oct. 27, 2022
The Court of Appeals decision that Ms. Niemeyer was not in custody at the time of her interrogation by police erodes Miranda protections in Colorado by placing disproportionate importance on police statements. Courts must determine the moment of custody from the true totality of the circumstances, as viewed from the perspective of a reasonable person in the suspect’s position. A true totality of the circumstances analysis protects against officers narrating away the reality of conditions they impose on accused people. Due to the deceptive nature of modern police interrogation, and the risks deceptive tactics pose to accused people’s rights and the integrity of the legal system, courts must be particularly vigilant against placing undue importance on police statements.
Laura A. Menninger, Norman R. Mueller, and Jacob McMahon, Haddon, Morgan and Foreman, P.C., Denver, CO; Timothy R. Macdonald and Emma Mclean-Riggs, ACLU Foundation of Colorado, Denver, CO.