George E. Dix


Under current law the police may detain a suspect for investigatory purposes without meeting the legal requirements that protect individuals who are placed under arrest. Police authority to conduct such investigatory detentions, however, is limited by fourth amendment considerations and, in some jurisdictions, by local statutory and case law. There is a tendency to view issues arising from nonarrest detentions purely as matters of federal constitutional law; as a result, such issues have been inadequately addressed in terms of their relevance to state policy and law. This article considers the major aspects of nonarrest detention law that might usefully be addressed both as federal constitutional problems and as matters of legitimate local law concern. It then examines certain issues raised by such detentions that have significance for the legal regulation of law enforcement conduct more generally.

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