Delaware v. Prouse

Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648 (1979), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that police may not stop motorists without any reasonable suspicion to suspect crime or illegal activity to check their driver's license and auto registration.[1][2]

Delaware v. Prouse
Argued January 17, 1979
Decided March 27, 1979
Full case nameDelaware v. Prouse
Citations440 U.S. 648 (more)
99 S. Ct. 1391; 59 L. Ed. 2d 660
Case history
PriorState v. Prouse, 382 A.2d 1359 (Del. 1978); cert. granted, 439 U.S. 816 (1978).
Unless there is at least articulable and reasonable suspicion that a motorist is unlicensed, an automobile is not registered, or that either the vehicle or an occupant is otherwise subject to seizure for violation of law, stopping an automobile and detaining the driver to check his driver's license and the registration of the automobile are unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Warren E. Burger
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan Jr. · Potter Stewart
Byron White · Thurgood Marshall
Harry Blackmun · Lewis F. Powell Jr.
William Rehnquist · John P. Stevens
Case opinions
MajorityWhite, joined by Burger, Brennan, Stewart, Marshall, Blackmun, Powell, Stevens
ConcurrenceBlackmun, joined by Powell
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. IV


  1. ^ Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648 (1979).
  2. ^ Lively, DE; Weaver, RL (2006). Contemporary Supreme Court Cases: Landmark Decisions Since Roe V. Wade. US: Greenwood Publishing Group.

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