The Appellate Group

State v. Sundara

State v. Sundara, 2021 UT App 85 (Christiansen Forster, J.)


Defendant was convicted of a murder that had occurred 20 years before. On appeal, his arguments included that his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for failing to file a motion to suppress evidence from a traffic stop. Defendant also filed a motion for rule 23B remand to supplement the record on this issue. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed his convictions, holding:

  • Trial counsel was not constitutionally deficient for failing to file a motion to suppress evidence obtained from the traffic stop because it was objectively reasonable for counsel to believe that the officer had sufficient information from the radio dispatch report to form a reasonable suspicion of involvement in the stabbing that allowed him to stop Defendant.
  • Although Defendant sought to supplement the record, under rule 23B, with the police report showing that the tip was from an unknown source, this would not support a claim of ineffective assistance because the details of the information and surrounding facts supported the reliability of the informant’s tip as a basis for reasonable suspicion.

Read the full court opinion