Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 17,300+ case briefs...

Pennsylvania v. Mimms

United States Supreme Court
434 U.S. 106 (1977)



Philadelphia police officers stopped a car driven by Harry Mimms (defendant) because the car had an expired license plate. Although this was a routine traffic stop and the officers had no reason to suspect criminal activity, they ordered Mimms to exit the vehicle. After Mimms exited the car, the police noticed a bulge in Mimms's jacket. The police frisked Mimms and found a revolver under his jacket. The State of Pennsylvania (plaintiff) prosecuted Mimms for carrying a concealed gun without a permit. The trial judge denied Mimms's motion to exclude the gun from evidence. The gun was introduced into evidence, and Mimms was convicted. Mimms appealed to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The state high court reversed the conviction on the grounds that, because the police ordered Mimms to exit the car without any reason to suspect his involvement in criminal activity, the seizure of Mimms's gun was unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)

Dissent (Stevens, J.)

Dissent (Marshall, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 457,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 457,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 17,300 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial