On May 21, 2000, Hiibel had parked his pickup truck off a Winnemucca, Nev. road. Motorists who observed Hiibel arguing with his daughter in the truck called the local sheriff's department. The deputy who answered the call reported asking Hiibel 11 times for either his ID or his name.
Refusing to answer, Hiibel told the deputy, "If youve got something, take me to jail" and "I dont want to talk. I've done nothing. I've broken no laws."
The deputy disagreed and took Hiibel into custody without incident. Hiibel's teenage daughter, who protested her dad's arrest, is shown on the sheriffs department video tape being thrown to the ground by deputies and arrested. She was later released and not convicted of any crime.
Hiibel was charged with resisting arrest and paid a $250 fine for the misdemeanor conviction.
Appealing his conviction, Hiibel's case has now proceeded all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"I would do it all over again," Hiibel told reporters after his hearing before the court. "Thats one of our fundamental rights as American citizens, to remain silent."
In his presentation before the court, Hiibel argued that both his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches, and his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent had been violated.
Justice Antonin Scalia responded that police needed the authority to get facts from suspicious people. "I cannot imagine any responsible citizen would have objected to giving the name," Scalia said.
Justice Sandra Day OConnor, however, stated that prior rulings by the court had required police to have probable cause to suspect that a person had committed a crime before demanding their identification.
Hiibel is backed by various privacy advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Cato Institute.
The case is Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, 03-5554.