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    When Suspect is NOT in Custody, Seibert Analysis is NOT Needed

    U.S. v. Courtney, 463 F.3d 333 (5th Cir. 2006) Cherie Marie Courtney testified falsely at the trial of her boyfriend, Shawn Kilgarlin. Two EPA Special Agents conducted two interviews with Courtney. A year later she was indicted, arrested and Mirandized. She waived her rights and spoke with the Agents. She again made incriminating statements similar to her prior statements. At a ...
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    Student showing propensity for violence can be required to undergo psychiatric evaluation

    Demers v. Leominster School Dept., 263 F.Supp. 2d 195 (Dist. MA 2003). Michael Demers and his parents filed a federal lawsuit against school officials after he was suspended from school following his refusal to undergo a psychiatric exam. The suit alleged among other things, a violation of Michael’s due process rights. School officials sought to have Michael psychiatrically examined after he ...
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    Preparing a Defense in Law Enforcement Litigation: A Formula for Law Enforcement

    Any significant law enforcement event has the potential to develop in a claim made against the agency and the officers involved. The likelihood of a lawsuit is enhanced when individuals involved in the event are injured or claim a violation of their rights at the outset. Depending upon the nature of the event and the public interest involved, the media may ...
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    Shooting At Non-Threatening Fleeing Vehicle May Violate 4th Amendment

    In Flores v. City of Palacios and Officer Kalina, 381 F.3d 391 (5th Cir. 2004), the United States Court of Appeal for the 5th Circuit considered a case where an officer shot at a vehicle that refused to stop upon his command. Officer Kalina was on patrol when he shined his spotlight toward a vehicle that was parked on the wrong ...
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    Police Involvement Does Not Always Invalidate Search

    An issue that is often raised in school search cases is the question as to what level of police involvement will require that a search be supported by probable cause rather than the reasonable suspicion standard allowed for school officials. A case on point was decided by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently. In the Interest of A.D., 844 A.2d 20 ...
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    The Law of Citizen Contacts and Stop and Frisk

    On a daily basis police officers have contacts with citizens that are consensual and thus do not implicate the Fourth Amendment. These contacts do not require the police to have any level of suspicion to justify the contact. Since police do not justify the stop based on some level of suspicion, the police have no authority to force a non-willing citizen ...
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    U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Exclude Statements of Foreign Nationals where Vienna Convention is Violated

    Under Article 36 (1) (b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, a person who is detained by a foreign country has the right to request that the consular post of his country be notified. The article further provides that a person from another country who is detained must be informed of these rights. The impact of Article 36 on local ...
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    Trial to Decide if 1st Grader is Fully Aware to Assume Risk Monkey Bars Claim Another Victim

    A jury should decide whether a six-year-old assumed the risk of injury when he fell off a piece of school playground equipment and was injured, the Supreme Court of New York has ruled. The plaintiff, a first-grader, was injured in October 2001 when he fell from his school’s monkey bars during recess. The pupil was one of 25-30 first-graders on the ...
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    Totally Disabled Parent Seeks Victim Status: Court: Pluto is less remote to us than the Plaintiffs argument

    Stephen Prescott believes that parents may think twice about attending their children’s school events if the law prevents them from successfully suing the school corporation after being injured on school property. The Connecticut Supreme Court recently heard and rejected Prescott’s argument, finding that schools owed students’ parents no special duty of care. Prescott was injured after his son’s Thanksgiving 1998 football ...
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    There Is a Way

    Hello, and welcome to February and the Chaplain’s Corner. February brings some mixed emotions for me this again this year as it seems it does every year. I’ll hit 57 on the 28th. For some reason, sixty doesn’t seem near as elderly as it did in the last century. “Last century!” Now that WILL make one feel old… “When were you ...
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    The Subject Specific Interview Approach

    In recent years several behavioral science experts have focused their research efforts on reviewing hundreds of investigative interviews and interrogations. There have been two goals of some of these studies. One has been to determine how successful the interviewers are at accurately identifying and analyzing the behavioral signs of deception. The second has been to gain greater insight into the investigative ...
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    Take it like a man - where the sun don't shine

    Women in the United States live on average 7.2 years longer than men. Men working in high stress jobs like law enforcement, where they are subject not only to police stress but to maintaining a veneer of self-reliance come hell or high water, die on average even sooner. If you take to heart what I'm about to write, it is more ...
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    Use of Force: TASER

    Over the past few years, the use of Tasers (electronic restraining/compliance device) has become more common among law enforcement agencies nationwide. As the use of Tasers becomes more prevalent, law enforcement agencies can expect claims to be made regarding their use. As with any use of force, courts will look at three factors in determining if a particular use of force ...
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    Presence of SRO Does Not Invalidate Interrogation

    J.D. v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 2004 Va. App. LEXIS 31 (Va. Ct. App. 2004). Following a clear trend the Court of Appeals of Virginia recently ruled that the presence of a School Resource Officer while a school official conducts an interrogation does not invalidate the interrogation. J.D. was identified as a possible suspect in some thefts occurring at his school. J.D. ...
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    U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Privacy Interests of Passenger

    You may also find this article on the web at http://www.patc.com/weeklyarticles/passenger.shtml The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral argument in April on another case impacting law enforcement operations. *1 The case concerns whether a passenger in a vehicle which has been unlawfully stopped can challenge the basis of the stop when evidence is discovered relative to the passenger. ...
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    Training/Documentation “Major Lesson Plan”

    As part of the Liability and Risk Management Institute’s continued effort to further manage the risk and reduce financial losses through lawsuits, each edition of the legal update will include a major lesson plan. This major lesson plan may be used as a method to conduct and document training. How does it work? Supervisors are provided with the legal update for ...
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    TASER® Draper v. Reynolds Review of Incidents—Recommendations for Use

    Over the past few years, the use of Tasers® (electronic restraining/compliance device) has become more common among law enforcement agencies nationwide. As the use of Tasers® becomes more prevalent, law enforcement agencies can expect claims to be made regarding their use. As with any use of force, courts will look at three factors in determining if a particular use of force ...
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    Justice Department Findings in Regards to Illegal Immigrants

    http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/reports/OJP/a0707/final.pdf
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    Vehicle Checkpoints

    Over the past decade the United States Supreme Court has decided three cases dealing with law enforcement checkpoints involving car stops by police officers without individualized suspicion to believe that the operator of the vehicle had done anything wrong. In Michigan v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990), the Court approved of Sobriety Checkpoints where the police were acting pursuant to set ...
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    State Law May Impact Claims Based on Pursuits

    The law regarding the liability, under state tort claims, against an entity and public officers varies from state to state. Law enforcement officers are protected by various immunities under state laws. These immunities are not limitless shields but instead provide limited protection for officers and the agencies they work for. Many states limit the liability of officers when they are undertaking ...
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