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    Procedural Time Limits In Administrative Investigations - Absolutes

    When you are involved with public employee disciplinary matters and have procedural time limits imposed on your case, failing to meet those time limits will normally result in losing the ability to discipline the employee regardless what the misconduct may be. In essence these limits are essentially a statute of limitations, in other words, bring your discipline within the allotted time ...
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    US Supreme Ct Anticipatory Search Warrent United States v. Grubbs

    United States Supreme Court: Anticipatory Search Warrant Valid Though Triggering Event Not Included in Warrant The United States Supreme Court held that an anticipatory search warrant, that described the triggering event for execution in the affidavit, but not the warrant or the attached schedules that were given to the suspect at the residence, still met the particularity requirement of the 4th ...
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    Garrity: Compulsion as the Triggering Mechanism

    Employees have Rights against Compelled, Incriminating Statements but No Right to _Garrity_ Immunity The right of government employees against self-incrimination requires compulsion as a triggering mechanism for immunity against the use/derivative use of their statements in a criminal prosecution.i As with any statement implicating the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, statements must also be incriminating and testimonial. In _Harrison_, the plaintiff, ...
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    Supreme Court to Hear Incident to Arrest –Vehicle Case

    Supreme Court to Hear Incident to Arrest –Vehicle Case
    *Does the Fourth Amendment require the suppression of evidence obtained incident to an arrest that is based upon probable cause, where the arrest violates a provision of state law?* On September 25th (2007) the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear a case in which a person and a vehicle were searched incident to an arrest. The arrest was for operating ...
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    Qualified Immunity in Use of Force CasesUnited States Supreme Court

    An individual officer’s greatest shield in a lawsuit that alleges a violation of civil rights is qualified immunity. A decision by the United States Supreme Court in December, further clarified the strength of this immunity. In Brosseau v.Haugen, 543 U.S.___; 2004 U.S. LEXIS 8275 (2004), the United States Supreme Court examined a case involving the use of deadly force by Officer ...
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    Supreme Court Further Clarifies “Knock and Announce” Rule

    In United States v. Banks, 124 S.Ct. 521 (2003), the Supreme Court further clarified the rules regarding knocking an announcing during the execution of search warrants. The Court has decided a number of cases pertaining to this issue over the last several terms. A brief review of the cases provides guidance into this critical police task. In Wilson v. Arkansas, 514 ...
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    Civilian Review Boards and Garrity

    Civilian Review Boards and Garrity
    As civilian oversight of police has become more common-place, the issue has arisen as to whether a civilian review board can compel statements from officers. The Court of Appeals of Colorado, ruled recently that a civilian review board could not compel an officer’s statement regarding the use of excessive force.i Denver v. Powell involved two use of force incidents. In the ...
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    Startled Look and Hiding Your Purse are Insufficient to Establish Reasonable Suspicion

    In S.V.J. v. State of Florida, 2005 Fla. App. LEXIS 1037 (Florida App. Ct. 2nd Dist. 2005), the Court of Appeals for Florida considered a school search case where the only facts articulated in support of the search was a startled look coupled with the appearance of trying to hide a purse. S.V.J. attended an alternative school for disruptive students. On ...
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    Restraint of Autistic Student doesn’t Seize “Excessive Force” Standard

    A difficult issue in the school setting is use of force to control students and maintain a safe environment. This issue is more difficult when dealing with students who have disabilities that place them in special education. A recent case from Mississippi provides an example of how courts will analyze such uses of force under state law. In Pigford v. Jackson ...
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    Strip Search Filmed By Media Rendered Search Unreasonable

    A search conducted by members of the Indianapolis Police Department was found to be unreasonable and unprofessional based upon the presence and filming by a camerawoman. In Thompson v. State, an Indiana Appellate Court examined a strip search which occurred during an undercover operation. The operation, being conducted by a policewoman, was being filmed by a television camerawoman who was filming ...
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    Strip Search at Juvenile Residential Facility Reasonable

    A recent case from the United States Court of Appeal for the 6th Circuit provides an example of how a court will review a strip search by police in a juvenile residential facility. In Reynolds v. City of Anchorage, 379 F.3d 358 (6th Cir. 2004), the court considered a case involving a strip-search. The facts surrounding the search began when staff ...
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    Use of Deadly Force Based on Perceived Threat

    Police officers sometimes subjectively perceive suspect action as a threat and react in accord with that threat. In many of these cases, the so-called “furtive” motion turns out to be simple movement and not a threat at all. Sample v. Bailey, 337 F.Supp.2d 1012 (N.Dist. Ohio 2004) provides a good example of how courts view these cases when deciding whether an ...
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    Supreme Court Further Clarifies “Knock and Announce” Rule

    In United States v. Banks, 124 S.Ct. 521 (2003), the Supreme Court further clarified the rules regarding knocking an announcing during the execution of search warrants. The Court has decided a number of cases pertaining to this issue over the last several terms. A brief review of the cases provides guidance into this critical police task. In Wilson v. Arkansas, 514 ...
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    Reasonableness of Handcuffing during a valid “Terry Stop”

    Does handcuffing during a “Terry Stop” transform the stop into a full-blown arrest, which requires the officer to have probable cause rather than the lesser requirement of reasonable suspicion? A case from the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut determined that the application of handcuffs does not automatically turn an otherwise valid “Terry Stop” into a full-blown arrest. ...
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    Supreme Court Update: ~ Qualified Immunity ~

    An individual officer’s greatest shield in a lawsuit that alleges a violation of civil rights is qualified immunity. A decision by the United States Supreme Court in December, further clarified the strength of this immunity. In Brosseau v.Haugen, 543 U.S.___; 2004 U.S. LEXIS 8275 (2004), the United States Supreme Court examined a case involving the use of deadly force by Officer ...
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    United States Supreme Court: Scott v. Harris (Ramming During High Speed Pursuit)

    On Monday February 26, 2007 the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Scott v. Harris, a case stemming from a high-speed pursuit in Coweta County Georgia. Harris, the motorist was speeding through Coweta County which drew the attention of law enforcement. Officers attempted to stop Harris, at which point he fled at high-speed. Deputy Scott of the Coweta County ...
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    When Imminent Destruction of Evidence Authorizes Warrantless Home Entry

    The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution requires that the police have a warrant to enter a suspect’s home to seize evidence. It follows that one of the principles of the Fourth Amendment is that searches and seizures inside a home without a warrant are presumed unreasonable.i However, the United States Supreme Court has carved out certain exceptions to the ...
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    Supreme Court Handcuffing during Warrant Execution Upheld

    On March 22, 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court re-examined the questions as to whether officers may detain occupants of a residence where they are executing a search warrant and whether handcuffing is appropriate in such circumstances. The case, Muehler v. Mena, ___U.S.___, 125 S.Ct. 1465 (2005), involved the execution of a search warrant for guns and other things following a gang-related ...
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    Strip Search at Juvenile Residential Facility Reasonable

    A recent case from the United States Court of Appeal for the 6th Circuit provides an example of how a court will review a strip search by police in a juvenile residential facility. In Reynolds v. City of Anchorage, 379 F.3d 358 (6th Cir. 2004), the court considered a case involving a strip-search. The facts surrounding the search began when staff ...
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    Reasonable Training And Policy Direction On Handling Of The Mentally Ill And Emotionally Disturbed Persons?

    In Walker v. City of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit gave law enforcement some direction for determining what training officers must be provided with to do their jobs professionally and with lower liability exposure. Essentially the case indicated that if you know to a moral certainty that officers will confront a certain situation; and ...
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