Legal Update Archive2018-08-06T22:11:41+00:00

THIRD CIRCUIT DISCUSSES POLICE CONDUCT WHEN RAS DISSIPATES

On December 21, 2018, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decided the United States v. Bey[i], in which the court examined whether officers violated the Fourth Amendment when they continued to detain a suspect after seeing that he did not meet the description of the suspect that they sought. In Bey, Philadelphia police officers stopped a car for failure to stop at a stop sign.  The vehicle continued into a high crime neighborhood before finally coming to a stop.  The vehicle was occupied by three males. After smelling marijuana, officers conducted a search of the vehicle.  They located a handgun [...]

By |July 9th, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

EIGHTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS STOP AND FRISK OF MAN SEEN CONCEALING A HANDGUN

On December 10, 2018, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decided the United States v. Pope[i], in which the court examined whether officers violated the Fourth Amendment when they conducted a stop and frisk of a man that they observed conceal a handgun under his shirt.   The facts of Pope, taken directly from the case, are as follows: Around 4:00 a.m. one January morning, Des Moines police responded to a complaint about noise at an area motel. Outside the motel room in question, a police officer heard loud music and smelled marijuana, so he knocked on the door. When someone [...]

By |July 2nd, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

Supreme Court Update: DUI Blood Draw on Unconscious Driver

Author’s Note: The United States Supreme Court has issued other decisions on the issue of involuntarily blood draws on suspected DUI suspects.  Before doing a blood draw without a warrant, an officer must determine the category in which the driver fits.  See BOTTOM LINE at the end of this article. The United States Supreme Court outlined the details of Mitchell v. Wisconsin[1]  as follows: The sequence of events that gave rise to this case began when Officer Alexander Jaeger of the Sheboygan Police Department received a report that petitioner Gerald Mitchell, appearing to be very drunk, had climbed into a [...]

By |July 1st, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS IMMUNITY FOR OFFICERS IN EXIGENT HOME ENTRY

On December 21, 2018, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided Lowe et al. v. Smith et al.[i], in which the court examined whether officers violated the Fourth Amendment when they entered a residence without a warrant in response to a 911 call that was placed by a child and misunderstood by the dispatcher.   The facts of Lowe, taken directly from the case, are as follows: The Lowes' ten-year-old son N.L. called 911 and, according to an audio recording of the call, informed the dispatcher, "My dad is killing my brother." On the phone, N.L. sounded hysterical, and the dispatcher [...]

By |June 25th, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

SIXTH CIRCUIT GRANTS IMMUNITY IN EXCESSIVE FORCE CASE WHERE SUSPECT WAS ACTIVELY RESISTING

On November 15, 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided the Estate of Collins v. Wilburn[i], in which the court examined whether officers were entitled to qualified immunity regarding a use of force incident where the suspect died.   The facts of Collins, taken directly from the case, are as follows: In 2015, Sergeant Wilburn was working a local high school graduation; as traffic was released, Wilburn was informed by Police Chief Fugitt that a truck had been driven into a ditch nearby. Wilburn approached the vehicle, encountered Collins, and asked what was going on and how he ended up [...]

By |June 18th, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|

SEVENTH CIRCUIT REVIEWS DRUG INVESTIGATION FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE FOURTH AMENDMENT: Part Two – Subsequent Investigative Actions of Agents

On November 5, 2018, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided the United States v. Correa[i], which serves as an excellent review of various legal principles related to drug investigations. The relevant facts of Correa are as follows: The investigation that led the DEA to defendants Jason Correa and Saul Melero began when a DEA confidential source obtained $500,000 in cash from two unidentified men. DEA agents tailed the men to a house a few miles away and put the house under surveillance. Eight days later, on October 27, 2011, agents followed one of the men (who drove the same [...]

By |June 11th, 2019|Categories: Legal updates|