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Articles by Christopher Zoukis

$36,203 Jury Award in California Excessive Force Case

by Christopher Zoukis

A federal jury awarded a South Lake Tahoe man $36,203 in a lawsuit alleging the use of excessive force by South Lake Tahoe police. The jury award came in on March 7, 2007, after a four-day trial.

Rodney Ward was drinking alcohol with a friend on May ...

$320,000 Settlement in Wrongful Imprisonment Case

by Christopher Zoukis

A federal lawsuit alleging wrongful arrest and imprisonment by the LAPD settled for $320,000 on January 16, 2007.

The case involved the murder of 16-year-old Martha Puebla, who was shot and killed outside her Sun Valley, California home. Puebla was murdered just 11 days after she testified ...

$36,000 Settles Palm Beach False Arrest

by Christopher Zoukis

A lawsuit brought by the fiancé of a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida cop against a Palm Beach County detective settled for $36,000 on January 10, 2007.The case involved a series of thefts committed by Steven Hipsher while he was employed at a Home Depot in Boca ...

$1.625 Million Jury Award For Civil Rights Violation by Charlotte "Special Police"

by Christopher Zoukis

A federal jury awarded over a million and a half dollars in damages to four people injured by Charlotte, North Carolina "Special Police Officers" in a January 2007 decision.

The lawsuit stemmed from an incident that took place on June 13, 2001 at Champ's Cafe in ...

Criminal Cops: Tracking Crimes Committed by Police Officers

by Christopher Zoukis

Police officers are sworn to uphold the law. When the uniform goes on, they become arbiters and enforcers of right and wrong. But a new police crime database reveals an important and often overlooked aspect of the job: Police officers are people first, cops second. And people ...

Georgia Supreme Court Grants New Trial After Trial Transcript Lost

by Christopher Zoukis

The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously ruled on October 2, 2017 that a convicted murderer was entitled to a new trial because the original trial transcript was destroyed in a fire, and the State’s efforts to recreate it were wholly insufficient.

Craig Johnson was found guilty of malice ...

New Jersey Supreme Court Provides Guidance on “Exigent Circumstances” Warrantless Searches

by Christopher Zoukis

The New Jersey Supreme Court issued a ruling on July 25, 2017 in which it granted qualified immunity to a police officer accused of a police-created “exigent circumstances” search. But in the process of doing so, the Court put police officers statewide on notice that such searches ...

Retired Police Officer Receives 28-Year Sentence for Drive-By Shooting

by Christopher Zoukis

A retired police officer from Hercules, California has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for attempting to murder his estranged wife in a 2015 drive-by shooting.

John Goodner was accused of stalking and harassing his estranged wife for months leading up to his attempt to murder ...

New York Becomes First State to Require Trial Judges to Remind Prosecutors of Their Brady Obligations During All Criminal Trials

by Christopher Zoukis

New York Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks issued a bold (and much needed) new rule on November 7, 2017. Intended to remind prosecutors of their duty to disclose exculpatory material to the defense, the rule requires that all trial judges in the state issue a “Brady” ...

Idaho Supreme Court: Officer Must Intend to Arrest Before Conducting a Search Incident to Arrest

by Christopher Zoukis

The Idaho Supreme Court handed down an opinion on September 22, 2017 that clarified an important exception to the requirement that police officers obtain a warrant prior to conducting a search. The exception known as “search incident to arrest” allows police to conduct a warrantless search of ...


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