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Articles by David Reutter

Idaho Supreme Court: Suspicionless Fishing Expeditions Not Tolerated

by David Reutter

The Idaho Supreme Court reversed a district court’s denial of a motion to suppress evidence obtained in a suspicionless fishing expedition by the arresting officer.

Matthew Cohagan was on a street corner in Nampa, Idaho when Officers Curtis and Otto drove by. Curtis thought he resembled an ...

Public Records in Private Accounts Subject to PRA Disclosure

The Vermont Supreme Court held that “public records” under the Public Records Act (PRA) include any documents generated in the course of public agency business, even if the record is stored in a private account. The court held that failure to ask an employee to search a private account for ...

FOIL Exemption Applies to Civil and Criminal Law Enforcement

by David Reutters

A New York appellate court held that the New York State Education Department correctly redacted or exempted public records compiled for auditing special education costs because they were compiled for civil law enforcement purposes. The court also held that a request for award of attorney fees was ...

$25 Million Verdict for Shooting by NY Cop

by David Reutter

In 2015, a New York jury awarded $25.2 million in a lawsuit alleging a New York police officer’s excessive use of force in a false arrest. An officer using excessive force inflicted a gunshot wound that caused paraplegia. The amount awarded placed it into the top 10 jury verdict ...

Florida Sheriff Threatens Arrest of Refugees from Hurricane

by David Reutter

A looming disaster from Hurricane Irma, which was the strongest storm on record, would seem a time when everyone would bind together to assure the safety of all. Florida’s Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd used the crisis as an opportunity to exhibit the attitude that has led ...

Organizations Acting as Government Subject to Public Records, Open Meetings Laws

by David Reutter

A Tennessee Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s decision that the Jefferson County Economics Development and Oversight Committee, Inc. (EDOC) is not subject to provisions of the State Public Records and Open Meetings Acts and remanded the case for further review. 

Jefferson County, Jefferson City, and ...

Louisiana Prosecutors’ Traffic Ticket Industry Diverting Funds From Public Defenders

by David M. Reutter

Pretrial diversion programs have traditionally been used to “divert” criminal defendants to drug rehab and counseling programs. Some Louisiana prosecutors, however, have used it to create an industry that diverts traffic ticket revenue to them.

On the way home from work one day, Jay Dixon was ...

North Dakota Supreme Court: Warrantless Urine Test Incident to Arrest for DUI Is Unconstitutional Search

by David Reutter

The North Dakota Supreme Court held a defendant cannot be criminally prosecuted for refusing a warrantless urine test incident to an arrest for driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

In the early morning hours of May 5, 2016, Steven Helm was pulled over for driving ...

50 Alabama Cities Reform Bail Practices for Poor

by David Reutter

The prodding by human and civil rights organizations has finally compelled 50 Alabama cities to reform their money bail practices. The push is putting an end to poor suspects languishing in jail solely because they cannot afford bail. Collectively, the 50 cities account for 40 percent of ...

11th Circuit Rules Counsel Deficient for Failing to Challenge “Usable” Amount in Drug Case

by David Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ordered an evidentiary hearing in an ineffective assistance of counsel claim based on counsel’s failure to argue that some waste materials in the drug manufacturing process should not have been included as a “mixture or substance” in the ...



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