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Articles by David Reutter

Michigan’s License Suspension Scheme Traps the Poor

by David Reutter

The Michigan Department of State runs a “wealth-based driver’s license suspension scheme that traps some of the state’s poorest residents in a cycle of poverty,” a class action lawsuit filed by Equal Justice Under Law, a national civil rights organization. The scheme results in the automatic and ...

Driver’s License Required for Conviction as Florida Habitual Traffic Offender

by David Reutter

The Florida Supreme Court held that possession of a driver’s license is a prerequisite to a conviction as a habitual traffic offender under section 322.34(5), Florida Statutes.

Daryl Miller was charged with a third degree felony on May 21, 2014 for violating § 322.34(5) by driving with ...

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 ...



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