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Articles by David Reutter

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 ...

Tennessee’s Death Penalty on Hold

by David M. Reutter

Capital punishment is on hold in Tennessee. The Tennessee Supreme Court halted execution to allow lower courts to hold hearings on the new lethal injection protocol. Meanwhile, attorneys for death row prisoners are arguing the death penalty is arbitrarily imposed, and a new U.S. Supreme Court ...

Voluntary Surrender to Arrest Warrant is Fourth Amendment Seizure

by David Reutter

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a federal district court's dismissal of a Fourth Amendment claim on grounds that surrendering arrest warrant is a Fourth Amendment seizure, it was not clearly established so as to overcome the right to qualified immunity. It also affirmed dismissal of ...

Supreme Court Remands Border-Shooting Case for Review Under Bivens and Abbasi

by David Reutter

The United States Supreme Court vacated and remanded a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal's rehearing en banc decision to uphold a federal district court's dismissal of a civil suit brought against Jesus Mesa, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, for a fatal cross-border shooting. The Supreme Court remanded ...

Joint Stipulation Doesn't Remove Federal Jurisdiction in Motion to Intervene

The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals granted consolidation of mixed motions from separate members of a class action suit filed against the United States Marshals Services (USMS) alleging racial discrimination directed at its African-American employers. The court granted Keith Herrington's motion to intervene, denied Herman Brewer's petition for ...

Reversal of Summary Judgment Due to Conflicting Officers' Reports

by David Reutter


The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a federal district court's summary judgment granted to the Town of Seaboard in a diversity suit that alleged unreasonable use of deadly force. The court found that several genuine disputes of material facts exist on the record, ...

Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) Bars Federal Court's Exercise of Jurisdiction in Alabama Red Light Scam

by David Reutter

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal district court's decision to remand a class action suit back to the state court. The Eleventh Circuit agreed that the "home state" exception of the Federal Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (d), barred the ...



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