Post details: Fourth Amendment not implicated in requiring bank records in a police officer discharge hearing

04/03/07

Permalink 04:51:10 pm, by fourth, 548 words, 487 views   English (US)
Categories: General

Fourth Amendment not implicated in requiring bank records in a police officer discharge hearing

Police officer discharged from employment for allegedly stealing $160 from an arrestee was not deprived of any Fourth Amendment interest by the City requiring production of two days worth of bank records from him. Westbrook v. City of Omaha, 231 Fed. Appx. 519 (8th Cir. 2007)* (unpublished):

In this case, Omaha's intrusion began with a citizen complaint that Westbrook took money and wagered at a casino the next day, considered with his assertion of usually withdrawing money from an ATM before wagering. The scope of the intrusion was an order for two-days' record of Westbrook's banking, to which he complied. Under these circumstances, neither the inception nor the scope of intrusion was unreasonable. The investigation's purpose was to determine employee, work-related misconduct, and not criminal prosecution. See Uniformed Sanitation Men Ass'n, Inc. v. Comm'r of Sanitation, 392 U.S. 280, 284, 88 S. Ct. 1917, 20 L. Ed. 2d 1089 (1968) (citing Garrity v. New Jersey, 385 U.S. 493, 87 S. Ct. 616, 17 L. Ed. 2d 562 (1967), and stating "that testimony compelled by threat of dismissal from employment could not be used in a criminal prosecution of the witness"). Thus, the district court did not err in granting summary judgment on the Fourth Amendment claim.

Plaintiff stated a claim for excessive force for his arrest, and the right was clearly established, but he loses on qualified immunity because the officers would not clearly know that they violated his rights. Humphrey v. Mabry, 482 F.3d 840 (6th Cir. 2007).*

Defense counsel could not be ineffective for not raising what was, for all intents and purposes in the habeas petition, a frivolous ground to suppress. The search was clearly legal. United States v. Ball, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23426 (M.D. Fla. March 30, 2007).*

Civil rights case was barred by Heck because it sought to negate an element of the crime that plaintiff was convicted of. Houston v. Buffa, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23532 (E.D. Mich. March 30, 2007):

The court finds that, applying the rule of Heck to the facts of this case, Houston cannot proceed on either of his claims under § 1983. The fourth element of Interference with Police, as charged by the trial court, is that "the officer was then carrying out lawful duties." (Tr. at 213.) In order to proceed on either of Houston's claims, he would have to negate one element of the offense, thereby calling into question the validity of his conviction.

In Houston's underlying criminal trial, the parties presented two competing versions of the events of January 27, 2003. Under Houston's version, the police officers arrived at the club and immediately, without explanation, rationale or probable cause, placed him in handcuffs, took him into a back room and, without any provocation or motivation whatsoever, proceeded to beat him while he was still handcuffed. This is the exact factual scenario upon which Houston's § 1983 claims are based. Conversely, under the prosecution's version, Houston initially consented to speak with them in a back room but, on the way to the room, Houston began an altercation which essentially did not end until the police eventually got him to the back room and, after continued struggle, placed him in handcuffs and took him to the station. This is the exact factual scenario upon which the Officers' § 1983 defense is based.

Reasonable suspicion ripened into probable cause when a gun was found during a patdown. United States v. Johnson, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23119 (D. Del. March 29, 2007).*

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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
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—Shemaya, in the Thalmud

"A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect results, especially if one's attention is confined to the particular case at bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced."
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