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CAN CELL PHONES BE SEARCHED INCIDENT TO AN ARREST?

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The answer is, as usual, yes, no, and maybe depending on where you happen to be.  In a California case, officers had a suspect under surveillance for a marijuana grow and they also had a search warrant for the location. When the officers executed the search warrant they found a cell phone and searched the cell phone for names and phone numbers. The judge suppressed that evidence by saying that the phone was really a mini-computer and personal to the ...

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IS THERE AN EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY IN A HOTEL ROOM?

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As a general proposition, a person who rents a hotel/motel room has the same expectation or privacy as a homeowner has in their own home. This remains true while the room is currently rented. This expectation of privacy ends when the term of the rental ends for any reason, the most common being that the rental period has expired.  A couple of cases, one out ofKentuckyand one out ofMassachusetts, highlight interesting twists on this expectation.

In the Kentucky case a person ...

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ARE COMPUTERS FILES SUBJECT TO “PLAIN VIEW”?

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In the case ofUnited Statesv Stabile, WL294036 (3d Cir. 2011) the court addressed the issue of whether or not a search of computer files could fall under the doctrine of  “plain  view”.  In this case detectives were given consent to search a home in connection with a counterfeit check crime. The search included computer files.

As a result of the consent search, a warrant was obtained to do a more complete search of computer records for financial crimes. During this search ...

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CAN YOU DETAIN A SEARCH WARRANT TARGET AWAY FROM THE TARGET LOCATION?

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The Michigan Court of Appeals, relying on Michigan v Summers, 452 US 692 (1981), has ruled that the target of a search warrant may be detained even if the target is not at the location of the search warrant.

The case involved the search of a home where the target lived with his wife and 2 small children.  The officers, not wanting to scare the children, decided to wait until the target left the home and then stopped ...

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DO CHILDREN HAVE SUPER MIRANDA RIGHTS?

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Miranda v Arizona, 384 US 436, was decided 45 years ago and continues to be the subject of controversy.  Most recently in the case of JDB v North Carolina, 2011 WL 2369508, decided by the US Supreme Court in June of this year the court took a look at what rights “children” have that involve “in custody” questioning.

In this case, a 13 year old was suspected of a burglary.  Two officers and two ...

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FMLA UPDATE

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The Family and Medical Leave Act has been updated and the changes are effective as of January 16, 2009.  Two of the changes may affect many of our members.

The change which will most affect employees is how much notice must be given to the employer when taking FMLA. When the leave will be for a foreseeable event such as a birth, adoption, planned medical care, etc., then the notice must be at least 30 days in advance.  ...

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MUST VACANCIES BE FILLED ?

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With the economy making a slooooow recovery, and the Michigan economy making an even slooooooooower recovery, many police departments have faced layoffs and almost all have left positions vacant. With what can be described as de-facto layoffs, is there any legal requirement that vacancies be filled?

There are several methods that establish intermediate ranks between entry level officers and chiefs. The method seen most commonly in the mid-Michigan area is by the department’s Table of Organization. This typically is in conjunction ...

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WHAT IS WEINGARTEN AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

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Weingarten, back in the day before food courts, was a chain of stores that had lunch counters at some stores and take out only at some stores. Leura Collins was an employee at a takeout store and was represented by Retail Clerks Union, Local 455. The company sent in an undercover security person to look for theft at the store. Finding none, Leura was interviewed by the store manager and the security person during which she asked for, and was ...

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SHOULD MY BUSINESS BE INCORPORATED?

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When starting a business one of the first questions, after figuring out where to get the money to get started, is “what form of business entity is best to set my business up as.”

There are basically four types that most people will consider.  First, is the sole proprietorship; the most basic of the four. You open your business, put your name on the door and go to work.  If you want to have a name different from ...

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CAN A VEHICLE BE SEARCHED IF A PASSENGER IS ARRESTED?

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A Michigan Court of Appeals case decided in February 2008 has established the rule that a vehicle may be searched incident to an arrest even if only a passenger is arrested and not the driver. In People v Mungo the Court ruled that an officer may search a vehicle incident to an arrest. even if there is no reason to believe that the driver has done anything wrong.

The Court, relying on the U. S. Supreme Court case of ...

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