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June 2016 Archives

Supreme Court Whittles Away Search & Seizure Rights

Utah v Streiff A few days ago the Supreme Court of The United States handed down an opinion that has caused a great deal of debate in the legal community around the issue of evidence exclusion in the face of admitted police misconduct.  Utah v. Strieff, 579 U.S. __ (2016). In this case, the court determined that it was ok for evidence to be used which was gathered after an illegal stop of a defendant. In this case the government agreed that the initial stop of the defendant was inappropriate, and in fact illegal. Once the officer took identification from the defendant, without having reasonable suspicion that he was involved in a crime, that officer ran his information through the police database. 

You Cannot Be Jailed for Failing to Pay Fines You Cannot Afford

debt trouble The Michigan Supreme Court recently made changes to the Court Rules which brings them in line with caselaw about a person's ability to pay fines, fees, and costs. This is wonderful news as the courts long ago determined that jailing someone for failing to pay fines without first determining whether the individual has the ability to pay is a violation of the his or her constitutional rights. Bearden v Georgia, 461 US 660 (1983).  

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