Archive for the ‘Mississippi’ Category
Here’s another example of a dumb criminal with a twist. It appears that two Mississippi men thought they could actually help free their buddy in a Wilkinson County jail using forged court documents with one of the men posing as a private investigator.
Now, the men are facing felony charges after their plan failed. It is alleged in a news report that Demario Walker, 23, of Prentiss told prison personnel Dec. 27 that he was a private investigator and offered a business card as proof. When officials at the prison run by Corrections Corp. of America asked for photo identification, Walker said he had lost it.
Correction officials were also alert to the fact that the two men were driving a 2004 Kia to supposedly transport the prisoner to another facility.
So, now we have to worry about criminals posing as PIs. It seems that everyone wants to become a private investigator. Who’ll be next?
The San Diego County, California Sheriff has launched a database of filed Protective and Restraining Orders – apparently the only one of its kind in the country – that can be searched by the name of the restrained party. A search by partial last name returns the full name, order number, issue and expiration dates, and court of filing. There are records still here past the expiration dates, but the overall dates of coverage are not clear. The San Diego Court Index is searchable by name but you can’t restrict the file type except by “civil”, “criminal” etc. San Diego doesn’t have court dockets online but in other counties which do you have to look at each case filed (yes, there is often more than one for the same person!) and scroll through to find an entry for a restraining order.
Some courts – the Chancery Court in Madison County, Mississippi is an example – have a selection for TRO or restraining order as a file type.
Do you know of other Sheriff or Court Web sites that have restraining or protective order searches?
The Virgina legislature is entertaining bills that would alter public records.
For example, there’s a bill to remove Social Security numbers from court documents and land records. Another would remove Social Security numbers from voter records before those records are sold to anyone in another state. A third just makes it generally illegal to make publicly available someone else’s Social Security number, even if the number was gotten from public documents.
Some California police departments have had the support of judges in keeping search warrant affidavits out of court files. All this may change because of an appeals court decision.
The Superior Courts in Los Angeles and Orange counties have for years allowed police to keep the only version of the sealed affidavit they use to obtain a search warrant without filing a copy with the court, a practice that defense attorneys said was rife with potential abuse.
The use of the procedure in Orange County began receiving attention two weeks ago, after a state appeals court ruling in a local case involving a search warrant.
Asked by a reporter, Los Angeles County Superior Court officials said this week that judges there also allowed officers to keep the sealed affidavits.
The practice was so little-known that the Los Angeles County public defenders office, with one of the largest caseloads in the country, did not learn about it until the appeals court decision.
Keeping the previous story in mind, it comes as no surprise that the First Amendment advocate, Californians Aware, has uncovered wide spread violations of the California Public Records Act by law enforcement agencies. Read the report, Public Access to Law Enforcement Information, which includes statistics and a database of audit results by agency.
Medical privacy does not have primacy over the collection of unpaid bills, according to a Mississippi Supreme Court ruling. The collection agency included an itemized medical invoice in a court filing, but that action did not breach patient privacy because it didn’t contain confidential doctor-patient communications.
Iowa Court records related to juveniles will no longer be included in the court system’s online database.
Under a new law starting this month, names of juveniles who are ten to 17 will only appear online when a case is completed and the individual has been found guilty.
The California legislation, SB1666, hard fought by CALI, PICA and a dozen (only!) other organizations, slunk to defeat when the legislative session closed Thursday night, after the bill was moved to inactive status by one of the sponsors. SB1666 would have created a civil penalty for using a pretext to gain information in business records.
Disappointing open government advocates, the California Supreme Court issued its opinion in Copley Press v. Superior Court of San Diego. Justices say police officer discipline not a public record, reported by AP.
The public does not have a right to personnel or other records of police officers challenging their discipline or firing, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
The San Diego Union-Tribune’s case settled conflicting lower court decisions and drew sharp dissent from one justice who said the California Public Records Act demands disclosure.
And, from the Los Angeles Times, Ruling Denies Public Access to Police Officer Records.
Police reports in Washington state related to child sex victims are public records. Court rules child-sexual-assault documents are public record, reported by AP.
A divided state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that documents concerning child victims of sexual assault cannot be withheld under the state’s public-records law simply because the person requesting the information identifies the victim by name.
In a 5-4 ruling, the court also said that as long as identifying information about the victim is redacted, agencies cannot withhold sexually explicit descriptions of what happened.