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The lying meter maid, its not a federal case

Is lying to police about a driver’s conduct fairly attributable to employment duties as a parking enforcement officer? The Tenth Circuit was recently called upon to answer this question. In Schaffer v. Salt Lake City Corp., Diana Schaffer parallel parked in a no parking zone and ticketed by two parking enforcement officers. When Schaffer returned, the officers… read more…

Court: lie detector test may be admissible

Is it true that lie detector tests are not admissible evidence? The prevailing rule is that results of a polygraph are not admissible on the issue of credibility. Such a rule would jeopardize a suspects civil rights and presumption of innocence if the jury placed too much emphasis on the test results, which are subject… read more…

5 Things Victims of Excessive Force Should Do

If you’re the victim of excessive force, and you want to hold the person responsible for your injuries accountable for their actions, here’s a list of five things you should do immediately afterwards:  Get immediate medical attention for your injuries Before doing anything, the victim of excessive force should have their injuries evaluated by a… read more…

Court: police responsible for excessive force under Okla. constitution

A federal judge in Oklahoma City has concluded that a police officer can be individually liable for excessive force under the Oklahoma state constitution for actions taken outside the scope of their employment. Police brutality, depending on the degree and circumstances, may not fall within a police officer’s job duties. Consequently, a municipal employer of a… read more…

Police not entitled to last word in wrongful death cases

In wrongful death cases where police kill the only witness who could contradict their version of events, is the court required to accept the testimony of the police? The issue is not uncommon in excessive force cases that result in the death of the only person involved in the police-citizen encounter. But witness testimony is not the only evidence available… read more…

Defamation: is your reputation protected by the constitution?

If the government publicizes false information about you or your business, do you have any recourse under the constitution? Is it defamation? The theory boils down to this: because a false or defamatory comment can harm the good name and reputation of a business (especially when uttered by the government), there must be some measure of due process…. read more…

DUI conviction: Can I seal my court record?

DUI files are public records. Employers, co-workers, landlords, and friends can find records of a DUI conviction through simple searches or through more expensive backgrounds checks. But is there a way to seal those records? In Ober v. Okla. Dept. of Public Safety, (issued Jan. 5, 2016) the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals affirmed its strong preference… read more…

Police cannot recklessly ignore possibility of false confession

Are police liable under the Fourth Amendment where they seek an arrest based on a confession they either knew was untrue or recklessly ignored that possibility? In Sanchez v. Hartley, the Tenth Circuit answered that question in the affirmative. The case arises from a burglary and sexual assault where police interrogated Mr. Sanchez, an18-year-old with substantial cognitive disabilities, for an extended… read more…