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  • May 12, 2020 @ 09:10am

    USA tries to scuttle decision-- judge says no:

    From the ORDER:

    "Before the court is a Motion to Suppress filed by Defendant Desmond Travis Jordan, which seeks to suppress all evidence obtained during a traffic stop on February 28, 2019, on the basis that, among other things, the police searched Mr. Jordan’s car without a warrant or probable cause. (ECF No. 22). The court held an evidentiary hearing on Mr. Jordan’s motion on March 3 and 4, 2020 (the “Hearing”), at which it heard testimony from Detective David Allen, the investigating officer, Officer Clinton “CJ” Moore, the K9 handler, and Dr. Mary Cablk, an expert retained by Mr. Jordan. Following the Hearing, the court requested the parties to submit proposed findings of fact and briefing, and set a date for the court to hear oral argument."

    I wonder how the evidentiary hearing went for the United States. Here's how the United States thinks it went:

    "Rather than submitting briefing and proposed findings, on March 31, 2020, the United States moved for leave to dismiss the Indictment against Mr. Jordan with prejudice due to “inter alia, a lack of prosecutable evidence and for good cause.” . . . Mr. Jordan does not oppose the dismissal."

    One might think that would be the end of the matter and the precious drug dogs of Utah would be spared the scrutiny of an Article III Court; the Judge had other ideas:

    "Under the Rule 48(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the United States is required to seek leave of court to dismiss an indictment. Where the United States has proceeded on the merits of the charge and, as in this case, proceeded to oppose a motion to suppress evidence for lack of probable cause, the court has a responsibility to rule on the merits of the motion. Moreover, the development of the law requires that conduct of the officers be assessed to provide guidance in the arena of K9 sniffs."

    Looks like the United States was ready to bear the cross before the Court and the Court felt the need to hammer in each nail. Doesn't get any better than that.

  • Aug 20, 2019 @ 11:48am

    YouTube IS seeking "monetary damages", not just legal fees

    Mike, I think you are mistaken when you write that "YouTube isn't asking for monetary damages, but for Brady to cover their legal fees (which I'm sure are substantial), as well as an injunction barring Brady from submitting more bogus DMCA notices." The complaint states in paragraph 40 that "Brady’s abusive behavior has caused YouTube to expend substantial sums on its investigation in an effort to detect and halt that behavior, and to ensure that its users do not suffer adverse consequences from it." Furthermore, under the PRAYER FOR RELIEF in paragraph 42 of the complaint, "YouTube prays . . . [f]or an award of compensatory damages in an amount to be proven at trial arising from Defendants’ violation of 17 U.S.C. § 512(f)". Presumably the compensatory damages proven at trial would relate to the cost of YouTube's 15-identity whack-a-mole investigation as eluded to in paragraph 40. In any event, it appears from the face of the complaint that YouTube is seeking monetary damages.

  • Jul 31, 2019 @ 06:55pm

    Tpr Steve's $5,000 is not arbitrary at all; comes right from DOJ

    As the Trooper Steve points out, Florida raised the standard of proof for civil forfeiture at the state level to proof beyond a reasonable doubt. For local Florida law enforcement agencies to thwart their citizens' will as expressed through the State's duly enacted laws, local law enforcement must now use the DOJ's Equitable Sharing Program which we know operates under the more relaxed federal-law, preponderance-of-the-evidence standard. So what are the DOJ thresholds for the Equitable Sharing Program? Let's check the manual on page 27:

    "D.1 Asset-specific net equity thresholds
    (3) Cash—minimum amount must be at least $5,000, unless the person from whom the cash was seized either was, or is, being criminally prosecuted by state or federal authorities for criminal activities related to the property, in which case the amount must be at least $1,000."

    And now we know why Tpr Steve draws the line at $5,000-- essentially a tacit admission that Tpr Steve doesn't care for the laws of the Great State of Florida and much prefers Equitable Sharing (while touting the protections of the state law in the same breath).