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Fourth Amendment
Category archives for: Fourth Amendment

Gov. Scott Gives Up Drug-Testing Half of State’s Workers, But Still Aims Pee Cup at Rest

| July 9, 2014

The governor has not conceded that forcing state employees to undergo urinalysis is unconstitutional despite lower court rulings that spurred the concessions. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year refused to take up the case, but it is believed Scott will again ask the high court to rule on the case if he ultimately loses in lower court proceedings.

ACLU Sues Sarasota Police For Access To Records On Cell Phone “Stingray” Tracking Program

| June 8, 2014

The ACLU of Florida has been seeking public records for several months now from about 30 police departments and sheriffs’ offices all over Florida in an effort to access whether or not police are not trampling on privacy rights.

No Castle Doctrine: A Homeowner Is Arrested in F Section For Refusing to Let In Cops to Serve a Warrant

| June 3, 2014

Susan Jones, for more than seven years a home owner on Palm Coast’s Ferdinand Lane, was arrested when she attempted to refuse entry to deputies who wanted to serve an arrest warrant on another woman staying in Jones’s house.

0-For-5: In latest Blow to Scott, U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal on Drug-Testing State Workers

| April 21, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to take up the case means that the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling stands: Drug tests can’t be justified constitutionally for many of the 85,000 workers who would have been subject to Scott’s policy. The two sides continue to carry out a painstaking process of looking at different categories of workers to determine whether some could be subject to drug testing — a process stemming from the appeals court ruling.

Despite Parental Notification Law, Court Finds Room for Teens to Protect Privacy When Seeking Abortion

| April 16, 2014

Florida voters in 2004 approved a constitutional amendment that requires parents to be notified before their minor daughters can have abortions. But an appeals court ruling released Friday shows how far teens can go to challenge the law–and preserve their privacy when seeking an abortion.

Federal Lawsuit Against Palm Coast Code Enforcement Charges Search and Due Process Violations

| March 13, 2014

Linda Thomas, a retired attorney in Palm Coast, filed the lawsuit in federal district court, charging the city’s code enforcement division with violations of the 4th and 14th amendments. Flagler County circuit court in two rulings already found the code enforcement division had improperly and arbitrarily cited Thomas, but the court did not address constitutional issues.

Arrested For Felony Child Abuse and Pot Possession: The Mother’s Account

| February 5, 2014

Sophia Zhudro is the 30-year-old resident of Palm Coast’s B-Section who was arrested on Jan. 24 for marijuana possession as she was parked with her 15-month-old on the side of a residential street in her neighborhood. She tells her side of the story, taking issue with the way the incident was related by police.

He Won’t Give Up: Scott Taking Drug Testing of State Employees to U.S. Supreme Court

| January 15, 2014

Lawyers for Scott filed a petition this week asking the Supreme Court to hear the case, after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year ruled against across-the-board drug testing, but various groups blasted the Scott administration for continuing to pursue the drug tests. They pointed to repeated past rulings against such drug testing.

Gov. Scott Now 0-For-4 on Drug-Testing as Federal Judge Harshly Criticizes Violation of Welfare Recipients’ Rights

| January 2, 2014

In a harshly worded, 30-page opinion, the judge concluded that “there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied.”

Your Backpack Please: Florida Appeal Court Rules Legal Search Based on Anonymous Tip

| December 27, 2013

A high school student who took a loaded gun to school argued that the search of his back-pack, based on an anonymous tip, was illegal. A 2-1 ruling of the Third District Court of Appeal disagreed.

CSI Flagler: Sheriff Launches Crime Lab and Inks $75,000 Deal With Private DNA Lab

| October 14, 2013

Anticipating the day when FDLE’s crime labs will not be as readily accessible, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is investing in a crime scene investigator of its own, a mobile CSI unit, and a $75,000 annual contract with DNA Labs International, a private company, to more aggressively use DNA testing in property crimes.

Should Cops Have Power to Track You in Real Time Through Cell Phones? Court Will Decide.

| October 7, 2013

Grappling with privacy rights amid fast-changing technology, the Florida Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments in a challenge to police using “real-time” cell-phone information to track a suspect in a drug case.

SWAT Team Deployed Again–For Minor Drug Arrest on Palm Coast’s Pine Grove Drive

| September 26, 2013

Two young children and a middle-aged woman were detained while, for the second time in four days, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday deployed its SWAT team to serve a warrant on a suspect later charged with possession of marijuana, cocaine, and prescription pills without a prescription.

Eric Holder Takes on the “War on Drugs,” Mandatory Sentences and Epidemic Imprisonment Rates

| August 12, 2013

Attorney general Eric Holder on Monday delivered a seminal speech outlining a plan to revamp federal drug policy and incarceration rates of non-violent and elderly offenders, and urging Congress to review mandatory sentencing in light of a “war on drugs” that has not worked. The full speech.

Black Man 101: Déjà Jim Crow All Over Again For African-American Parents and Their Sons

| July 18, 2013

We already teach our sons to be “agreeable” and “non-challenging” with police. Must we now teach our sons to conform to some modern form of “Jim Crow etiquette” and defer to all potential bigots who come their way? Terrance Heath writes that the answer is as heartbreaking to give as it is to receive.

Gun Rights Advocates and Church Join in Suit Against NSA as Companies Petition White House

| July 18, 2013

Sixty-three companies are asking the federal government to allow companies that receive foreign-intelligence surveillance requests to publicly discuss those requests in basic terms, while gun rights advocates have joined the Unitarian Church and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a lawsuit against NSA spying on First Amendment grounds.

NSA Black Holes: 5 Things We Still Don’t Know About Spy Agency’s Snooping

| June 11, 2013

The FBI and the National Security Agency have been collecting Americans’ phone records en masse and the agencies have access to data from nine tech companies. But secrecy around the programs has meant even basic questions are still unanswered. Here’s what we still don’t know:

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Scott’s Drug-Testing of State Workers as Too Broad

| May 29, 2013

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals declared an executive order by Riock Scott to drug-test 85,000 state employees and all job applicants as mostly unconstitutional, but left room for a lower court decision to be rewritten to allow for certain employees in certain categories to be drug tested–essentially restoring Florida’s drug-testing standard to what it was before the governor’s executive order.

Joseph Drenner, 50, Is Killed in Early Morning Wreck on U.S. 1; Companion Survives

| May 18, 2013

Joseph Drenner, 50, was killed when he was ejected from a Toyota SUV his companion, Christina Laming, 41, was driving north on U.S. 1 in Palm Coast early Saturday morning. Charges are pending against Laming, who refused to have her blood tested at the scene for impairment.

Stop-and-Frisk in Bunnell Turns Into Brawl With Officers, and Threats of a “Hit”

| April 30, 2013

Theodore Moore, 25, was observed by a Bunnell cop allegedly trespassing–near Moore’s home. The cop briefly pursued Moore and handcuffed him, finding a gun and contraceptive pills on him as Moore resisted his arrest and dared cops to Tase him as a crowd gathered in South Bunnell.

Police Drones Are Banned from Florida Skies Absent a Warrant or Other Exceptions

| April 17, 2013

The bill (SB 92) prevents law enforcement use of drones unless a judge has issued a warrant, or in cases where there is a “high risk of terrorist attack,” or a case of imminent danger, such as in a missing person case where the person is thought to be in immediate danger.

In Florida Case, U.S. Supremes Strike Down Drug-Sniffing Cop Dogs Outside of Home

| March 26, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Florida v. Jardines is the second out of the state dealing with how search and seizure limits under the U.S. Constitution affect the ability of police to use sniffer dogs to find drugs.

No Drones Over Flagler, Sheriff Pledges, as He Details 16 Arrests from Latest Drug Sweep

| March 26, 2013

Sheriff Jim Manfre said he won’t seek to arm the Flagler Sheriff’s Office with surveillance drones, remarks he made in the context of a sweep of drug-dealing suspects arrested Tuesday following a two-month investigation based on surveillance and residents’ tips.

Bill Would Require Warrant for Now-Routine Cell Phone Searches and Electronic Tracking

| March 5, 2013

Currently, police can search the possessions – including the contents of a personal electronic device – of someone who is arrested. The bill would require a warrant except under certain circumstances, including scenarios related to national security and missing children.

Proposed Law Would Curtail Palm Coast’s Ability to Convict Red-Light Camera Violators

| March 1, 2013

The proposed law, by Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, would shift the burden of proof of a red-light violation to the government imposing the fine, it would eliminate citations for right-turns on red, and it would require a live, government representative at hearings to prove that a violation took place.

Gov. Scott Loses Welfare Drug-Testing Case Again, But Vows to Fight On to Supreme Court

| February 27, 2013

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the state had not shown a “special need” for drug testing applicants to the program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. It upheld a preliminary injunction issued in 2011 by U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven.

Drones Among Us: Florida Police Want Video Surveillance Power Over Big Sports Events

| February 7, 2013

Bill sponsor Sen. Joe Negron and police couldn’t agree on the use of drones as extra eyes in the sky at large-crowd events, such as a football game, with Negron saying monitoring crowds goes too far – and that he’d vote against his own bill (SB 92) if it were changed to allow that.

School Security’s Buy-A-Cop Delusions

| February 3, 2013

The Flagler County School board this week will debate adoption of a new security plan that includes adding armed cops in elementary schools. The approach would be costly, ineffective, and more emotional than intelligent. Smarter approaches–and far greater priorities–abound.

Senate Committee Approves Drone Ban in Florida Skies, With Some Police Exceptions

| January 15, 2013

The ban on unmanned drones used by police in Florida would include exceptions for use with a search warrant or in certain cases, as when a child in danger. The measure (SB 92) was approved unanimously Tuesday by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

The News-Journal’s Predatory Sensationalism On Sex Offenders Near Local Schools

| October 4, 2012

A News-Journal article on 445 registered sex offenders living near Flagler and Volusia elementary schools was dangerously alarming and misleading, argues George Griffin, and perpetuates numerous myths about sex offenders, encouraging bad laws.

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