Officer Cell Phone Search Case Heading To Trial

On August 22, 2014, the 113th class of the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) graduated from police academy training. On that day, all of the graduates became probationary police officers in the PAPD. The following day, some of the officers organized a post-graduation event at a beer garden in Jersey City, NJ. Following that event, approximately 95 officers and several academy instructors continued to an after-party at the Texas…

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Use Of Private Cell Phone Can Create Public Record

A major decision from the California Supreme Court has held that the use of a private cell phone by a public employee for work-related purposes can create a public record. The case began in June 2009, when Ted Smith requested disclosure of 32 categories of public records from the City of San Jose, its redevelopment agency and the agency’s executive director, along with records from certain other elected officials…

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Officer Has Privacy Rights In Personal Cellphone

Timothy Larios was an officer with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and was assigned to the Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force. He was issued a cell phone by the CHP, and he also had a personal cell phone. In September 2014, CHP removed Larios from his position and told him that he was the subject of an internal investigation. During the course of the investigation, Larios was ordered to…

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Q & A

From Washington Question: Are you familiar with cases where IA investigator pre-interviews complainant for two hours before going on tape but makes no reference to the pre-interview or provides any notes on the pre-interview in the IA file? Answer: This is a practice that used to be fairly common, but by now has largely disappeared in the name of transparency of the IA process. We wouldn’t recommend it. From…

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First Thursday, September 2015

Topics discussed in this month’s podcast include: Review of the Department of Labor’s rule changes concerning who is exempt from overtime under the FLSA A Cleveland firefighter was ordered to pay $2,500 for personal calls on city phone San Jose mayor changes position on police officers paying training costs Daily log is not a “personnel file” for purposes of firefighter bill of rights, Poole v. Orange County Fire Authority,…

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Are Personal Cell Phone Records Public Documents?

Glenda Nissen is a detective with the Pierce County, Washington Sheriff’s Department. Mark Lindquist is the elected Pierce County Prosecutor. Lindquist has a County-provided cellular phone, which he rarely uses, apparently preferring instead to use his personal cellular phone to conduct government business. When Nissen sued the County on a whistleblower claim, the County produced (1) records showing that Lindquist generally used his County-provided cellular phone less than ten…

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Privacy For Personal Email And Cell Phone Records Of Public Officials

The California Court of Appeals recently issued a significant decision on whether records of communications by public officials on private email and cell phone accounts are considered to be “public records” subject to disclosure. The case involved a citizen named Ted Smith, who requested that the City of San Jose produce “any and all voicemails, emails or text messages sent or received on private electronic devices used by Mayor…

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