Using The Law: The Exercise of Judicial Power

using the law, State v. Lund, 119 N.J. 35 (1990), Supreme Court of New Jersey, New Jersey Constitution, Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, Warren County, criminal defense, drunk driving, traffic ticket, juvenile, attorney, lawyerI have blogged about New Jersey v. T.L.O.1, Michigan v. Long2, and State of New Jersey v. Lund.3 Those blog posts explained the holding and reasoning of the majority in each case. This post, however, will go to the heart of judicial power: using the law. Nowadays this issue seems to be especially important. Indeed, the news extensively covered one of President Trump’s executive orders banning Muslims from entering the United States. And after Trump criticized a judge for blocking the order, some people defended that judge and the judiciary as an independent branch of government.

Known as “Separation of Powers” doctrine, Read more


State of New Jersey v. Lund: State and Federal Constitutions in Lockstep

State of New Jersey v. Lund, 119 N.J. 35 (1990), Supreme Court of New Jersey, New Jersey Constitution, Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, Warren County, criminal defense, drunk driving, traffic ticket, juvenile, attorney, lawyerPreviously I blogged about Michigan v. Long.1 The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) broke new ground under federal law with respect to two issues in Long: SCOTUS review of state court decisions, and Terry searches of cars. With respect to its jurisdiction to review decisions based on adequate and independent state grounds, SCOTUS articulated a “plain statement” rule for state courts to follow. Additionally, with respect to the Fourth Amendment, SCOTUS applied Terry v. Ohio 2 to protective searches of cars, requiring proof of a reasonable belief about the presence of weapons. This blog post will look at Read more


Michigan v. Long: Protective Searches and Constitutionally Protected Areas

Michigan v. Long, 463 U.S. 1032, 103 S.Ct. 3469, 77 L.Ed.2d 1201 (1983), Supreme Court of the United States, SCOTUS, Fourth Amendment, adequate and independent state grounds, New Jersey, Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, Warren County, criminal defense, drunk driving, traffic ticket, juvenile, attorney, lawyerIn Terry v. Ohio, SCOTUS crafted an exception to the requirement of a warrant and probable cause, allowing police to protectively search a person.1 But to fall within the exception, the circumstances must provide police with a reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct and a reasonable belief the person poses a danger. Subsequently, SCOTUS determined the police may search incident to arrest an individual’s wingspan without a warrant based on Terry principles.2 Furthermore, SCOTUS expanded the individual’s wingspan to include a recently occupied vehicle, also based on Terry principles.3 Read more


State of New Jersey v. Best: The Fourth Amendment on Public School Property

State of New Jersey v. Best, 201 N.J. 100 (2010), Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, Warren County, criminal defense, drunk driving, traffic ticket, juvenile, attorney, lawyerPreviously I blogged about New Jersey v. T.L.O. 1 The focus of this post, State of New Jersey v. Best 2 applies T.L.O. to a warrantless car search on school property by a school official. The United States Supreme Court in T.L.O. addressed whether the exclusionary rule applies to evidence seized by a school official without police involvement in juvenile delinquency proceedings. SCOTUS answered this question in the affirmative.Notwithstanding the State’s position that school officials act as surrogates for the actual parents (in loco parentis), the Court decided they are State Actors. Indeed, by rejecting the State’s position, SCOTUS reasoned the breadth and Read more


New Jersey v. T.L.O.: The Fourth Amendment in Public School

New Jersey v TLO, 469 U.S. 325 (1984), New Jersey, Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, Warren County, criminal defense, drunk driving, traffic ticket, juvenile, attorney, lawyerIn 1984, a juvenile delinquency case from New Jersey went before the Supreme Court of the United States. SCOTUS addressed two questions. First, the Court addressed whether the Fourth Amendment applies to public school officials. Additionally, the Court considered the proper standard to assess searches and seizures by public school officials. The case was New Jersey v TLO.

New Jersey v TLO: Factual History

A Piscataway High School teacher found two girls smoking in the bath room. Since this was against school rules, the teacher took the girls to the Principal’s office. Subsequently, an Assistant Vice Principal questioned the girls Read more


Law, Policy, People, and Stop-and-Frisk

Stop and Frisk in Brownsville, Brooklyn:
Residents Question a Police Tactic

I have blogged about Donald Trump‘s support for the NYPD use of stop, question, and frisk as a national model. Please watch this 2010 report about the law, policy, people, and stop-and-frisk in Brownsville. Do cops issue tickets in part to make money for their municipalities? Will Trump adopt a stop-and-frisk policy for Muslims in order to create the national database he promised? When does public cynicism influence policy? To borrow the words of Benjamin Franklin, should Americans give up some of their liberty to get a little temporary safety? Read more


The Right To Be Left Alone v. Stop and Frisk

“Stop and Frisk” As National Policy?

State and federal law protect individuals from unreasonable government intrusion. Thus, “stop and frisk” is an exception to the law, not the general rule. The no-nonsense tough-talk appearance of a national stop and frisk policy might appeal to some people. But the right to be left alone is more important—and that’s no bull! It is the law. Consequently, judges, prosecutors, and defense lawyers take it seriously. Read more


Fighting Back Against Stop-and-Frisk

On June 17, 2012, protesters marched against NYPD’s aggressive stop-and-frisk policy.

This video is about their march.

The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment prohibits the government from violating “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Additionally, Read more


Standing—Getting Your Client His Day in Court

Standing

standingThis entry will explain New Jersey and Federal law as each relates to suppression motion standing.

First, this will set forth the general standards under state law.

Next, this will explain standing under federal law.

Finally, this will define the particular categories for standing under state law. Read more