Legal Issues

02-Oct-2017

UPDATE: One Light, Two Lights, Red Light, Blue Light

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel On Monday, September 25, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senator Toni Atkins’ SB 587, the “Blue Light Bill” sponsored by the State Coalition of Probation Organizations to allow probation peace officers to display a blue warn..

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27-Mar-2017

One Light, Two Lights, Red Light, Blue Light

Legislation sponsored by the State Coalition of Probation Organizations will allow probation peace officers to display a blue warning light on authorized emergency vehicles. Senate Bill 587 (D-Atkins) would amend Vehicle Code section 25258(b) to give probation officers the same authority as most..

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21-Jun-2016

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Law Enforcement May Use Evidence Found After Illegal Stop

In a 5-3 decision marked by a ferocious dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that officers may use evidence obtained from a search incident to arrest even when the evidence is found after an unconstitutional stop. The case, Utah v. Strieff, gives peace office..

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30-May-2016

Court Denies Defendant’s Challenge to PRCS Probation Search

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel Ruling against a probationer who tried to suppress evidence he was in possession of child pornography, the First District Court of Appeal held the one year supervision period under the Postrelease Community Supervision Ac..

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30-May-2016

Court Rejects Statute of Limitations Defense to Disciplinary Action

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel California’s Third District Court of Appeal last week rejected a parole agent’s attempt to have the disciplinary action against him dismissed under the statute of limitations in the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act. I..

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01-Apr-2016

U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Friedrichs by 4-4 Vote

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel At the last SCOPO board meeting, we discussed Friedrichs v. Cal. Teachers Ass’n, et al., a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court in which California public school teachers are challenging agency shop laws and the fair share fee syst..

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29-Feb-2016

Court Upholds Retired Deputy’s Right to Appeal Suspension

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel A deputy who retired while his administrative appeal from a suspension without pay was pending before the San Bernardino County Civil Service Commission will have his day in court after the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld his rig..

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03-Feb-2016

Appellate Court Defines POBRA Notice Requirements

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel Peace officer defense attorneys and law enforcement agencies have struggled for years with a provision of the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act requiring departments to notify officers under investigation “of the natur..

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18-Jan-2016

PERB Rejects City of San Diego’s Attack on Public Employee Pensions

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel In a decision certain to have far-reaching consequences for public employee pensions in California, the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has issued a decision vacating the effects of San Diego’s Proposition B because the city fai..

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28-Dec-2015

California DOJ Enforcing Statutory Prohibition on Sale of Non-rostered Firearms to Probation Peace Officers

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel The California Department of Justice has a Christmas gift for probation peace officers – renewed enforcement of the statutory ban on the sale of non-rostered firearms and high-capacity magazines to probation departments and their sw..

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16-Nov-2015

U.S. Supreme Court Strengthens Qualified Immunity Protections

U.S. Supreme Court Strengthens Qualified Immunity Protections Ruling last week in a controversial pursuit case involving a Texas public safety officer who killed a fleeing felon while trying to shoot his car, the U.S. Supreme Court has reinforced qualified immunity protections for peace officers..

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12-Nov-2015

U.S. Supreme Court Strengthens Qualified Immunity Protections For Peace Officers in Deadly Pursuit Case

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel Peace officers whose enforcement actions “fall . . . in the hazy border between excessive and acceptable force” still may enjoy qualified immunity from liability under a U.S. Supreme Court decision issued earlier this week. Ruling in a c..

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12-Oct-2015

California Supreme Court Restores Sanity to Procedures For Prosecution Access to Peace Officer Personnel Records

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel Overturning a decision by the First District Court of Appeal, the California Supreme Court has reiterated that prosecutors, like criminal defendants, must file a Pitchess motion to get access to the confidential personnel records of pea..

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06-Sep-2015

STATE BANS PROSECUTORS FROM USING GRAND JURIES TO REVIEW OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTINGS

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel In the wake of controversial police shootings across the country, California’s prosecutors have been banned by new legislation from using grand juries to decide whether to charge certain classes of peace officers in officer-involved sho..

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03-Sep-2015

California Supreme Court Decision Limiting Firefighter Access To Personnel Records Will Affect Similar Rights for Peace Officers

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel A new decision from the California Supreme Court limiting employee access to supervisor files under the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act likely will place the same limits on public safety officers. The case, Poole v. Orange Cou..

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03-Sep-2015

California Supreme Court Decision Limiting Firefighter Access To Personnel Records Will Affect Similar Rights for Peace Officers

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel A new decision from the California Supreme Court limiting employee access to supervisor files under the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act likely will place the same limits on public safety officers. The case, Poole v. Orange Co..

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21-Jul-2015

Court Rejects PORBA Defense by LAPD  Officer Convicted of Murder

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel Convicted in 2012 of the 1986 murder of her lover's wife, former Los Angeles Police Department detective Stephanie Lazarus asked an appellate court to overturn her conviction on the basis a statement was taken from her in violation of ..

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21-Jul-2015

Court Rejects PORBA Defense by LAPD Officer Convicted of Murder

Department detective Stephanie Lazarus asked an appellate court to overturn her conviction on the basis a statement was taken from her in violation of her rights under the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBRA). (Gov. Code $$3300 et seq.) The Second District Court of Appeal..

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12-Jun-2015

Court of Appeal Identifies Realignment Loophole Preventing Dismissal of Juvenile Records

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel The Sixth District Court of Appeal ruled last week that minors who successfully complete a term of confinement at the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) are no longer entitled automatically to release from all penalties and disabil..

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19-May-2015

PERB Expands Scope of Union Representation Rights in Cases Involving ADA Accommodation

By Christopher W. Miller, Esq. SCOPO General Counsel Overturning its own precedent, the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) ruled recently that an employee has the right to union representation in meetings with the employer to determine whether a reasonable accommodation is availabl..

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