Electronic Monitoring of Sex Offenders

Under a new law that went into effect January 1, some sex offenders (but not all) are required to be monitored for life and tracked by GPS. I’ve had some calls from folks on the list surprised by the new law. Yes, it’s a real thing. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is working on following up on records of guilt findings to track down who is and who is not required to be tracked; those on probation and parole can expect their probation/parole officer to require tracking.

Police ask for whole city’s Google searches, and a judge says yes

Edina, CA police sought a court order requiring from Google disclosure of “name(s), address(es), telephone number(s), dates of birth, social security numbers, email addresses, payment information, account information, IP addresses, and MAC addresses of the person(s) who requested/completed the search” — FOR EVERYONE IN TOWN. And they got it.


Red Light/Speed Camera Programs Unconstitutional

The Missouri Supreme Court found red light camera programs violated the constitution.

Joe Ravi, CC-BY-SA 3.0

Joe Ravi, CC-BY-SA 3.0

The Court says a city can’t convict using red light/speed cams 1) unless they issue points on a driver’s license as prescribed by state law; 2) unless there is no presumption of guilt; and 3) if an owner instead of an operator is charged, then the city must prove the owner expressly permitted the operator to break the law allegedly violated.

I previously litigated red light cameras in Springfield, resulting in the shut down of the program and removal of the cameras.

Three cases:

City of St. Peters v. Roeder, No. SC94379 (Mo. banc August 18, 2015)

Tupper v. City of St. Louis, No. SC94212 (Mo. banc August 18, 2015)

City of Moline Acres v. Brennan, No. SC94085 (Mo. banc August 18, 2015)


Springfield’s Red Light Cameras will come down

Joe Ravi, CC-BY-SA 3.0

The City of Springfield announced it will remove the red light cameras from intersections.  The cameras have been deactivated since the 2010 Missouri Supreme Court decision in City of Springfield v. Adolph Belt, Jr.  I served as the lawyer for the retired veteran highway patrolman who argued the cameras jeopardized public safety and the extra-judicial hearing process violated the basic rights of motorists.

Amos Bridges wrote a nice watchdog piece outlining the history of the case and cost to the motorists and taxpayers.   Final cost of the red-light camera program to Springfield taxpayers:  $461,504.62.  Cost to motorists of illegal fines:  $807,163.00.  Legal fees paid by the City to defend the camera program in court:  $124,244.62.  Accidents prevented:  0.

Kudos to the City and to Councilman Burlison who, it was reported, suggested the change.  Councilman Burlison has a long history of fighting for our basic freedoms.  Some will remember he was one of my clients in the lock down and mass search case against Springfield Public Schools and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office that we took to the United States Supreme Court.

Client Confidentiality and Email


Jeff Schuler, CC BY 2.0

So, in the wake of the Edward Snowden disclosures about the NSA eavesdropping program, there has been an ongoing discussion among lawyers about how to protect the confidentiality of our client communications. This website is part of my response to that.

I changed web/email hosts and upgraded my email to include encryption between my computer and my mail server. So when I email clients (and anyone else) the transmissions are encrypted on “my side.” But they may or may not be encrypted on “your side.”

The three largest email providers, Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo!, default to SSL encryption by default, so about a billion of you are squared away. As for the rest, you should check with your service provider about encryption before you send me secret messages about your case!

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