Legislative & Legal UpdatesThe Legislative Updates and Case Laws found on this page are intended for information and training purposes only. Law enforcement trainers, public safety agencies, and students are strongly encouraged to consult the opinions and full text of all cases and laws and to coordinate all legal inquiries or investigative matters to their agency’s legal adviser, local district attorney, or solicitor’s general for legal opinion.

Michigan v. Bryant, No. 09-150, 2011 WL 676964 (U.S.Mich.), February 28, 2011: 
The U.S. Supreme Court held: Michigan police dispatched to a gas station parking lot found Anthony Covington mortally wounded. Covington told them that he had been shot by respondent Bryant outside Bryant’s house and had then driven himself to the lot. Covington’s identification and description of the shooter and the location of the shooting were not testimonial statements because they had a “primary purpose . . . to enable police assistance to meet an ongoing emergency.” (Davis v. Washington, 547 U. S.) Therefore, their admission at Bryant’s trial did not violate the Confrontation Clause.

City of Ontario, CA, et al. v. Quon, et al, 08-1332, — S.Ct. —, 2010 WL 2400087 (U.S.), June 17, 2010: 
Petitioner City of Ontario, CA acquired text messages sent from alpha-numeric pagers able to send and receive text messages issued to Officer Quon and other officers of the City of Ontario Police Department (OPD), after Officer Quon and others exceeded their monthly character limits for several months running. Chief of Police Scharf sought to determine whether the existing text message limit was too low and whether the officers had to pay fees for sending work-related messages or, conversely, whether the overages were for personal messages. After reviewing transcripts of Officer Quon’s and another employee’s text messages, it was discovered that many of Officer Quon’s messages were not work related, and some were sexually explicit. Officer Quon was disciplined for violating OPD rules. He and the other respondents sued arguing the obtaining of their text messages was an unreasonable search in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Berghuis, Warden v. Thompkins, 08-1470, — S.Ct. —-, 2010 WL 2160784 (U.S.), June 1, 2010: 
U.S. Supreme Court held the fact that defendant was silent during first two hours and 45 minutes of three hour interrogation was insufficient to invoke his right to remain silent under Miranda; Defendant waived his right to remain silent under Miranda by responding to question by interrogating officer; and police are not required to obtain a waiver of defendant’s right to remain silent under Miranda before commencing interrogation.

Maryland v. Shatzer, 08-680, 2010 WL 624042 (U.S.Md.), Feb 24, 2010 
The U.S. Supreme Court clarified its ruling in Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477, 101 S.Ct. 1880, under which a suspect who has invoked his right to the presence of counsel during a custodial interrogation is not subject to further interrogation until either counsel has been made available or the subject himself further initiates exchanges with the police, does not apply if a break in custody lasting 14 days has occurred.

Florida v. Powell, 08-1175, 2010 WL 605603 (U.S.Fla.), Feb 23, 2010 
The U.S. Supreme Course ruled, as “an absolute prerequisite to interrogation,” that an individual held for questioning “must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation.” While the warnings prescribed by Miranda are invariable, this Court has not dictated the [exact] words in which the essential information must be conveyed.

Presley v Georgia, 130 S.Ct. 721, January 19, 2010 
In a drug trafficking prosecution, the state supreme court’s affirmance of defendant’s conviction is reversed where the trial court failed to consider all reasonable alternatives to closure when it excluded defendant’s uncle from the voir dire proceedings, in violation of defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a public trial.