AELE Amicus Curiae Brief Cases

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C. State Courts

Won (1992)
People v. Winsett
Illinois Supreme Court
153 Ill. 2d 335; 606 N.E. 2d 1186
Testimony of a person hired by the defendant to commit a murder was not tainted as "fruit of the poisoned tree," because of a Miranda - impaired confession.

Other disposition (1983)
State v. La France
471 A. 2d 340
New Hampshire Supreme Court
Whether a trial judge has discretion to order police officers to disarm before entering a courtroom. Although the state supreme court rejected the appeal, it adopted the authority sought by Rule of Court.

Won (1984)
Begg v. Park Ridge (II)
459 N.E. 2d 925
Illinois Supreme Court
Same case as below, higher appeal.

View opinion here.

Won (1982)
Begg v. Park Ridge (I)
443 N.E. 2d 222
Illinois Appellate Court (Second District)
Upheld right of chief to discipline a subordinate officer for continued failure to meet reasonable traffic enforcement performance standards.

Won (1987)
Long v. A.C.L.U. of So. Cal.
Superior Court #359823, Orange County, California
Police officer, who was ejected from an ACLU seminar and was publicly humiliated by an ACLU speaker, brought suit for his emotional distress. AELE provided substantial funding and research for his legal team. He recovered $20,000 plus legal costs at trial; the case was settled for a lesser amount on appeal.

Won (1981)
Jenkins v. Kreiger
Ohio Supreme Court
67 Ohio St. 2d 314; 423 N.E. 2d 856
Liability of sheriff for inmate injuries when county commissioners refused funding for additional deputies.

Lost (1980)
Hubbard v. Boelt
California Supreme Court
620 P. 2d 156; 28 Cal.3d 480
Involved right of police officer to sue criminal who negligently caused injuries to the officer.

Won (1980)
People v. Smithers
Illinois Supreme Court
415 N.E. 2d 327
Involved legality of pat-down frisk of man leaving tavern; officers were responding to a man-with-gun call for help.
 
Lost (1980)
Chaney v. Civil Service Commission
Illinois Supreme Court
412 N.E. 2d 497
Involves the legality of use of assumed names by undercover officers involved in an organized crime investigation.

Won (1979)
Peaches v. City of Evansville
Indiana Court of Appeals
389 N.E. 2d 322
Upheld the right of police officers to use deadly force, as a last resort, to stop a fleeing felon.

Won (1977)
People v. Woglemuth
Illinois Supreme Court
370 N.E. 2d 1067; 69 Ill.2d 154
Illinois Supreme Court reversed an appellate court ruling which would have required officers who possessed an Iowa warrant to also obtain an Illinois warrant before arresting a fugitive and searching him incidental to that arrest.

Won (1977)
State ex rel Bd. of Police Commissioners v. Vardeman
Missouri Supreme Court
562 S.W.2d 349; 1978 Mo. Lexis 371
AELE argued, in a civil case, against an attempt by the Socialist Workers Party plaintiffs to discover police intelligence files.

Won (1976)
Toomey v. Tolin
Florida Supreme Court
No. 47,483; see the decision of the Florida Court of Appeals (Fourth District) at 311 So. 2d 678; 1975 Fla. App. Lexis 15062.
AELE argued that police officers were not liable in civil suits for acts taken on advice of their department's legal officer, an attorney. The appeal to the state Supreme Court was dismissed and the lower court verdict favoring the officer was reinstated.

Won (1976)
Manis v. Miller
Florida Court of Appeals
317 So. 2d 117
Victim of armed robbery identified her assailant who was arrested but not prosecuted. In suit for false arrest, trial court held crime victim liable for damages even though she made identification in complete good faith. AELE argued this is contrary to the law and against public policy.

Lost (1975)
Lexington-Fayette Co. v. Park
Kentucky Court of Appeals
No. 75-211 (Unpublished)
AELE argued that police internal investigations files should not be subject to discovery in a civil action against police officer(s).

Lost (1975)
People v. Schwanz
Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
Indictment #74-2625 (By Court Appointment)
AELE argued that Illinois statute allowing trial court to assess costs of criminal trial against convicted defendant is proper and constitutional.

Lost (1975)
Fancil v Q.S.E. Foods
Illinois Supreme Court
328 N.E. 2d 538
Widow of police officer sued for wrongful death of her husband, who was killed by a burglar while making routine security check of previously burglarized store. Owner had disconnected all exterior lighting at the store. AELE supported the widow's position.

Lost (1975)
People ex rel Carey v. Power
Illinois Supreme Court
322 N.E. 2d 476
AELE argued that Chief Judge of Cook County Criminal Court should be required to empanel a second grand jury, authorized by law, to reduce a criminal backlog.

Lost (1974)
Pitchess v. Superior Court (Escheveria)
California Supreme Court
522 P. 2d 305
AELE argued that plaintiff, alleging police misconduct, cannot obtain, by discovery, disciplinary records of arresting officers who have previously been found guilty of misconduct either by a court or by internal investigations unit.

Won (1974)
Walsh v. Oehlert
Missouri Court of Appeals (Eastern Division)
508 S.W. 2d 222
AELE argued that police detective, in hot pursuit of escaped suspected felon, was not liable for failure to advise other pursuing officers that escapee was a juvenile.

Click here for a list of web sites with the full text of many state court decisions.

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