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Category: Civil Rights

February 16, 2019
The Benefits Of Filing Police Misconduct Cases In New York State Court

By Michael H. Joseph

The question of whether to file a police misconduct case in Federal or State Court requires a balance of different factors and the applicable rules of procedure. If you are in a more conservative jurdiction, the more restrictive voir dire procedures are a major obstacle in Federal Court. In Federal Court, the voir dire is usually conducted by the Judge or a law clerk, and the prospective jurors are often stiff and somewhat reluctant to open up. In state court the lawyers handle the voir dire, which usually leads to jurors opening up more, which in turn lets you know… Read More

September 7, 2018
Supreme Court ruling requiring warrant for cellphone searches could lead to a flood of lawsuits

By Michael H. Joseph

Carpenter v. United States is one of many cases involving the privacy of your cell phone data. In this case, police were able to obtain location data from a suspect’s wireless provider using the lower standards of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) without the finding of “probable cause” required to issue a search warrant. The debate over what constitutes a reasonable expectation of privacy is shifting because today’s technology can tie so much sensitive data together. On June 22, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled  in a 5-4 that the historical cell phone location data used to convict Timothy Carpenter of… Read More

September 7, 2018
New York has New Rules for Identifications in Criminal Cases

By Michael H. Joseph

Witness tampering, coaching  and suggestive  photo arrays by police officers and detectives in New York has become a major problem and a contributing cause to several wrongful convictions in New York. The New York  legislature has taken steps in an attempt to combat this problem. Too often, when detectives have  a suspect in mind, they can say things and give hints who the suspect is. In one recent case, that our office handled, a detective told a witness who said a suspect looked familiar, told the witness, that is right, that’s who did it. Our Westchester criminal defense lawyers have… Read More

December 20, 2015
Former Suffolk County Police Chief At Helm Of Corruption

By Michael H. Joseph

The Westchester Criminal lawyers with offices in the White Plains and midtown New York City are all too familiar with incidents involving police officers using excessive force on inmates or suspects in police custody. However, the long-standing corruption that allegedly existed within the Suffolk County Police Department perpetuated by ex-chief James Burke is at the helm is almost unfathomable. The Suffolk County Police Department is among the top 15 largest police forces in the country with nearly 2,000 officers and patrols most of eastern Long Island. The ex-chief of the Suffolk County Police Department, James Burke, was criminally charged with deprivation of civil… Read More

September 23, 2015
Rikers Correctional Officers Charged Criminally

By Michael H. Joseph

This week two corrections officers at Rikers Island Correctional facility in New York City were criminally charged with orchestrating an attack on an inmate to settle a personal score. If convicted, these guards will be strictly liable for civil damages under the theory of collateral estoppel. The officers reportedly locked the inmate in a vestibule, while four inmates attacked him. Even though it is the duty of corrections officers to prevent inmate on inmate attacks, the criminal allegations against the guards allege that the guards, not only were complicit in the attack, but actually orchestrated it. This comes on the… Read More

August 20, 2015
What Is The Difference In Unsealing Grand Jury Minutes In State Court And Federal Court For Malicious Prosecution Actions

By Michael H. Joseph

New York civil rights lawyers who handle malicious prosecution cases know that if the client has been indicted in State Court, it is important to obtain the Grand Jury minutes. While out of respect for comity, a Plaintiff should first make the application in State Court, a Federal Court is not bound by state law protecting the secrecy of grand jury proceedings and the Federal Court must make an independent determination of whether the grand jury transcripts should be released. Where a Plaintiff seeks disclosure of grand jury minutes in Federal Court, principles of federal law dictate the applicable privilege… Read More

July 29, 2015
Suppressed Identification Ordered By Brooklyn Judge

By Michael H. Joseph

A Brooklyn Court has recently granted a motion to suppress the identification of a teenage boy who was accused of firing shots during an armed robbery. A motion to suppress identification is made when the identification procedure is compromised and there is a high probability of misidentification. When a court decides to suppress the identification, it means the identification evidence will cannot be introduced a trial and as a consequence will not be considered by the jury. Often an identification is the crucial evidence in a case, especially in crimes such as robbery, assault and larceny where the parties don’t know each… Read More

July 23, 2015
Malicious Prosecution Against A Westchester County Probation Officer Who Framed A Defendant Will Go Forward

By Michael H. Joseph

Recently United States District Judge Nelson S. Roman decided in our firms favor in a malicious prosecution lawsuit. Two crooked law enforcement officials Probation Officer Pedro Feliciano and Detective Frank Lore wrongly accused our client of committing a robbery-assault that took place at the White Plains Metro North Train Station. Luckily for our client he choose to represent him in this case. After spending over three years on probation our client had several false allegations brought against him by his probation officer Pedro Feliciano. After gathering evidence of those false allegations he reported his proof to the Assistant District Attorney.… Read More

May 27, 2015
New Decision In New York Federal Court Rules FBI “Two-Minute Rule” Unlawful

By Michael H. Joseph

New York City and Westchester federal criminal defense lawyers should be aware of a recent decision concerning the federal wiretap statute.A federal court has recently decided that the FBI’s “two-minute” wire tapping rule on personal calls that are non-criminal is unlawful. The two minute rule has been used by the FBI for years when conducting investigations using wire tapping to convict criminals. The two minute rule treats calls less than two minutes as objectively reasonable thus shielded by immunity. Although the circuit denied the rule that grants agents two minutes of presumption, they dismissed a case brought against the FBI… Read More

January 30, 2015
The Case For More Transparency In Grand Jury Proceedings

By Michael H. Joseph

Under New York law, grand jury proceedings are secret and are controlled by the District Attorney whose presentation to the Grand Jury goes unchallenged. Being charged in a grand jury proceeding is a nerve wrenching experience. Even for an innocent defendant, going into the grand jury proceeding is often referred to as going into the lion’s den. While our Westchester Felony lawyers have successfully won several grand jury proceedings which resulted in no true bills in high level assault and firearms cases, the odds are against the defendant. In New York, the rule is that for a felony case to… Read More

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