California Municipal Law Blog

Municipal Law Blog

Legal updates on current legislation and court cases affecting California local government

Category Archives: Law Enforcement

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The Feds’ New Lawsuit Against State “Sanctuary City” Laws: What’s At Issue

Posted in Law Enforcement, Legislative Updates, Uncategorized
On March 7, 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a lawsuit challenging California’s “sanctuary” state laws.  This is only one in a series of actions that Attorney General Sessions’ has taken to curtail “sanctuary” efforts in the United States. While the term “sanctuary” city or state does not have a precise definition, it generally… Continue Reading

Court Clarifies Duties of Police, City Attorneys, District Attorneys for Pitchess Discovery Motions

Posted in Law Enforcement, Pitchess Motions
The California Supreme Court has resolved questions that have arisen among police departments, city attorneys and district attorneys about their obligations to respond to criminal discovery requirements under the landmark decisions of Brady v. Maryland and Pitchess v. Superior Court. The Brady case, generally, requires the prosecution to disclose material evidence that is favorable to the… Continue Reading

Sexual Offender Ordinances

Posted in Law Enforcement, Sex Offenders
Local entities (cities and counties) have been faced with legal challenges to their sex offender ordinances that were passed after Jessica’s Law in 2006. They are also faced with frustrated citizens who demand the most restrictive ordinances possible, without realizing the legal limitations. It is important for entities to understand the background for these laws,… Continue Reading

Court Clarifies When Financial Contributions to Medical Marijuana Collective Are Lawful

Posted in Law Enforcement, Medical Marijuana, Proposition 215
Local governments in California—and especially law enforcement agencies—know all too well the many myths that pervade the medical-marijuana movement.  From the notion that California has “legalized” marijuana for medical purposes (those who legitimately use marijuana are only given immunity from prosecution) to the claim that dispensary operators can act as “caregivers” for their often numerous… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Cell Phones May Not Be Searched Incident to Arrest

Posted in Fourth Amendment, Search and Seizure
On June 25, 2014, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that police may not rely on the search-incident-to-lawful-arrest exception to justify a search of an arrestee’s cell phone.  This holding directly disapproves the California Supreme Court’s 2011 holding in People v. Diaz, which previously authorized such searches.  Officers wishing to search the contents of… Continue Reading