Trucker Wins Lawsuit Against Minnesota Highway Patrol Roadside Inspections [Archive] - Glock Talk

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NorthCarolinaLiberty
05-23-2011, 18:08
I just learned about this case that was decided several months ago.

The lawsuit was filed by Stephen House, a commercial trucker who was illegally detained at a roadside inspection in 2008. The Minnesota State Patrol was engaged in a fishing expedition that invovled a "survey." Administrators of the "survey" not only failed to declare its purpose, but they were misleading in the entire process.

The "voluntary survey" also asked intrusive questions, such as,

--What is your neck size?
--Do you take prescription drugs?
--Do you have Playboy magazines in the cab?
--How many times do you go to the bathroom at night?


House filed suit after inspectors determined he was impaired and determined that he should be forced off the road for 10 hours.

House and the Independent Driver Association were victorious in US District when the court ruled that police overstepped their authority by subjecting House to an unreasonable search and seizure when they expanded their scope of questioning. The court also ruled that inspectors were purposefully misleading in their questioning.

The relief to which House is entitled from the State of Minnesota is currently being discussed.


The trucking industry has been subject to a much lower expectation of privacy than automobile motorists, but this victory by House and the IDA is no less noteworthy. It put a halt to the arbritary and standardless technique used by authorities in Minnesota.
The legal doubletalk that muddles these 4th amendment issues is no less dismaying, but at least it puts government on notice that some citizens are taking a stand against indiscretion and intrusiveness.


Read the court decision here: http://courtops.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/OOS_truck_4thAm_101135093901.pdf

goldenlight
05-24-2011, 05:56
good!!

Mister_Beefy
05-24-2011, 06:10
good!!



heh :supergrin:

score one for the good guys.

Peace Frog
05-24-2011, 06:23
Man that's good news.
I spent almost 24 years trucking.Been through a lot of inspections.Most times never had any issues but I've had a few that made me a little upset.Always keep my mouth shut though because I always carried no matter the state.:whistling:

Dragoon44
05-24-2011, 06:56
They need to put the genius administrator that put the "survey" into practice back in a toll booth.

fnfalman
05-24-2011, 07:47
"What's my neck size?" How the hell does that help with determining whether or not a driver is competent? Hell, I don't know what my neck size is. My tailor does, but I sure as hell don't.

larry_minn
05-24-2011, 08:04
Good. I drove truck for a short time. Most times I didn't even have to stop. My logbook was not even opened. (and I made sure to have the correct one) :) I do recall the gent who was going to find "Something" and I wish I could have burned out a tail light so he would have been happy/left me alone. It was actually a bad thing to have all lights working, brakes properly set, weight correct,etc.
It was if he had made a bet. "I will find something on the next truck across the scale"
He got paid by the hr (if he was working or not) I got paid by the mile. When I am not moving I got nothing.

Mister_Beefy
05-24-2011, 08:16
They need to put the genius administrator that put the "survey" into practice back in a toll booth.


heh, once again it's the administrator's fault, and not any officer.

ok, that's fine. aside from that I think we're in agreement on this.

However I think public officials that violate civil liberties deserve a much harsher punishment then a demotion at work.

Dragoon44
05-24-2011, 09:29
heh, once again it's the administrator's fault, and not any officer.

And gee whiz look the court agrees with me!

All claims against the individual officers were dismissed with prejudice.

I am guessing you didn't bother to actually read the court decision.

Black Smoke Trail
05-24-2011, 11:44
The court decision is a limited positive victory for the 4th amendment.

Hopefully we will see more decisions of this nature as well as civil litigation along with strong lobbying of state and federal law makers to pass and impliment legislation to strip limited immunity from law enforcement officers and their leadership who are proven to be in violation of departmental policy, violation of constitutional/naturalborn rights, or have committed a crime.

Once the threat of criminal prosecution, police retiremnt funds, personal assets, and even departmental budgets are opened up to civil litigation and forfeiture, these types of abuses will be few and far in between.

Mister_Beefy
05-24-2011, 12:09
And gee whiz look the court agrees with me!

All claims against the individual officers were dismissed with prejudice.

I am guessing you didn't bother to actually read the court decision.


well, as you are so sanctimoniously fond of pointing out, I really don't care.

I hope all the police that conducted these ILLEGAL stops get lots of bad... what did that other guy call it... oh yea.... gimmie a K.....

coastal4974
05-24-2011, 12:18
Gubmint workers should be required to supply their own insurance for this. Itís great that this guy won but it sucks that the tax payers have to foot the bill as the party responsible goes to Dunkin Donuts.

Mushinto
05-24-2011, 12:22
Anyone in LE for any length of time has seen this kind of stupidity from publicity-hungry CEOs.

Nice to see justice served.

Black Smoke Trail
05-24-2011, 12:23
Gubmint workers should be required to supply their own insurance for this. Itís great that this guy won but it sucks that the tax payers have to foot the bill as the party responsible goes to Dunkin Donuts.

In a sense the tax payers are responsible as I see it. Take a look at my signature quote.

Naelbis
05-24-2011, 12:29
The court decision is a limited positive victory for the 4th amendment.

Hopefully we will see more decisions of this nature as well as civil litigation along with strong lobbying of state and federal law makers to pass and impliment legislation to strip limited immunity from law enforcement officers and their leadership who are proven to be in violation of departmental policy, violation of constitutional/naturalborn rights, or have committed a crime.

Once the threat of criminal prosecution, police retiremnt funds, personal assets, and even departmental budgets are opened up to civil litigation and forfeiture, these types of abuses will be few and far in between.
Actually you will just end up with no one willing to do the job other than the truely crazy or desperate. Officers already live with the fear of some loser sueing them every day, all because we work in an evironment where we have to make split second decisions without being able to stop and ponder all the potential ramifications. :whistling:

Black Smoke Trail
05-24-2011, 12:39
Actually you will just end up with no one willing to do the job other than the truely crazy or desperate. Officers already live with the fear of some loser sueing them every day, all because we work in an evironment where we have to make split second decisions without being able to stop and ponder all the potential ramifications. :whistling:

It is quite apparent these officers were not doing their job anyway. Your statement:

Officers already live with the fear of some loser sueing them every day

is not an accurate representation. Law Enforcement officers as well as public prosecutors, judges and other public officials are covered by limited immunity which which makes it extremely difficult if not nearly impossible to sue or criminally prosecute.

Dragoon44
05-24-2011, 12:46
well, as you are so sanctimoniously fond of pointing out, I really don't care.

I hope all the police that conducted these ILLEGAL stops get lots of bad... what did that other guy call it... oh yea.... gimmie a K.....

I know, but I don't mind pointing out the differences between the real world and the imaginary one in your head.

Black Smoke Trail
05-24-2011, 13:07
Actually you will just end up with no one willing to do the job other than the truely crazy or desperate. Officers already live with the fear of some loser sueing them every day, all because we work in an evironment where we have to make split second decisions without being able to stop and ponder all the potential ramifications. :whistling:

Not to belabor the point but add to the potential ramifications you mentioned which I believe is a very valid point that must be addressed as well.

One of the primary issues in addressing abuses of law enforcement and other public officials is the very valid fear on the part of those few who DO police up their own ranks. In many if not nearly all instances when an officer steps forward to report or address corruption or abuse, they are literally placing their very life in danger as well as their careers on the line. Prosecution of officers who are proven to know of such abuses or crimes committed but fail to step up could be prosecuted under misprison of felony statutes. This might encourage more to step forward and take responsibility for their postion and authority by removing as much incentive as possible to keep their mouth shut and maintain the status quo.

Here is an example of GROSS criminal and professional misconduct on the part of police and public prosecutor that the above provisions would although not perfect, address.

http://www.newschannel5.com/category/211433/nc5-investigates-policing-for-profit

banjobob
05-24-2011, 13:20
"What's my neck size?" How the hell does that help with determining whether or not a driver is competent? Hell, I don't know what my neck size is. My tailor does, but I sure as hell don't.

Possibly determining possible risk for sleep apnea. There is some correlation between neck size and Sleep apnea, but this sounds pretty far fetched.

Mister_Beefy
05-24-2011, 17:16
I know, but I don't mind pointing out the differences between the real world and the imaginary one in your head.


ah, a world where bad cops are held accountable for their actions.... I dare to dream!

Fixxer
05-24-2011, 17:17
Here is an example of GROSS criminal and professional misconduct on the part of police and public prosecutor that the above provisions would although not perfect, address.

http://www.newschannel5.com/category/211433/nc5-investigates-policing-for-profit

Hey, those fine officers put their lives on the line every single day, and they just want to make it home at the end of their shift.

HOW DARE YOU question the techniques they employ to stop the scourge that is drug trafficking?

You sleep under the blanket of safety that these fine men and women provide, and you have the gall to imply that they are acting illegally?

Those tapes are clearly lying; no sworn officer would ever behave as you suggest.

!

Naelbis
05-24-2011, 17:24
I assure you that qualified immunity only applies to civil suits, not criminal porsecution. LE has the added bonus of facing double charges in that we can face both criminal charges in both state and federal courts for the same crime. And qualified immunity only applies if we were acting lawfully. If we are found to have violated state or federal laws, or even department policy we can lose that protection. Only judges have full immunity from civil suits. Just to educate ya'll a little.

Fixxer
05-24-2011, 17:31
I assure you that qualified immunity only applies to civil suits, not criminal porsecution. LE has the added bonus of facing double charges in that we can face both criminal charges in both state and federal courts for the same crime. And qualified immunity only applies if we were acting lawfully. If we are found to have violated state or federal laws, or even department policy we can lose that protection. Only judges have full immunity from civil suits. Just to educate ya'll a little.

And I assure you that such events don't happen too often, because each and every sworn officer are above reproach.

I, for one, think that cops should be able to do whatever they wish, in order to apprehend dangerous criminals currency.

That currency, in the wrong hands, might cause an officer to get a very bad paper cut, then the sheer volume of resultant paperwork would cause him or her to not get home at the end of his/her shift, and that is just not fair.

Dragoon44
05-24-2011, 17:33
ah, a world where bad cops are held accountable for their actions.... I dare to dream!

Yeah except in your fantasy world the "bad cops" are any cop that doesn't do things the way you want them done.

So you might as well keep dreaming.

Naelbis
05-24-2011, 18:19
And I assure you that such events don't happen too often, because each and every sworn officer are above reproach.

I, for one, think that cops should be able to do whatever they wish, in order to apprehend dangerous criminals currency.

That currency, in the wrong hands, might cause an officer to get a very bad paper cut, then the sheer volume of resultant paperwork would cause him or her to not get home at the end of his/her shift, and that is just not fair.
The sarcasm is strong in this one....:rofl:

Black Smoke Trail
05-24-2011, 18:25
Hey, those fine officers put their lives on the line every single day, and they just want to make it home at the end of their shift.

HOW DARE YOU question the techniques they employ to stop the scourge that is drug trafficking?

You sleep under the blanket of safety that these fine men and women provide, and you have the gall to imply that they are acting illegally?

Those tapes are clearly lying; no sworn officer would ever behave as you suggest.

!

You are making sarcasm a new art. LOVE IT!!!! Got a great chuckle anyhow. Need to have a good laugh once in while. :agree::rofl::supergrin:

Carrys
05-24-2011, 18:50
Good gravy.

Who gives a good rat's behind?:dunno:

Fixxer
05-24-2011, 19:14
Good gravy.

Who gives a good rat's behind?:dunno:

People who operate on razor-thin margins who are tired of the 'system' taking their money in the name of 'safety'.

Something that people in the public sector seemingly cannot grasp.

NorthCarolinaLiberty
05-24-2011, 19:59
People who operate on razor-thin margins who are tired of the 'system' taking their money in the name of 'safety'.

Something that people in the public sector seemingly cannot grasp.


I agree with you. Some in government grasp it, but they simply don't care or are trying to make their jobs easier.

It is also not just money. It is a matter of common decency. The survey asked about things like Playboy Magazine and whizzing habits. It's not just about the guy who created the survey. It is about everyone involved in this nonsense. Some of these people just don't have a backbone in standing up for what is right.

NorthCarolinaLiberty
05-24-2011, 20:10
The court decision is a limited positive victory for the 4th amendment.



That was my thought too. Governments and police have pushed the envelope on these illegal searches, currently putting motorists and truckers in the position of playing defense. The survey was so ridiculous, but still fits right in with the muddled legal doubletalk that bypasses and makes exceptions for the 4th amendment.

This case was of interest to me because the same type of doubletalk is also the name of the game at motorist and internal border patrol checkpoints. Authorites muddy the water when speaking of things like "limited vs. expansive inspections" and "primary vs. secondary."

I will hope that people like Steven House will continue to come forward, push back, and highlight these ridiculous indiscretions and abuses.

Cochese
05-24-2011, 20:20
Why isn't this in civil liberties, where it belongs?

Fixxer
05-24-2011, 20:42
Some of these people just don't have a backbone in standing up for what is right.

Even jellyfish want to go home at the end of their shift.

NorthCarolinaLiberty
05-24-2011, 20:55
Why isn't this in civil liberties, where it belongs?


I considered putting it there. It is definitely that type of issue, but I think these issues have changed to a point where they go well beyond civil liberties.

I wonder how many truckers will often consider civil liberties in a hectic job. I even wonder how many automobile motorists consider these issues when just trying to accomplish daily tasks.

I believe that government has pushed these 4th amendment issues so far that they go far beyond the constitution. Asking someone about Playboy or how often they take a whizz just violates standards of common decency. Misleading people about "voluntary surveys" speaks more about character than narrow constitutional issues. Using threats of authority to legitimize these activities is pretty loathesome in my book.

OldCurlyWolf
05-24-2011, 21:41
Those LEO's in TN need checked up on. Something is not quite right with a few of them.

I will back a LEO to the hilt that does his/her job and doesn't wander across that invisible line too far or too often. But there are a few that need a size 14 rammed so far up that it will take 20 ton jack to get it out.

As to those "surveys", most of my answers would be "Nunya", as in "None of Your D Business" or some derivative thereof.

Mister_Beefy
05-24-2011, 22:58
Yeah except in your fantasy world the "bad cops" are any cop that doesn't do things the way you want them done.

So you might as well keep dreaming.


heh, whatever you say pal.

Brucev
05-26-2011, 08:37
Bad officers are just like bad truckers... nail them. In this case, very good decision.