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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,589

    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    Quote Quoting JoeW
    View Post
    My question goes primarily to Carl--what should I do about the fallacious report. Although I haven't been given a copy of the report yet, I have been told by the schools administration that the report indicates all four of us were intoxicated and carrying open containers. However, two of us were completely sober and not carrying open containers. You indicated earlier that likely the report only states there was interaction between the police and four students--this is not true--I have been told the report clearly indicates we were all MIP.
    Until you see the report, you do not know what was said. If you were with a group of people who are underage and in possession of alcohol, then you could, indeed, be accused of being a minor in possession. Possession is about dominion and control, and not about consumption. Also, note, that the officer can make an incorrect assumption based upon the facts presented and still not be liable for anything done. If he knowingly and intentionally made something up, then liability may attach.

    The first place to complain about any erroneous report would be the agency that employs the officer. You can also tell your side to the tale to the university and it seems you have as you indicated that you shoul dbe exonerated there. That is what due process is about.

    If you feel you have suffered some sort of damage and can affix a dollar value to that damage, then you are free to consult an attorney about a lawsuit. I don't see it, but, as I said, there may be some detail I am missing in your telling.

    Although I am slowly getting out of the claims, the incident report still will remain in my file, which means any future interaction with the police or being written up for anything even remotely related to alcohol could jeopardize my status in the school.
    That's easy to prevent - stay away from people with alcohol until you are 21.

    My original plan was hopefully I could file some sort of report with the police department and hope to get the statement/report rescinded.
    They do not "rescind" reports. A report may be appended, but it is not going to be rescinded. If the agency found some inaccuracy they can certainly supplement the report, but they are not going to destroy it or even amend the original report after it has been distributed ... at least, they shouldn't - for a host of reasons.

    My other hope was that the claim of the unconstitutional/illegal search would give the department reason to actually care and pursue the complaint--I think we all know that cops watch over cops, and a petty complaint like this really won't get really far.
    Such a complaint would almost certainly be investigated, but from what you have written there appears to be no violation of law or policy here ... assuming, of course, the agency does not have some weird policy preventing contacts in this sort of situation.

    But, when it comes to my academic record (and this report could be the difference between me being able to remain in some of my honors programs), I really want to get this taken care of and removed from my record.
    I suspect there is a process at the university where you can have this removed either after a certain time period has passed, or, due to no proof that you were directly in possession or inebriated. That would be a university process, however.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  2. #12

    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    Carl -- Once again, thanks for your help.

    I am slowly moving through the University bureaucracy, but they have a policy that I can be found guilty for a charge if "it is more than likely to be true" versus beyond a reasonable doubt or even reasonable doubt--bullshit, in my opinion.

    I have an appeal meeting scheduled for next week, where I will hopefully be exonerated. But, I am being told the interaction will remain on my record, which will include that I was stopped by the police and warned for MIP, and they cannot add an amendment stating that I was found innocent for MIP or anything of the sort unless the department decides to amend or rescind the report.

    I think I will inevitably file a report, because there is no reason not to. If you're right and the stop was legal, which it probably was sadly (for me), hopefully at least IA or the supervisor will speak with the officer and maybe something will happen, especially since the officer likely won't even remember the details of the night (and maybe that will help me?)

    Anyways, what do you advise I do in regards to the report--what information should I include, what approach should I take, etc.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,589

    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    Quote Quoting JoeW
    View Post
    I am slowly moving through the University bureaucracy, but they have a policy that I can be found guilty for a charge if "it is more than likely to be true" versus beyond a reasonable doubt or even reasonable doubt--bullshit, in my opinion.
    But,they are allowed to hold that standard. To hold a higher standard might require a greater level of scrutiny and more time, money and effort. the school is not part of the justice system and I imagine they do not want to hold themselves to the same standards.

    I have an appeal meeting scheduled for next week, where I will hopefully be exonerated. But, I am being told the interaction will remain on my record, which will include that I was stopped by the police and warned for MIP, and they cannot add an amendment stating that I was found innocent for MIP or anything of the sort unless the department decides to amend or rescind the report.
    Okay, the contact will be on your record. What record? It's not a criminal history ... I doubt anyone will be poking through your confidential university file, and it's not likely to be on transcripts, so I don't see that there is any real harm. Besides, think about it, college kids and some booze ... shocked?! No one is going to be. You were not arrested or charged, so there is not really anything to worry about.

    I think I will inevitably file a report, because there is no reason not to. If you're right and the stop was legal, which it probably was sadly (for me), hopefully at least IA or the supervisor will speak with the officer and maybe something will happen, especially since the officer likely won't even remember the details of the night (and maybe that will help me?)
    About all that I can see happening is the officer's supervisor encouraging him to articulate the situation better in the future.

    "Next time, don't say everyone had been drinking if you don't know that with some certainty. Just go with the fact you contacted a group of young adults under 21 and some of them had alcohol in their possession ..."

    Anyways, what do you advise I do in regards to the report--what information should I include, what approach should I take, etc.
    The agency should have a form or process for making a complaint. Just write out the details, the nature of the complaint, and where you think the officer either violated the law or agency policy.

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  4. #14

    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    I wanted to provide you all some closure--after filing an appeal, my University dropped the charges.

    Thank you all for your suggestions and ideas.

    Take care,
    Joe

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    337

    Default Re: Illegal/Unconstitutional Stop

    Yay! Good luck Joe

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