CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog

August 2014 Archives

Michael Brown Homicide: 2 Police Reports Obtained by ACLU

After filing a lawsuit over access to public records, the ACLU of Missouri has received a "heavily redacted" copy of the incident report on the August 9 shooting of Michael Brown.

This five-page document, released by the Ferguson Police Department, reveals few details about the events of the fatal shooting and lacks even a basic narrative. Tony Rothert, the Missouri ACLU's legal director, called on the Ferguson Police Department to release a complete copy of the incident report to "begin building public trust."

Fla.'s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional: Federal Dist. Court

Florida's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down in federal court Thursday as being a violation of constitutional rights, though the decision won't take effect immediately.

In his ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Hinkle found that Florida's prohibition on same-sex nuptials infringes on the "fundamental right" to marriage under the 14th Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection clauses.

Hinkle stayed his own ruling, pending the outcome of gay marriage decisions in several other states, including Virginia, where the U.S. Supreme Court imposed a stay on a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision allowing gay marriage while it determines whether or not it wants to hear the case.

Delaware Is 1st State to Pass Law on Digital Assets After Death

Delaware has moved into the digital rights vanguard by passing a law granting families the right to control a loved one's digital assets after his or her death.

According to Ars Technica, Delaware is the first U.S. state to accomplish this kind of legislation, although some states (like Idaho and Nevada) have more limited versions of digital rights for heirs. Speaking to the law's strengths, a spokeswoman for the Delaware governor's office noted that regardless of the location of the digital account provider (e.g., Twitter, which is based in San Francisco), if a will is governed by Delaware law, the executor would have access to those accounts.

Michael Brown Shooting: Ferguson Police Release Robbery Incident Report

Police in Ferguson, Missouri, have released an incident report from prior to Michael Brown's shooting, one that details an alleged robbery that preceded the unarmed teen's killing by police.

Ferguson police identified the officer who shot and killed Brown as Officer Darren Wilson. The incident report claims that Brown had stolen a box of cigars prior to being lethally shot.

According to The Washington Post, the report does not "provide any additional information regarding the confrontation or why Brown was ultimately shot and killed."