Remedies for Civil Suits in the Justice System

1526 words (6 pages) Essay in Civil Law

02/02/18 Civil Law Reference this

Last modified: 02/02/18 Author: Law student

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Civil law states the relationship between two people. If a person believes that they need to assert their rights against another individual or an enterprise, he or she must submit their case to a civil court. The dispute at hand could be: a financial debt, a trespass across property, destruction of property or a sales contract for a piece of land or a house. If the dispute pertains family law it could be divorce, child custody or support however procedures are not the same for other civil suits as they are for the family law. Finally if a bodily injury it could have resulted from a sidewalk fall or a disability from a previous medical error.

In a civil suit, the complainant petitions to the court to sanction a right he or she wishes to assert against another individual or the defendant. The complainant must have a direct connection with the case he or she is presenting. There is a period for the right to recourse which is between two weeks to ten years after which the plaintiff cannot exercise the rights anymore. A government cannot be sued not unless it allows to be sued. Only a government with an Act that allows it to be sued can be sued. The plaintiff must be eighteen years and above to sue the government.

In the Anderson Vs Creighton the petitioner, a Federal Bureau of agent cooperated with other officers for law enforcement to search for a respondent’s home which had no warranty. Russell Anderson is the petitioner and the agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation who with other law enforcement officers searched for the home of the respondents who are in this case the Creighton family. Anderson believed that Vaan Dixon a suspect who committed a bank robbery might be found there but was not. Later, the Creightons filed a suit against Anderson asserting a claim for money damages. Later it was revealed that Anderson had a course to search the

Creighton’s house and that his failure to have a warrant was justifiable because of the existence of exigent circumstances.

The court of appeal also held it that Anderson was not entitled to the warrant less search although he believed that the act was lawful. He was entitled to summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds as he was fully aware of the principles of law. Anderson had not satisfied the Harlow standard of immunity.

The exclusionary rule is a principle in the constitutional law that holds evidence collected in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights. This rule is designed to remove evidence that is obtained in violation of a defendant’s fourth amendment rights. It is meant to protect citizens from unnecessary searches and seizures. If the search of a suspect is not reasonable then the evidence brought forward is excluded from the trial. This rule was not created but was made in the U.S court supreme court. It applies in the federal courts in line with the Fourth Amendment.

The exclusionary rule has been there from the 1900s. Before this any evidence was accepted in a criminal trial if the judge found the evidence presented reasonable.

The way in which the evidence was collected was not an issue. In 1914 the U.S. Supreme court found a way of enforcing the Fourth Amendment and through the Fremont Weeks story the exclusionary rule was born. Since 1980s the U.S. Supreme Court has in a big way limited its application. This has led to good faith exception to Fourth Amendment violations. The rule has several limitations for example evidence unlawfully collected from the accused by another person is admissible and hence the rule protects privacy rights with Fourth Amendment applying to government officials. Another limitation is whereby the accused cannot have an advantage in the situation when the evidence is produced against them. The exclusionary rule does not have an effect on a third party. Another limitation is that the exclusionary rule does not apply to people living outside the U.S. borders.

The exclusionary rule has been criticized by commentators and jurists. One of the most influential jurists of America even stated that under the rule “The criminal is to go free because the constable has blundered” Benjamin Cardozo. Some opponents wanted the rule to be modified instead of being abolished but President Ronald Reagan’s administration asked the Congress to ease the rule. It has been suggested that the exclusionary rule be put aside and instead restitution to victims be applied.

The inevitable discovery exception is the hypothetical and the conceptual extension of the attenuation exceptions and the independent sources which the Supreme Court has attained in three cases. The independent source allows unlawfully gained evidence to be put up against a defendant when the law enforcement officers obtain the evidence through unlawful conduct. The inevitable discovery exception makes sure that the remedy of the exclusionary rule is limited to having the prosecution in the similar position that it would have been were there no police illegal conduct.

Under inevitable doctrine it is not enough to allege the evidence could have been collected in the right lawful way if there had been some hypothetical events. It must be proven that the evidence was lawfully collected but not so necessary to establish the certainty of discovery. In order to successfully prove that the evidence is viable, some courts require a demonstration by the police that they were actually in the process of pursuing lawful investigation which actually led to the discovery of the viable evidence. For example, in United States v. Wilson, (32) the court appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that the evidence obtained in a hotel room basket led to an illegal search instead should have been suppressed though the resident gave a valid written inevitable discovery exception but this was because the police first carried out a search before they requested for the consent.

However other courts do not really require a demonstration in order to successfully accept the

inevitable discovery doctrine. In Murray v. United Sates, (Charles, 2001) the police in question

did not make any effort to have a search warrant and so the U.S. Supreme court was concerned

whether the police prompted the illegal search to obtain warrant but refused to adopt the

rule requiring the government to prove their actions. Some courts do not require an active pursuit

of a legal means of discovery at the time the illegal search is being carried out.

Many courts do not find the difference between direct and indirect evidence to be of use when determining whether the inevitable discovery exception should be put into place. As mentioned earlier in Murray v. United States (Legal Terms, 2009) the U.S.S Supreme court found it very strange to differentiate between primary and indirect evidence when determining whether put in place the independent source exception. The Supreme Court found that the difference would produce results with no relation to the policies of the exclusionary rule. The inevitable discovery exception makes sure that the exclusionary rule doesn’t exceed the goal of deterring illegal police ways by allowing evidence of those things that the police would have obtained through legal means anyway.

There are several major exceptions to the exclusionary rule like in a search incident to lawful arrest which doesn’t require the issuance of a warrant. For example if someone has been lawfully arrested the police searches the person and the immediate area surrounding him or her, it is a protective measure. Plain view exception is another instance whereby no warrant is wanted to give evidence in a plain view if the police are physically in the location where the evidence can be seen. Another exception is the consent whereby if consent is given by someone reasonably to posses the authority then, there is no absolute need to issue a warranty for a search and seizure to be carried out. Stop and Frisk is another exception to the exclusionary rule which states that a police can stop someone as long as they are in a reasonable suspicious state. If the person has a reasonable evidence that can be used against them.

Automobile Exception is applicable in vehicles since they are highly mobile, there is no need for a warrant to search the vehicle if the police have enough reason to point out that the vehicle has evidence of crime in it. Finally in hot pursuits and emergencies which are also similar to the automobile exception but the evidence can easily be destroyed or moved before a warrant is issued and therefore may be seized without the warrant.

The fruit of the poisonous tree is a metaphor in the United States to give evidence gathered illegally. Such type of evidence is not admissible in the court of law.

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