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Consent to Search - Civil Rights

Jun 5, 2013 — by Jeff Mundy
Tags: Civil Rights Torts Commerical Litigation

For consent to be valid, it must "'not be coerced, by explicit or implicit means, by implied threat or covert force.'" Consent must be given freely, unequivocally, and without duress or coercion.  "The ultimate question is whether the suspect's will was overborne" by the officer's actions.  The trial court must examine the voluntariness of a consent based on the "totality of the circumstances from the point of view of an objectively reasonable person, including words, actions, or circumstantial evidence." If the voluntariness of the consent is challenged at trial, the State must prove the voluntariness of a consent to search by clear and convincing evidence. "If the record supports a finding by clear and convincing evidence that consent to search was free and voluntary, we will not disturb that finding." 

Civil Rights - Fracking Water Contamination

May 5, 2013 — by Jeff Mundy
Tags: Civil Rights Torts Commerical Litigation

When the legislature enacted chapter 27 in 2011, it expressed that the purposes of doing so were to "encourage and safeguard the constitutional rights of persons to petition, speak freely, associate freely, and otherwise participate in government to the maximum extent permitted by law and, at the same time, protect the rights of a person to file meritorious lawsuits for demonstrable injury." Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 27.002. To promote these purposes, chapter 27 creates an avenue at the early stage of litigation for dismissing unmeritorious suits that are based on the defendant's exercise of the rights of free speech, petition, or association as those rights are defined within the chapter. Id. § 27.003; see also id. § 27.001(2)-(4) (defining the exercise of the right of association, the exercise of the right of free speech, and the exercise of the right to petition).

In re: Lipsky, (Tex. App. - Fort Worth, 2013)

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