Archive for June, 2013

KBA members can now subscribe to CourtNet 2.0 with just one click

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

KBA members who want real-time access to civil and criminal case information online can now subscribe to CourtNet 2.0 with the click of a button. The Administrative Office of the Courts has simplified its subscription process since the initial rollout of CourtNet 2.0 in March 2013. During the first weeks of the application’s launch, the AOC asked attorneys to request an invitation to subscribe to allow time to process the influx of early subscribers.

How to Subscribe
Since March, 1,100 attorneys have subscribed to CourtNet 2.0. With the initial rush over, KBA members in good standing can now subscribe on demand – without an invitation. To sign up, visit https://kcoj.kycourts.net/CourtNet and use your KBA username and password. After electronically signing a user agreement and selecting a monthly subscription plan, you can begin using the application immediately.

Payment plans start at only $15 a month and you can subscribe to one of five plans that best meets your needs. For details about payment options and to watch training videos, visit http://kycourtnet2.blogspot.com/2013/03/videos.html.

The existing CourtNet KBA application will no longer be available after close of business on Dec. 31, 2013. Attorneys who have not subscribed to CourtNet 2.0 by Dec. 31 will have access only to the public version of CourtNet.

“Attorneys who have used the existing CourtNet KBA application the last few years will find CourtNet 2.0 to be a much better product,” said Laurie K. Dudgeon, director of the AOC. “CourtNet 2.0 provides a detailed history for active and inactive cases, the ability to execute prior searches and much more. I appreciate the attorneys who were among the first to subscribe to this exciting new application and encourage other KBA members to see what this product can do for them.”

For Help With CourtNet 2.0
If you have login issues, contact Charlene Jones at the KBA at 502-564-3795. If you have questions about how to use the application, questions about your invoice or suggestions about how to enhance the application, contact the AOC Service Desk at 800-860-4262 or CourtNetHelp@kycourts.net.

Satisfied Customers
CourtNet 2.0 is getting high marks from attorneys such as Brenda Popplewell. “Prior to CourtNet 2.0, in order to access closed cases, I would have to travel to the county where the cases were filed in the circuit court clerk’s office,” Popplewell said. “My office is in Somerset and recently I had a large research project focused primarily on closed cases filed in a county about 200 miles from my office. With CourtNet 2.0, I was able to access the closed cases and obtain the information I needed without ever leaving my office. The system runs so smoothly and the AOC staff was very knowledgeable and helpful when I had questions about specific searches. CourtNet 2.0 is a great technological step forward for our state court system.”

Skip Daleure Jr. practices in Louisville and was one of the attorneys who tested CourtNet 2.0 during the pilot phase. “As a criminal practitioner, I have had the privilege of using CourtNet 2.0 for the past 18 months,” Daleure said. “From my office, I can now access the complete history of every case as it appears in the actual courthouse computers, including a listing of all motions made, documents filed and orders entered. The ability to respond to telephone inquiries regarding a particular case instantaneously not only saves time and impresses my clients, but allows me to quickly decide if it is a matter in which I wish to become involved.”

Administrative Office of the Courts
100 Millcreek Park
Frankfort, Ky. 40601
502-573-2350
www.courts.ky.gov

U.S. SUPREME COURT IN SHARP DIVISION ALLOWS DNA CHECK WITHOUT SEARCH WARRANT

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

JUNE 3, 2013
WASHINGTON — A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday said police can routinely take DNA from people they arrest, equating a DNA cheek swab to other common jailhouse procedures like fingerprinting.
“Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court’s five-justice majority.
But the four dissenting justices said that the court was allowing a major change in police powers.
“Make no mistake about it: because of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason,” conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said in a sharp dissent which he read aloud in the courtroom. “This will solve some extra crimes, to be sure. But so would taking your DNA when you fly on an airplane – surely the TSA must know the `identity’ of the flying public. For that matter, so would taking your children’s DNA when they start public school.”
Twenty-eight states and the federal government now take DNA swabs after arrests. But a Maryland court was one of the first to say that it was illegal for that state to take Alonzo King’s DNA without approval from a judge, saying King had “a sufficiently weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, suspicionless searches” under the Fourth Amendment.
But the high court’s decision reverses that ruling and reinstates King’s rape conviction, which came after police took his DNA during an unrelated arrest. Kennedy wrote the decision, and was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer. Scalia was joined in his dissent by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Maryland’s DNA collection law only allows police to take DNA from those arrested for serious crimes like murder, rape, assault, burglary and other crimes of violence. In his ruling, Kennedy did not say whether the court’s decision limits DNA only to those crimes, but he did note that other states’ DNA collection laws differ from Maryland’s.
Scalia saw that as a flaw. “If you believe that a DNA search will identify someone arrested for bank robbery, you must believe that it will identify someone arrested for running a red light,” he said.
Getting DNA swabs from criminals is common. All 50 states and the federal government take cheek swabs from convicted criminals to check against federal and state databanks, with the court’s blessing. The fight at the Supreme Court was over whether that DNA collection could come before conviction and without a judge issuing a warrant.

According to court documents, the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System or CODIS – a coordinated system of federal, state and local databases of DNA profiles – already contains more than 10 million criminal profiles and 1.1 million profiles of those arrested.
Kennedy called collecting DNA useful for police in identifying individuals.
“The use of DNA for identification is no different than matching an arrestee’s face to a wanted poster of a previously unidentified suspect; or matching tattoos to known gang symbols to reveal a criminal affiliation; or matching the arrestee’s fingerprints to those recovered from a crime scene,” Kennedy said. “DNA is another metric of identification used to connect the arrestee with his or her public persona, as reflected in records of his or her actions that are available to police.”
In the case before the court, a 53-year-old woman was raped and robbed but no one was arrested. Almost six years later, Alonzo King was arrested and charged with felony second-degree assault. Taking advantage of the Maryland law that allowed warrantless DNA tests following some felony arrests, police took a cheek swab of King’s DNA, which matched a sample from the 2003 Salisbury rape. King was convicted of rape and sentenced to life in prison.
King eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault from his arrest, a crime for which Maryland cannot take warrantless DNA samples. The state courts said it violated King’s rights for the state to take his DNA based on an arrest alone. The state Court of Appeals said King had “a sufficiently weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, suspicionless searches.” But the high court’s decision reinstates King’s conviction.
Maryland stopped collecting DNA after that decision, but Roberts allowed police to keep collecting DNA samples pending the high court’s review.
The case is Maryland v. King, 12-207.