PDA

View Full Version : Millender v. County of Los Angeles - Firearm Search Warrants, NRA/CRPA amicus brief


CDMichel
11-02-2009, 11:51 AM
On October 22, 2009, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief in the case of Millender v. County of Los Angeles, et al. (07-55518). The case is pending en banc hearing before a 12 judge panel in the Ninth Circuit United States Court of Appeals. A copy of the brief is posted at www.calgunlaws.com.

No right is more clearly established under the Fourth Amendment than the right not to be subject to search and seizure under a general warrant (i.e., a warrant not based on probable cause and not particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized). Furthermore, as the Second Amendment makes clear, firearms are lawful to possess and may not be seized without probable cause to believe that a specific firearm was used in a crime.

The NRA/CRPA amicus brief challenges the ability of law enforcement to write over-broad “general” search warrants which allow police to seize any and all firearms an individual may possess, even when police only have “probable cause” to search for a particular firearm. Far too often police seize legal firearms collections even when most of those firearms are not alleged to be part of a criminal offense. This is sometimes driven by a political motivation to increase gun seizure statistics so police can seek increased funding.

This deprivation of property often results in damage to the firearms and inevitably causes the owner to incur significant expense and legal fees in retrieving the firearms. The purpose of the NRA/CRPA brief is to convince the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to publish a binding precedent to prevent these search and seizure abuses in the future.

freonr22
11-02-2009, 11:56 AM
thank you for Helping to protect our rights!

Maltese Falcon
11-02-2009, 12:04 PM
Thanks for the update Sir! We are indeed grateful for your efforts.

Your magnetic orange sign is on my safe.

putput
11-02-2009, 12:56 PM
Thanks! Truly. By the way, your web links need updated...

tunder
11-03-2009, 5:41 AM
Thanks for this, in more ways than just making the full brief available.
I'm not a lawyer, but reading briefs that are concise and well written sure help me understand the case and what my rights are.

Southwest Chuck
11-03-2009, 7:36 AM
Took me a while to find the actual brief, so here is a direct link to it.

http://www.calgunlaws.com/images/stories/Docs/millender%20brief%20final.pdf

And a link to the background of the case:

http://www.calgunlaws.com/index.php/media-releases-and-coverage/50-media-articles/798-memorandum-from-the-desk-of-cd-michel-millender-amicus-brief-filed.html

KylaGWolf
11-03-2009, 8:20 AM
Nice clear brief. What struck me is they could have very easily found out if he had lived there or not before they served the warrant. Not to mention as broad as it was it was a clear violation. Anyone that has taken any criminal justice classes would know better than that.

nick
11-03-2009, 8:44 AM
What bothers me is the magistrate rubberstamping the search warrant. The police, in good or bad faith, will always pitch, for it's one of the tools that makes their job easier or possible. That's one of the main reasons why they have to pitch it to a magistrate, someone with no personal or professional interest in the matter.

With the power we give the judges, I think we don't demand enough accountability from them.

Mulay El Raisuli
11-04-2009, 5:27 AM
Took me a while to find the actual brief, so here is a direct link to it.

http://www.calgunlaws.com/images/stories/Docs/millender%20brief%20final.pdf

And a link to the background of the case:

http://www.calgunlaws.com/index.php/media-releases-and-coverage/50-media-articles/798-memorandum-from-the-desk-of-cd-michel-millender-amicus-brief-filed.html


The link the background doesn't work, but the link to the Brief does.

And may I say that it looks to be a VERY good Brief. Hopefully it'll put a bit of a dent in the "qualified immunity" nonsense that lets cops get away with far too much as a general matter. And specific to this case, I hope it buys the homeowner a new house.

The Raisuli

ilbob
11-04-2009, 5:48 AM
What bothers me is the magistrate rubberstamping the search warrant. The police, in good or bad faith, will always pitch, for it's one of the tools that makes their job easier or possible. That's one of the main reasons why they have to pitch it to a magistrate, someone with no personal or professional interest in the matter.

With the power we give the judges, I think we don't demand enough accountability from them.

I gather from the brief that the police may have engaged in some deliberate deception of the magistrate to get the warrant in the first place.

Dr. Peter Venkman
11-04-2009, 5:59 AM
Gangbanger nearly kills his girlfriend with a sawed-off shotgun and detectives locate the guy's supposed address through a computer, serve a warrant, and take the guns at said address. Is it really realistic to let the guy's mom have her shotgun back when his address is listed as her residence?

Liberty1
11-04-2009, 6:57 AM
Gangbanger nearly kills his girlfriend with a sawed-off shotgun and detectives locate the guy's supposed address through a computer, serve a warrant, and take the guns at said address. Is it really realistic to let the guy's mom have her shotgun back when his address is listed as her residence?

Even though the apple rarely falls far from the tree, what crime did the owners of those other firearms commit? Why not just charge the mom with 664/187? After all they shared the same address according to a computer search.

Dr. Peter Venkman
11-04-2009, 7:03 AM
Even though the apple rarely falls far from the tree, what crime did the owners of those other firearms commit?

Nothing.

Why not just charge the mom with 664/187? After all they shared the same address according to a computer search.

After all, charging the mom with 664/187 is totally the same as someone else living in the same home and committing ADW with a firearm and said residence having a firearm.

peter455
11-11-2009, 10:53 AM
With all due respect Mr Michel, filing a brief in the Millender case is all well and good, but what about cases where you were the attorney of record? How about the rights and property of Matt Corwin, Phil Dominguez, and others you have represented? Did the CRPA help any of them get their guns back? How about your fee, did the NRA/CRPA chip in? I see Mr Corwin is still taking donations so I'm guessing he was on his own, and since I no longer see Mr Dominguez on the range we can all assume his deal included giving up some rights. Maybe you can enlighten us as to how the family of a convicted felon and reputed gang member deserve more attention from the NRA/CRPA than the rest of us.

Mr Michel, your clients have stood by while anti gun forces ran our gun stores out of town and turned gun collectors in to felons and you expect us to be impressed by the filing of this brief? Well I'm not. In fact, can you hear that Mr Michel? That's the sound of my NRA card going through the shredder.

bwiese
11-11-2009, 11:52 AM
With all due respect Mr Michel, filing a brief in the Millender case is all well and good, but what about cases where you were the attorney of record? How about the rights and property of Matt Corwin, Phil Dominguez, and others you have represented? Did the CRPA help any of them get their guns back? How about your fee, did the NRA/CRPA chip in? I see Mr Corwin is still taking donations so I'm guessing he was on his own, and since I no longer see Mr Dominguez on the range we can all assume his deal included giving up some rights. Maybe you can enlighten us as to how the family of a convicted felon and reputed gang member deserve more attention from the NRA/CRPA than the rest of us.

Mr Michel, your clients have stood by while anti gun forces ran our gun stores out of town and turned gun collectors in to felons and you expect us to be impressed by the filing of this brief? Well I'm not. In fact, can you hear that Mr Michel? That's the sound of my NRA card going through the shredder.

Hey buddy...

1. The NRA and CRPA are not a free 'get outta jail' insurance programs.
Neither is CGF (we take occasional cases that can have interesting outcomes or stop bad law from being made).

2. The CRPA of the Matt Corwin days was not the CRPA of today, and a major staff change was undertaken post-Corwin.

3. The Matt Corwin case was resolved early in the OLL revolution. Mr. Corwin has many guns back and others
were replaced. Mr Corwin engaged the private services of Chuck Michel's firm.

3. Mr. Dominguez' case was favorably resolved in spite of various aspects of his behavior giving "color" to the case.
I believe he now has (or will have) all his guns back. Mr. Dominguez is an example of good lawyering + good luck,
and probably has learned to change some behaviors.

4. Chuck's done a LOT of work for various gun matters with unbilled hours.

5. Chuck is supposed to work for free? Tellya what, whatever you do - let's say you're in construction. Come over
and redo my bathroom for free. Or clean my garage.

6. You're acting like something is wrong with this brief? This is the kinda thing that STOPS abuses in above matters.
Fighting 'em over & over isn't always the right answer and a strategic approach is needed.

Matt C
11-11-2009, 1:50 PM
With all due respect Mr Michel, filing a brief in the Millender case is all well and good, but what about cases where you were the attorney of record? How about the rights and property of Matt Corwin, Phil Dominguez, and others you have represented? Did the CRPA help any of them get their guns back? How about your fee, did the NRA/CRPA chip in? I see Mr Corwin is still taking donations so I'm guessing he was on his own, and since I no longer see Mr Dominguez on the range we can all assume his deal included giving up some rights. Maybe you can enlighten us as to how the family of a convicted felon and reputed gang member deserve more attention from the NRA/CRPA than the rest of us.

Mr Michel, your clients have stood by while anti gun forces ran our gun stores out of town and turned gun collectors in to felons and you expect us to be impressed by the filing of this brief? Well I'm not. In fact, can you hear that Mr Michel? That's the sound of my NRA card going through the shredder.

I appreciate your passion and your sentiment, but your outrage is clearly misdirected. If not for Chuck Michel's firm I (as well as a number of other gun owning clients he has successfully defended) might very well have been railroaded into prison as a convicted felon, despite not breaking a single law. My case had little chance of making case law, especially as a criminal case at the superior court level, however I never felt that Chuck gave my case any less attention than was needed.

Without the NRA/CRPA attorneys like Chuck could not afford to staff departments with expert attorneys to handle 2A criminal cases for defendants like me. Most (if not all) of these cases are not big money makers for the firms, they rely on the NRA/CRPA to even be in the 2A business.

Even when my charges were dismissed and I had racked up substantial legal bills, Chuck made sure I got my guns back when I was getting the runaround from the DOJ. He did this without asking me how I was going to pay for it, but as Bill mentioned, he cannot afford to work for free, nor should he. He probably would not have been able to help me at all if not for the support of the NRA/CRPA.

The Millender case, unlike Phil's or mine, is before a federal appeals courts in our circuit. It almost certainly WILL make case law, which will either be very BAD case law, or possibly good case law. This effects everyone's rights. It is absolutely more deserving of attention than my case was.

A couple other points- I'm no longer taking donations, and the NRA has not "stood by" while anyone did anything, but there are plenty of other threads that cover that.

- Matthew Corwin

peter455
11-11-2009, 2:46 PM
Bill, relax and re read my post, my beef is with the NRA/CRPA not their attorneys, and certainly not with CGF. The only one who suggested Mr Michel should work for free was you.

Matt, good to hear you got all your guns back, and I commend you for your positive attitude. Not many of us could be so after spending a month and a half in jail and getting stuck with over $60,000 in legal fees all initiated by a Youtube video of you shooting perfectly legal guns.

bwiese
11-11-2009, 3:01 PM
Thanks to Matt/BWO for posting clarfication, and thanks to Matt for standing up and not knuckling under. I'm glad Matt hasn't been scared off from guns & shooting and he continues to be a passionate RKBA activist.

Bill, relax and re read my post, my beef is with the NRA/CRPA not their attorneys, and certainly not with CGF.

The CGF and NRA/CRPA and their attorneys all cooperate. It's teamwork.

When you denigrate one, it washes onto the other. CGF can't do what it does at a lowlevel without other folks helping elswhere. We just have some additional boots on the ground.


The only one who suggested Mr Michel should work for free was you.


It was certainly inferrable, or you need to upgrade your writing skills.

peter455
11-12-2009, 10:30 AM
It was certainly inferrable, or you need to upgrade your writing skills.

Ah yes, when all else fails, fall back on personal insults. Bill, you may want to let Matt speak on behalf of Mr Michel and the NRA.

BTW, inferable has only one r.

bwiese
11-13-2009, 11:24 AM
"Inferrable" can indeed have two Rs. It's been that way for years, and was even preferred.

I generally prefer the traditional doubling of consonants ("travelled", "travelling").

And again, it was certainly inferrable from your writing. The gist of your diatribe was complaining about a skilled lawyer not doing free work.

ilbob
11-13-2009, 12:13 PM
I don't think anyone should expect that an organization like the NRA with its own goals and methods is going to take on every possible gun related case out there. They have to take the ones that satisfy the needs they have for the strategy they are perusing. If they jump on everything, they will run out of resources, and might not be able to bring the more important ones to a conclusion. There are also cases that while there are lamentable circumstances involved, might not make very good case law, or no case law at all, even if you "win".

nick
11-13-2009, 12:27 PM
Gangbanger nearly kills his girlfriend with a sawed-off shotgun and detectives locate the guy's supposed address through a computer, serve a warrant, and take the guns at said address. Is it really realistic to let the guy's mom have her shotgun back when his address is listed as her residence?

I believe, he shared an address with her sometimes in the PAST, and the only indication of him possibly being there was a statement by his ex.

CDMichel
12-17-2009, 6:16 AM
For those interested, the Millender en banc oral argument is now available to listen to online at:

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view_subpage.php?pk_id=0000004699

The en banc argument went very well. Justice Kozinsky really pounced on the police officer's attorney, saying he’s going to put the latter’s indefensible position in his opinion.

Plaintiff’s counsel did very well in responding to the questions with ready citation to the relevant precedents.

wash
12-17-2009, 6:26 AM
Thanks for the great work Chuck.

kermit315
12-17-2009, 6:30 AM
Sounds good. Cant wait to see the outcome.

aileron
12-17-2009, 9:28 AM
:) Great news....

Glock22Fan
12-17-2009, 10:01 AM
Chuck, you do a great job and are a substantial asset to the cause.

Thank you.

SteveH
12-17-2009, 10:14 AM
Judge never should have signed that warrant. I blame the judge more than the cops though. The cops ask, the Judges decide. Its the judges role to say wait a minute, this doesnt pass constitutional muster, i'm not approving this warrant.