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bwiese
08-30-2007, 12:42 PM
This case has quite a few parallels with actions against gunnies (AJAX22, BWO, etc.)

Bottom line: stupidity of report shouldn't be reinforced by stupidity of cops.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/08/29/BA1JRQUJM.DTL&hw=Rodel+Rodis&sn=001&sc=1000


College board member arrested in '03 bogus cash case can sue police

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A member of the San Francisco Community College board who was mistakenly arrested for passing what turned out to be a genuine $100 bill can go to trial on his lawsuit against the arresting officers for allegedly violating his rights, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

In a 2-1 ruling, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the fact that a drugstore manager was suspicious of the bill that Rodel Rodis used to make a purchase in February 2003 wasn't enough for San Francisco police to arrest Rodis, handcuff him and hold him at a police station for almost two hours.

The bill proved to be genuine. But even if it had been counterfeit, the court majority said, innocently passing a counterfeit bill is not a crime, and police had no evidence that Rodis thought the bill was a fake.

"No reasonable or prudent officer could have concluded that Rodis intentionally and knowingly used a counterfeit bill," Judge Dorothy Nelson said in the majority opinion.

Dissenting Judge Consuelo Callahan said officers had grounds to arrest Rodis for passing a bill that appeared to be counterfeit, and shouldn't be liable for damages because of a "reasonable mistake" in examining the bill.

Rodis, a member of the San Francisco Community College Board of Trustees since 1992 and a former president of the city Public Utilities Commission, is seeking damages for the violation of his rights and the humiliation caused by his arrest.

The ruling is "a reaffirmation of the civil rights of Mr. Rodis and other citizens in the city and county of San Francisco to be free of this kind of mistreatment by police officers," said Rodis' lawyer, Lawrence Fasano.

Deputy City Attorney Scott Wiener said the city still believes Rodis was legally arrested and may ask the full appeals court to order a rehearing before a larger panel.

Rodis, an immigration attorney and a leader in the city's Filipino American community, was arrested after trying to buy $42.62 worth of medication at a Walgreens store on Ocean Avenue near his home. He gave the clerk a $100 bill that, because it had been printed in 1985, lacked the watermark or magnetic strip installed as an anti-counterfeit safeguard in 1990.

The clerk called the manager, who tested the bill with a counterfeit detector pen, which indicated it was authentic. The manager nevertheless said he thought the bill might be bogus and called police.

The officers looked at the bill, said it was probably counterfeit and arrested Rodis. They released him after contacting a Secret Service agent, who said the bill was genuine.

Before the arrest, the court said, the officers did not test the bill, call the federal agent or look at another $100 bill that Rodis had used after the first one was questioned. The court also said one of the officers, Sgt. Jeff Barry, had known Rodis for several years, knew he was on the college board and had encountered him at the elementary school that both their children attended.

The officers' information about Rodis "discounted any probability that Rodis might have intentionally passed a fake bill," the court said.

E-mail Bob Egelko at begelko@sfchronicle.com.

lazuris
08-30-2007, 12:54 PM
Correct me if i'm wrong but is not all previously minted legal tender regardless of face value legal, except of course confederate notes? I remember reading that $1,000 and higher notes are still legal though they are worth far more than the face value.

pnkssbtz
08-30-2007, 1:08 PM
Reminds me of the Best Buy guy arrested for paying his debt with $2 bills. He was held in jail until secret service could verify authenticity (which was the following day).

While cops should not be "afraid" of arresting people, this "Arrest First, Ask Questions Later" bull**** has to ****ing stop.

Lateralus
08-30-2007, 1:24 PM
This is great stuff. Is there a chance BWO can use this against the state? He had a great future going, and after all the jail time, the defamation of character and losses he can claim should be extravagant. Would his case stand up in court?

dustoff31
08-30-2007, 1:30 PM
Well, well. Proof of the old saying "that even a broken clock is right twice a day."

StukaJr
08-30-2007, 1:40 PM
I was always taught to "scratch the jacket of the President" - no matter how old the bill is, you can always feel the rough lines that are never present in the counterfeit bills... It also doesn't look too obvious to the patrons that you are testing their twenties.

DedEye
08-30-2007, 2:24 PM
About time people were held accountable for their actions.

tango-52
08-30-2007, 2:27 PM
This kind of knocks the snot out of the whole idea of arresting you because they think you might be illegal and letting the DA worry about what charges can actually be brought! Good news indeed!

KenpoProfessor
08-30-2007, 3:14 PM
Finally, the 9th circus has done something redeemable. This should set precedents for many cases where someone has pleaded innocence during the arrest and taken into custody anyway. Definitely going to make it more difficult for a non gun law knowing cop to get his a ss handed to him in court cuz he was a bit too rambunctious on an arrest for an AW, or anything else for that matter. Might even make them get on the horn and find out if what they're doing is actually legal or, will land them in court.

Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day

Clyde

tiki
08-30-2007, 4:11 PM
This should make things interesting if someone gets clipped for an OLL after informing the arresting officer of its legality. Seems like it would be pretty easy to prove that one was arrested because the arresting officer was unfamiliar with the law, and then, willfully disregarded it once he/she was informed of it. Keep those flyers in the car. ;)

Satex
08-30-2007, 4:17 PM
This is akin to puncturing the corporate veil, and should be an excellent tool in moderating or balancing law enforcement action. Excellent ruling.

jaymz
08-30-2007, 4:54 PM
It sounds like a good ruling for sure..............but then again, it's from the same yahoos that declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional. Will this ruling actually stand long enough for it to be of any use to anyone?

artherd
08-30-2007, 5:31 PM
This is great stuff. Is there a chance BWO can use this against the state? He had a great future going, and after all the jail time, the defamation of character and losses he can claim should be extravagant. Would his case stand up in court?

I think BWO will be unable to use this new case law because it would impose Ex Post Facto liability on the arresting officers.

However, BWO has a myriad of other claims against the officers themselves, the agencies, the school, and the Reporting Person(s).


What this case is, is a great document to carry with you and produce the next time a cop tries to "Arrest you anyway and let the judge sort it out."

Officers very much *should* be afraid of arresting someone, an arrest is a very serious deprivation of rights. They should be absolutely terrified of unlawfully arresting someone.

Annie Oakley
08-30-2007, 6:03 PM
I think from time to time the 9th Circuit has it's moments of second amendment insight although they are few. As an example, in Silviera v. Lockyer, Judge Pregerson in his dissenting opinion wrote "...the panel misses the mark by interpreting the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as a collective right, rather than an individual right. Because the panels decision abrogates a constitutional right, this case should have been heard enbanc."

In Judge Kozinski's dissenting opinion, he writes, "The able judges of the majority panel are usually very sympathetic to individual rights, but they have succumbed to the temptation to pick and choose. Had they brought the same generous approach to the Second Amendment that they routinely bring to the First, Fourth and selected portions of the Fifth, they would have had no trouble finding an individual right to bear arms."

Judge Kleinfeld wrote, "...the Second Amendment secures an individual, and not a collective, right to keep and bear arms."

Also, Judges Kozinski, O'Scannlain, and T.G.Nelson joined with Kleinfeld's opinion.

Mute
08-30-2007, 7:02 PM
Well color me surprised. The 9th Circus actually did something right.

hitnrun
08-30-2007, 7:40 PM
They should be absolutely terrified of unlawfully arresting someone.

Agreed. The liability associated with an unlawful arrest is second to none. Only a boneheaded or lazy cop would hook someone without being 100% sure they had good probable cause. The flip side to that is, there are some laws that when they are possibly broken, they require a mandatory arrest. If it is borderline domestic violence case, an arrest is usually always made...just because we will get our azzez handed to us if things escalate and somebody gets hurt as a result of our inaction. CA state law says that an arrest SHALL (<--- mandatory) be made in cases meeting the elements of domestic violence. If the case gets thrown out, it doesn't change the validity of the arrest. LEOs should not be terrified to make an arrest, they should just make sure they know what they are doing before they make a decision.

For example, the guy who hooked for the $100 bill has to prove intent. Passing counterfeit money is a specific intent crime. I have handled many different counterfeit cases (we have an Indian Casino in the county). I have never made an arrest on one of them. It is pretty hard to prove intent if they don't outright admit that they knew it was counterfeit or if they didn't have a wallet full of other counterfeits. It just gets written up in a report and then sent off to the DA who will then determine whether or not charges should be filed. And they usually arent. I don't know the details of this guys case, but that is my perspective on the issue.

A forged check or check fraud on the other hand...well that's extremely easy to prove. You have someone else's check that you are trying to pass as your own...you can't really screw that one up!


There have been times where I have let people go because I didn't think that I had enough PC to arrest. That's a BIG part of our job...determining PC. You can always file charges with the DA later if you aren't sure at the time.


On the other hand, if they are going to start allowing law suits against LEOs for things like this, I would like to see a push for more training in those areas. For example, AW laws are NOT touched on in the academy. If you don't deal with it during field training, then how are you going to be expected to make an informed decision in the field? There is no legal requirement for LEOs to study/learn the laws on there own time. If they are going to expect LEOs to know everything, then they better make sure the state is providing them with everything during training, whether that be in service or during the academy. It is only fair. It will be interesting to see where they draw the line with this.

Overall, it appears to be a fair ruling that would seem to provide a better avenue of recourse for those who deserve it.

dfletcher
08-30-2007, 7:56 PM
This case has quite a few parallels with actions against gunnies (AJAX22, BWO, etc.)

Bottom line: stupidity of report shouldn't be reinforced by stupidity of cops.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/08/29/BA1JRQUJM.DTL&hw=Rodel+Rodis&sn=001&sc=1000


College board member arrested in '03 bogus cash case can sue police

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A member of the San Francisco Community College board who was mistakenly arrested for passing what turned out to be a genuine $100 bill can go to trial on his lawsuit against the arresting officers for allegedly violating his rights, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

In a 2-1 ruling, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the fact that a drugstore manager was suspicious of the bill that Rodel Rodis used to make a purchase in February 2003 wasn't enough for San Francisco police to arrest Rodis, handcuff him and hold him at a police station for almost two hours.

The bill proved to be genuine. But even if it had been counterfeit, the court majority said, innocently passing a counterfeit bill is not a crime, and police had no evidence that Rodis thought the bill was a fake.

"No reasonable or prudent officer could have concluded that Rodis intentionally and knowingly used a counterfeit bill," Judge Dorothy Nelson said in the majority opinion.

Dissenting Judge Consuelo Callahan said officers had grounds to arrest Rodis for passing a bill that appeared to be counterfeit, and shouldn't be liable for damages because of a "reasonable mistake" in examining the bill.

Rodis, a member of the San Francisco Community College Board of Trustees since 1992 and a former president of the city Public Utilities Commission, is seeking damages for the violation of his rights and the humiliation caused by his arrest.

The ruling is "a reaffirmation of the civil rights of Mr. Rodis and other citizens in the city and county of San Francisco to be free of this kind of mistreatment by police officers," said Rodis' lawyer, Lawrence Fasano.

Deputy City Attorney Scott Wiener said the city still believes Rodis was legally arrested and may ask the full appeals court to order a rehearing before a larger panel.

Rodis, an immigration attorney and a leader in the city's Filipino American community, was arrested after trying to buy $42.62 worth of medication at a Walgreens store on Ocean Avenue near his home. He gave the clerk a $100 bill that, because it had been printed in 1985, lacked the watermark or magnetic strip installed as an anti-counterfeit safeguard in 1990.

The clerk called the manager, who tested the bill with a counterfeit detector pen, which indicated it was authentic. The manager nevertheless said he thought the bill might be bogus and called police.
The officers looked at the bill, said it was probably counterfeit and arrested Rodis. They released him after contacting a Secret Service agent, who said the bill was genuine.

Before the arrest, the court said, the officers did not test the bill, call the federal agent or look at another $100 bill that Rodis had used after the first one was questioned. The court also said one of the officers, Sgt. Jeff Barry, had known Rodis for several years, knew he was on the college board and had encountered him at the elementary school that both their children attended.

The officers' information about Rodis "discounted any probability that Rodis might have intentionally passed a fake bill," the court said.

E-mail Bob Egelko at begelko@sfchronicle.com.



Last year I went to B of A and was handed a bunch of 1963 or so $100.00 bills. I have a pretty good eye and am familiar with older currency - the green on the reverse is quite different from current - so I presumed, also having gotten it from a bank, that they were legit. I went to a Whole Foods store (please, no mocking!) and paid with the one of the $100.00s. The clerk gave it a once over, furrowed his brow a bit and whipped out the pen. The dreaded "black streak" appeared and he went to his manager. They came back, I explained how I got it, old bill, bank & such, had many more - whereupon the manager announced "I know it's probably counterfeit but, well maybe it might not be, I'll take it". By this time there was a long line of PO'd folks behind me.

Completed the $20.00 or so transaction and as the clerk is handing me back a bunch of fresh $20.00s, I point to "the pen" and tell him to hand it over. In front of everyone I checked their bills to make sure they were OK. Told him 4 $20.00s were at least as important to me as one $100.00 was to them.

Give it a try - makes for interesting responses.

artherd
08-30-2007, 8:07 PM
Agreed. The liability associated with an unlawful arrest is second to none.Well it sure is now, as it sould be :)
Only a boneheaded or lazy cop would hook someone without being 100% sure they had good probable cause. The flip side to that is, there are some laws that when they are possibly broken, they require a mandatory arrest. If it is borderline domestic violence case, an arrest is usually always made...just because we will get our azzez handed to us if things escalate and somebody gets hurt as a result of our inaction. CA state law says that an arrest SHALL (<--- mandatory) be made in cases meeting the elements of domestic violence. If the case gets thrown out, it doesn't change the validity of the arrest.
DV cases are the one time I agree. However I'd like to see BOTH parties busted (if not for equal protection reasons alone), then let the judge sort out who's dangerous! That would curb false reports quite a bit methinks.

LEOs should not be terrified to make an arrest, they should just make sure they know what they are doing before they make a decision.
Exactly. Legit arrests should be made, just weighed with proper gravity. It's a very big deal just to hook someone, they can sit in jail for days, loose their jobs, spend $tens of thousands, and that's just if they are INNOCENT! ;)

For example, the guy who hooked for the $100 bill has to prove intent. Passing counterfeit money is a specific intent crime. I have handled many different counterfeit cases (we have an Indian Casino in the county). I have never made an arrest on one of them. It is pretty hard to prove intent if they don't outright admit that they knew it was counterfeit or if they didn't have a wallet full of other counterfeits. It just gets written up in a report and then sent off to the DA who will then determine whether or not charges should be filed. And they usually arent. I don't know the details of this guys case, but that is my perspective on the issue.
And that's good police work!

There have been times where I have let people go because I didn't think that I had enough PC to arrest. That's a BIG part of our job...determining PC. You can always file charges with the DA later if you aren't sure at the time. Yep! This goes along with one of the cornerstones of Liberty; the theroey that "It's better to let 10 guilty men go free than to imprision one innocent man."

On the other hand, if they are going to start allowing law suits against LEOs for things like this, I would like to see a push for more training in those areas.
Absolutely! You don't let a doctor go out into his highly litigeous field without a great deal of training. Similarily a police officer should not be put on the beat after some minimal coursework*.

*= At least, not alone!

For example, AW laws are NOT touched on in the academy. If you don't deal with it during field training, then how are you going to be expected to make an informed decision in the field? There is no legal requirement for LEOs to study/learn the laws on there own time. If they are going to expect LEOs to know everything, then they better make sure the state is providing them with everything during training, whether that be in service or during the academy. It is only fair. It will be interesting to see where they draw the line with this.
In my opinion we need 2 things;
1) Fewer laws! Few enough that the common man (let alone LEOs) can know and understand and obey them all.
2) Much better and ongoing training (paid) for LEOs to understand law.

Overall, it appears to be a fair ruling that would seem to provide a better avenue of recourse for those who deserve it.

It should effect good cops very little, and should serve to more properly balance the power of the accused vs the power of the enforcement.

AYEAREFIFTEEN
08-30-2007, 8:07 PM
When a counterfeit bill is taken to the bank for a deposit, to make change, or any other purpose and proven to be counterfeit you are simply handed a standard letter from the bank for your own records or for your employers records that the bill is being confiscated. At the end of the year the lost income and loss of goods/material is writen off so virtually nothing is lost.

I have a very hard time understanding why an employee of such a large corporation would press the issue in the first place. If someone were to come in with $10,000 in questionable bills, then I could understand.

A forged check or check fraud on the other hand...well that's extremely easy to prove. You have someone else's check that you are trying to pass as your own...you can't really screw that one up!

I was recently involved in a situation with a forged check that someone attempted to use at my place of work. The Glendale PD was involved and the first question they asked before commiting to any help was, "did you call the bank to verify the account number was no good, or the check could be stolen?" I did in fact call the bank and verify the account number was bogus as well as the routing number.

The worst thing they could have done was to take my word for it and arrest someone because of a hunch, which is what the officer did in the case of Mr. Rodis.

tango-52
08-30-2007, 8:31 PM
On the topic of proper training on AW laws, will misguided LEO's be able to sue DOJ for giving them bogus information? DOJ/BOF trainers were in San Diego last week and were still spreading their speil about the upcoming change in the regulation and their memo (that would be the underground regulation) and how under Jerry Brown they were pushing ahead with Lockyear's agenda! Personnel in the BOF need to feel the heat from this decision too. :mad:

scattered_x
08-31-2007, 6:07 AM
Unfortunately, this will probably be over turned; not by the full 9th circuit, but the USSC if this case winds up there.

1911_sfca
08-31-2007, 9:10 AM
Clearly, the officers here should bone up on PC 836 and their counterfeit currency laws.

ldivinag
08-31-2007, 1:07 PM
This should make things interesting if someone gets clipped for an OLL after informing the arresting officer of its legality. Seems like it would be pretty easy to prove that one was arrested because the arresting officer was unfamiliar with the law, and then, willfully disregarded it once he/she was informed of it. Keep those flyers in the car. ;)


looks like this decision is now part of the OLL paperwork i need to carry... lol....