SEARCH WARRANT BASED ON YOUTUBE VIDEO HELD INVALID

The Court of Appeals in Andrews v. D.C., decided on August 5, 2019, reversed convictions for possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition based on invalidity of underlying search warrant. Factually, the police officer in support of the issuing warrant had stated that in a reviewing a YouTube video, individuals were depicted displaying handguns that appeared to be functional and operable. The officer further had stated that location of the video was recognized as a parking lot at the 3500 block of 6th Street, S.E. and moreover, one of the individuals in the video was recognized to
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RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: UNLAWFUL ENTRY REVERSED

The Court of Appeals in Foster v. U.S., decided on November 7, 2019, reversed and vacated the defendant’s conviction for unlawful entry. Foster who was according to his rental lease part of a housing complex consisting of two distinct units — Hopkins I&II was barred by a security guard from the Hopkins I complex for violating the housing rules and two days thereafter was arrested for an unlawful entry into the complex. Foster argued on appeal that the trial record showed insufficient evidence that Hopkins Apartments consisted of more than one legally distinct DCHA property, especially when considering the lease
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SAME SEX COMMON LAW MARRIAGE AND PERSONAL JURISDICTION

The DC Court of Appeals in Spellman v. Kelly, decided in July 2016, while addressing personal jurisdiction validated in essence validity of a common law marriage claim. Factually, Mr. Spellman and Mr. Kelly, who both lived in the District, met in 1988 and began dating.  On or about 1998, the two decided to live together and to hold themselves out as partners. Kelly also owned a home in Delaware, where he and Spellman stayed on the weekends and over the holidays.  After Kelly retired in 2006, he began spending more of his time at his Delaware home although continued consulting
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DOUBLE JEOPARDY CLAUSE OF THE 5TH AMENDMENT: DC COURT OF APPEALS

The Court of Appeals in Andre v. U.S., decided on August 19, 2019, determined the scope and implications of the Double Jeopardy Clause. At trial, Andre was convicted of two counts of simple assault and sentenced and served seven days on each count while his case was on appeal.  Due to conflict of interest of his trial counsel, his convictions were overturned on appeal and case was remanded at which time the government moved to prosecute him again on the same changes one more time. Andre argued on appeal that the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment barred his
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MPD USE OF PROBATION GPS TRACKING SYSTEM CONSTITUTIONAL: RECENT DC COURT OF APPEALS DECISION

The Court of Appeals in U.S. v. Jackson decided on August 22, 2019, reversed and remanded to the trial court granting of Jackson’s suppression motion for 4th amendment violations. Jackson who was on probation for Robbery was placed by Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency  (“CSOSA”) on GPS tracking system.  The GPS tracking system accessed by MPD revealed and placed him at a scene of another robbery which resulted in him being arrested and charged with that crime. Jackson argued at trial that CSOSA violated his Fourth Amendment rights first by placing him on GPS monitoring without judicial approval and
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WAIVER OF RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS: ENFORCEMENT OF POST NUPTIAL AGREEMENT: DC DIVORCE

The Court of Appeals in Oshinaike v. Oshinaike, addressed spousal claim on a retirement account where there existed already a post martial agreement on that very subject. Specifically, on appeal Marcia Oshinaike sought review of the trial court’s ruling that her former husband (Solomon Oshinaike), did not expressly waive his rights with respect to her foreign service retirement benefits and thus was entitled to portions of that retirement benefit. Oshinaikes were married in 1989. After Ms. Oshinaike joined the State Department as a Foreign Service officer parties executed a post marital agreement expressly stating that: Mr. Oshinaike waives all rights
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UNLAWFUL DISCLOSURE OF SEXUAL IMAGES:

The Court of Appeals in Roberts v. U.S., decided on September 26, 2019, reversed multiple unlawful-disclosure convictions due to erroneous jury instructions. The unlawful disclosure, a relatively new statute in DC renders unlawful disclosure of certain graphic photographic or video materials.  In this day and age of electronic capture, transfer of data and images, the statute has become more and more relevant and applicable. Specifically, the unlawful-disclosure statute provides in pertinent parts that it shall be unlawful for a person to knowingly disclose one or more sexual images of another identified or identifiable person when: The person depicted did not
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COMMUNITY CARETAKING DOCTRINE: RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION

The Court of Appeals in McGlenn v. U.S., decided on July 19, 2019, expanded and defined “community caretaking doctrine” in holding that an arrest and seizure of the defendant was justified. A 911 call reported assault in progress and upon arriving at the scene the Officers came in contact with the defendant outside a housing complex.  Defendant appeared intoxicated and under the influence of illegal substances mainly PCP. It was determined quickly by the Officers that McGlenn had not assaulted anyone inside the complex and was only acting erratically.  Defendant’s mother residing there had originated the 911 call. The trial
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CHILD CUSTODY ORDER CHANGE DURING CIVIL CONTEMPT HEARING: RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION

The Court of Appeals in Cheek v. Edwards decided on September 5, 2019, reversed and remanded a change of custody order in the midst of a civil contempt hearing. After holding a custody hearing, the trial court had decided and ordered shared physical and legal custody among parents even after considering the allegation of domestic violence.  But before issuance of a final order, the mother-Edwards filed a civil contempt motion alleging that the father had violated the order against not assault, stalking and harassment in being arrested for domestic violence and assault against her. The trial court while addressing the
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RECOVERING ATTORNEY FEES IN FAMILY CASES: RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION

The Court of Appeals in Khawam v. Wolfe decided on August 22, 2019, delineated all legal theories available to recover attorney’s fees in a child custody and by extension in relating family matters. Here, Wolfe moved to recover attorney’s fees ($700K) against Khawam for a rather protracted and vexatious litigation and under three theories: Common law theory of “necessaries” which permits an award of attorney’s fees in a child-custody case if the court finds that engaging an attorney was necessary to protect the interests of the child; The “bad faith” exception which permits recovering fees against a party who has
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