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JUROR NUMBER ONE v. Superior Court of Sacramento County, Cal_ Court of Appeal, 3rd Appellate Dist

JUROR NUMBER ONE v. Superior Court of Sacramento County, Cal_ Court of Appeal, 3rd Appellate Dist

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Published by mrosch
Although a trial court must avoid a "`fishing expedition'" when considering allegations of alleged misconduct (People v. Hedgecock (1990) 51 Cal.3d 395, 419), I am unaware of any authority preventing a trial court from taking steps to rule out prejudice once juror misconduct has been established. Because prejudice is presumed based on Juror Number One's misconduct in posting about the trial on Facebook, and because we do not have all of Juror Number One's Facebook posts regarding the case, I cannot say there is "no substantial likelihood" Juror Number One was biased against defendants. (Hamilton, supra, 20 Cal.4th at p. 296.) Under these circumstances, the balance between Juror Number One's privacy concerns and defendants' right to a fair trial tips in favor of defendants.
Although a trial court must avoid a "`fishing expedition'" when considering allegations of alleged misconduct (People v. Hedgecock (1990) 51 Cal.3d 395, 419), I am unaware of any authority preventing a trial court from taking steps to rule out prejudice once juror misconduct has been established. Because prejudice is presumed based on Juror Number One's misconduct in posting about the trial on Facebook, and because we do not have all of Juror Number One's Facebook posts regarding the case, I cannot say there is "no substantial likelihood" Juror Number One was biased against defendants. (Hamilton, supra, 20 Cal.4th at p. 296.) Under these circumstances, the balance between Juror Number One's privacy concerns and defendants' right to a fair trial tips in favor of defendants.

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7/16/12JUROR NUMBER ONE v. Superior Court of Sacramento County, Cal: Court of Appeal, 3rd Appellate …1/11scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=C067309&hl=en&as_sdt=4,5&case=10301713511792827585&s…
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JUROR NUMBER ONE v. Superior Court of Sacramento County, Cal: Court of Appeal, 3rdAppellate Dist. 2012
JUROR NUMBER ONE, Petitioner,v.THE SUPERIOR COURT OF SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Respondent;DEMETRIUS ROYSTER et al., Real Parties in Interest.
No. C067309.
Court of Appeals of California, Third District, Sacramento.
Filed May 31, 2012.The Rosenfeld Law Firm and Kenneth Rosenfeld for Petitioner.No appearance for Respondent.John K. Cotter, Michael Wise, and Keith J. Staten for Real Parties in Interest.
CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION
HULL, J.Following the conviction of real parties in interest for various offenses stemming from anassault, respondent court learned that one of the trial jurors, fictitiously-named Juror Number One, had posted one or more items on his Facebook account concerning the trial while it wasin progress, in violation of an admonition by the court. The court conducted a hearing at whichJuror Number One and several other jurors were examined about this and other claimedinstances of misconduct. Following the hearing, the court entered an order requiring Juror Number One to execute a consent form pursuant to the Stored Communications Act (SCA) (18U.S.C. § 2701et seq.) authorizing Facebook to release to the court for in camera review allitems he posted during the trial.Juror Number One filed a petition for writ of prohibition with this court seeking to bar respondent court from enforcing its order. He contends the order violates the SCA, the Fourthand Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and his state and federal privacyrights.We conclude the SCA is not applicable to the order at issue here and Juror Number One hasotherwise failed to establish a violation of constitutional or privacy rights. We therefore denythe petition.
FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
Juror Number One was a juror in the trial of 
People v. Christian et al.,
Sacramento CountySuperior Court case No. 08F09791 (the criminal trial) in which the defendants, real parties ininterest in this writ proceeding, were convicted of various offenses stemming from the beatingof a young man on Halloween night in 2008.The criminal trial commenced in April 2010, and the jury reached its verdicts approximately two
 
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7/16/12JUROR NUMBER ONE v. Superior Court of Sacramento County, Cal: Court of Appeal, 3rd Appellate …2/11scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=C067309&hl=en&as_sdt=4,5&case=10301713511792827585&s…
monthslater,onJune25.OnAugust10,2010,oneofthetrialjurors(JurorNo.5)submittedadeclarationinwhichshestated,amongotherthings,that,onoraboutMay18,2010,Juror NumberOnehad"postedcommentsabouttheevidenceasitwasbeingpresentedduringthetrialonhis`FacebookWall,'invitinghis`friends'whohaveaccesstohis`Facebook'pagetorespond."OnSeptember17,2010,respondentcourtconductedahearingonthisandotherallegationsof  jurormisconduct.Fourjurorswereexamined,includingJurorNumberOneandJurorNo.5.JurorNo.5testifiedthatshedidnotlearnabouttheFacebookpostingsuntilafterthetrial.JurorNumberOnehadinvitedhertobeaFacebook"friend"andthisgaveheraccesstohispostingsonFacebook,includingthoseduringthetrial.Thisiswhenshesawthepostmentionedinherdeclaration.AccordingtoJurorNo.5,onepersonhadrespondedtothepostthatheorshelikedwhatJurorNumberOnehadsaid.JurorNumberOneadmittedthatheposteditemsonhisFacebookaccountaboutthetrialwhileitwasinprogress.However,heindicatedthosepostscontainednothingaboutthecaseortheevidencebutweremerelyindicationsthathewasstillonjuryduty.JurorNumberOneacknowledgedthatononeoccasionhepostedthatthecasehadbeenboringthatdayandhealmostfellasleep.AccordingtoJurorNumberOne,thiswasthedaytheyweregoingthroughphonerecordsandhepostedthathewaslisteningtopilesandpilesof"MetroPCSrecords."JurorNumberOnetestifiedthathepostedsomethingeveryotherdayonhisFacebookaccountandlatertriedtodeletesomeofhisposts.Hedeniedreadinganyresponseshereceivedfromhis"friends"tothesepostings.Theothertwojurorswhowereexaminedbythecourthadnothingtocontributeonthisissue. Attheconclusionofthehearing,respondentcourtindicatedtherehadbeenclearmisconductbyJurorNumberOne,butthedegreeofsuchmisconductisstillatissue.OnOctober7,2010,counselforrealpartyininterestRoysterissuedasubpoenatoFacebooktoproduce"[a]llpostingsfor[JurorNumberOne]dated3/01/2010to10/06/2010."AttachedwasanorderfromrespondentcourtcompellingFacebookto"releaseanyandallinformation,includingpostingsandcommentsforFacebookmember[JurorNumberOne]."Facebookmovedtoquashthesubpoena,assertingdisclosureoftherequestedinformationwouldviolatetheSCA.Initsmemoranduminsupportofthemotiontoquash,FacebookassertedtherequestedinformationcanbeobtainedfromJurorNumberOnehimselfinasmuchashe"ownsandhasaccesstohisownFacebookaccount,andcandisclosehisFacebookpostingswithoutlimitation."OnJanuary28,2011,counselforrealpartyininterestRoysterissuedasubpoenatoJuror NumberOnetoproduce"[a]nyandalldocumentsprovidedto[him]byFacebook"and"[a]nyandallposts,comments,emailsorotherelectroniccommunicationsentorreceivedviaFacebookduringthetime[hewas]ajurorintheabove-referencedmatter."OnFebruary3,2011,JurorNumberOnemovedtoquashthesubpoena.Thefollowingday,respondentcourtgrantedJurorNumberOne'smotiontoquashthesubpoenabasedonoverbreadth.However,thecourtalsoissuedanorderrequiringJuror NumberOnetoturnovertothecourtforincamerareviewallofhisFacebookpostingsmadeduringtrial.JurorNumberOnefiledapetitionwiththiscourtseekingtobarrespondentcourtfromenforcingitsFebruary4,2011,order.Wesummarilydeniedthepetition.However,onMarch30,2011,theCaliforniaSupremeCourtgrantedreviewandtransferredthematterbacktousforfurther consideration.Thehighcourtalsoissuedatemporarystayofrespondentcourt'sorder.OnApril5,2011,wevacatedourpriororderdenyingthepetition,issuedanordertoshowcausetorespondentcourtandorderedthatthetemporarystayremainineffect.
DISCUSSION
 
7/16/12JUROR NUMBER ONE v. Superior Court of Sacramento County, Cal: Court of Appeal, 3rd Appellate …3/11scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=C067309&hl=en&as_sdt=4,5&case=10301713511792827585&s…
CongresspassedtheSCAaspartoftheElectronicCommunicationsPrivacyActof1986(Pub.L.No.99-508(Oct.21,1986)100Stat.1860etseq.)tofillagapintheprotectionsaffordedbytheFourthAmendment.Asonecommentatorobserved:"TheFourthAmendmentoffersstrongprivacyprotectionsforourhomesinthephysicalworld.Absentspecialcircumstances,thegovernmentmustfirstobtainasearchwarrantbasedonprobablecausebeforesearchingahomeforevidenceofcrime.WhenweuseacomputernetworksuchastheInternet,however,auserdoesnothaveaphysical`home,'norreallyanyprivatespaceatall.Instead,ausertypicallyhasanetworkaccountconsistingofablockofcomputerstoragethatisownedbyanetworkserviceprovider,suchasAmericaOnlineorComcast.Althoughauser maythinkofthatstoragespaceasa`virtualhome,'infactthat`home'isreallyjustablockof onesandzeroesstoredsomewhereonsomebodyelse'scomputer.ThismeansthatwhenweusetheInternet,wecommunicatewithandthroughthatremotecomputertocontactother computers.Ourmostprivateinformationendsupbeingsenttoprivatethirdpartiesandheldfar awayonremotenetworkservers."(Kerr,
 AUser'sGuidetotheStoredCommunicationsAct— AndaLegislator'sGuidetoAmendingIt 
(2004)72Geo.Wash.L.Rev.1208,1209-1210,fns.omitted(Kerr).)TheFourthAmendmentprovidesnoprotectionforinformationvoluntarilydisclosedtoathirdparty,suchasanInternetServiceProvider(ISP).(See
Smithv.Maryland 
(1979)442U.S.735,743-744[61L.Ed.2d220,229];
UnitedStatesv.Miller 
(1976)425U.S.435,443[48L.Ed.2d71,79].)Toremedythissituation,theSCAcreatesasetofFourthAmendment-likeprotectionsthatlimitboththegovernment'sabilitytocompelISP'stodisclosecustomerinformationandtheISP'sabilitytovoluntarilydiscloseit.(Kerr,
supra,
atpp.1212-1213.)"The[SCA]reflectsCongress'sjudgmentthatusershavealegitimateinterestintheconfidentialityof communicationsinelectronicstorageatacommunicationsfacility.Justastrespassprotectsthosewhorentspacefromacommercialstoragefacilitytoholdsensitivedocuments,[citation],the[SCA]protectsuserswhoseelectroniccommunicationsareinelectronicstoragewithanISPorotherelectroniccommunicationsfacility."(
Thoefelv.Farey-Jones
(9thCir.2003)359F.3d1066,1072-1073.)TheSCAaddressestwoclassesofserviceproviders,thoseprovidingelectroniccommunicationservice(ECS)andthoseprovidingremotecomputingservice(RCS).AnECSis"anyservicewhichprovidestousersthereoftheabilitytosendorreceivewireorelectroniccommunications."(18U.S.C.§2510(15);see18U.S.C.§2711(1).)AnRCSprovides "computerstorageorprocessingservicesbymeansofanelectroniccommunicationssystem."(18U.S.C.§2711(2).)Subjecttocertainconditionsandexceptions,theSCAprohibitsECS'sfromknowinglydivulgingtoanypersonorentitythecontentsofacommunicationwhilein"electronicstorage"(18U.S.C.§2702(a)(1))andprohibitsRCS'sfromknowinglydivulgingthecontentsofanycommunication"whichiscarriedormaintainedonthatservice"(
id.
at§2702(a)(2)).Oneexceptionisrecognizedwherethecustomerorsubscriberhasgivenconsenttothedisclosure.(
Id.
at§2702(c)(2).) AnyanalysisoftheSCAmustbeinformedbythestateofthetechnologythatexistedwhentheSCAwasenacted.(Robison,
FreeatWhatCost?:CloudComputingPrivacyUndertheStoredCommunicationsAct 
(2010)98Geo.L.J.1195,1204(Robison).)"[C]omputer networkingwasinitsinfancyin1986.Specifically,atthetimeCongresspassedtheSCAinthemid-1980s,`personalusers[hadbegun]subscribingtoself-containednetworks,suchasProdigy,CompuServe,andAmericaOnline,'and`typicallypaidbasedontheamountoftimetheywereconnectedtothenetwork;unliketoday'sInternetusers,fewcouldaffordtospendhourscasuallyexploringtheprovider'snetwork.Afterconnectingtothenetworkviaamodem,userscoulddownloadorsende-mail,postmessagesona"bulletinboard"service,oraccessinformation.'[Citation.]Notably,theSCAwasenactedbeforetheadventoftheWorldWideWebin1990andbeforetheintroductionofthewebbrowserin1994."(
Crispinv.Christian Audigier,Inc.
(C.D.Cal.2010)717F.Supp.2d965,972,fn.15(
Crispin
),quotingfromRobison,
supra,
atp.1198.)InlightofrapidchangesincomputingtechnologysinceenactmentoftheSCA,"[c]ourtshavestruggledtoanalyzeproblemsinvolvingmoderntechnologywithintheconfinesofthisstatutoryframework,oftenwithunsatisfactoryresults."(
Konopv.Hawaiian Airlines,Inc.
(9thCir.2002)302F.3d868,874.)UndertheSCA,anECSisprohibitedfromdivulging"thecontentsofacommunicationwhileinelectronicstoragebythatservice."(18U.S.C.§2702(a)(1).)However,theterm"electronic

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