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J.J.H. v. Comm'r of Public Safety


In 2016 a Minnesota judge ruled that the police violated our client's constitutional rights by telling him that he was required to submit to a urine test or he would be charged with a crime. The crime lab had found a controlled substance in his urine and the state revoked his license. (A doctor had prescribed the medication, but at the time the law did not provide an exception for prescription drugs.

The Office of the Attorney General appealed on behalf of the Commissioner of Public Safety (this was a driver's license case). The Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed the ruling, telling the trial judge to determine whether the driver had actually consented to the the test (It seems absurd. How can a person freely and voluntarily consent when told by a police office after being arrest that he was "required" to submit to testing under penalty of law?).

We had another hearing last December. A different trial judge (the previous judge retired) heard additional testimony from a police officer and our client. Today, we received the judge's order.

This judge also ruled the police took the test in violation of our client's rights, citing his PTSD (triggered by the presence of uniformed persons) from his service to our country and his 8th grade education.

Law geeks will find it interesting that the court found the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule did not apply here. 

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