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Criminal Law Keyed to Osler
United States v. Cook
Citation:526 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.C. D.C. 2007)
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Defendant was a Deputy United State Marshall and was allegedly involved in an incident with Omar Hunter while Hunter was in the custody of the United States Marshal Service. That same day, Hunter filed a Citizen Complaint Report claiming that he was assaulted by the defendant. Immediately after receiving the complaint, the defendants supervisor, Paul Rivers, instructed the defendant to complete a Field Report and Use of Force Report concerning the incident, and the defendant did.
Rivers testified that according to Marshal Service policy, deputies are required to fill out Field Reports whenever anything out of the ordinary occurs. Additionally Use of Force Reports are required anytime force beyond a “come along hold” or “escort stand” are used. Supervisors like Rivers check them to make sure they are complete and do not contain spelling or grammatical issues. They do not evaluate the Reports. On the day in question, Rivers got word that Hunter had filed a complaint. He did not recognize the description of the officer in the report, but the defendant identified himself as the officer in the report. Rivers instructed the defendant to fill out the Field Report and Use of Force Report. He did not threatened Cook or anyone else if they did not fill out the forms. Rivers reviewed them and turned the reports over to the chief.
Defendant’s testimony is the same, except he testified that he asked Rivers why he would have to do a Use of Force Report if he allegedly did not use force. Rivers asked him to fill it out anyways, so the defendant copied and pasted the Field Report into a Use of Force Report. Defendant thought not filling out the form could get him fired, but had little to no explanation for why he thought that. Defendant had no history of discipline or punishment at his job.
Lastly, the Chief Inspector of Intern Investigations, Stanley Griscavage, testified about the procedures and policies of the Marshal Services. First, any use of force must be documented in a Use of Force Report and it is the responsibility of supervisors to ensure the reports are filled out and filed. Once the incident reports are complete, they are forwarded to the Office of Internal Investigation. If the use of force was proper, nothing more is done and it is filed away. If there is no Field Report or Use of Force Report yet received and a complaint is filed, the complaint is investigated without the other documents. It is strange for a supervisor to request a Field Report and Use of Force Report after the complaint has been filed, as was done here. If the Office of Internal Investigation believes that excessive force is used, they forward it to the Office of Inspector General and Department of Justice, who determine whether they will together or separately pursue the case. Once an administrative or criminal investigation has been started, the officer receives their Garrity Warning.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
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- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.