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Law Enforcement Withholding Information From Spouse Jail

Discussion in 'Probation, Parole, Incarceration' started by Adverse, Feb 10, 2010.

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  1. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Does law enforcement have an obligation to tell a spouse if or where they are holding their mate?
     
  2. fredrikklaw

    fredrikklaw Moderator

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    Call or Surf!

    They might do as a point of courtesy, but there is no obligation on their part; but information regarding the whereabouts of an arrestee in the jail system is a matter of public record and is readily available.

    You can find out where your spouse is being held by calling your locality's non-emergency police number, or through the Sheriff’s website “Who’s in Jail?” search portal.

    fredrikkaw
     
  3. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Maybe elsewhere. ;)

    I am dealing with a lady whose husband was picked up more than a week ago and surfaced in the hospital a couple days ago.

    Her calls to the law enforcement agencies who took him into custody or to whom he was supposedly handed off produced everything but the truth, that he was at the hospital.

    The various stories from the law enforcement agencies had him in the custody of four different agencies, with two deputies from a distant agency supposedly guarding him in the hospital. The fact is that he is not in the custody of any of them, but one of them had to have taken him to the hospital.

    Would the one that took him to the hospital be obligated to report that to his wife?

    He almost died in the hospital. Pneumonia.

    Oh yeah, I searched on the Internet and did not find any way to find him, certainly not through sheriff's websites.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I'll bite.
    Why was he picked up or taken into custody?
    Have any charges been made?
    Was this a criminal matter or was it health related?
    If none of the above apply, why was he held incognito for a week?
    Finally, how did you learn of his current whereabouts?
     
  5. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    I'll bite back. ;)

    Driving on suspended license . . . got stuck in the snow . . . was walking . . . off-duty town cop offered him a ride home . . . smelled his breath . . . took him in . . . had warrant and probation violation. No violent crimes . . . alcoholism.

    They (town police) transferred him to the County jail. His wife visited him there Day 2.

    Then it gets fuzzy.

    Suddenly he wasn't there any more.

    They told wife he was transferred to nearby city police. They told her he was transferred to a distant county sheriff where he has a probation violation. Some agency told her he was in the hospital being guarded by two deputies from that county.

    (I called the hospital and was told he was not a patient.)

    7 days later a nurse in the hospital called his wife to tell her he was there, and had been for all 7 days. He was in ICU in at least serious condition. He was in detox, aspirated, developed pneumonia, hallucinating, and was on a ventilator.

    A nurse told the family that he was not in anyone's custody and the hospital would never release him in his condition to a law enforcement agency. There doesn't seem to be any new charges and no agencies seem to be wanting him.

    It is not clear what agency took him to the hospital, why they didn't tell the wife, or why they told her so many false stories.

    Still not sure who took him to the hospital and no one is talking.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Short answer- no there is no obligation.
     
  7. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If he was arrested in one jurisdiction he should have been taken before a judge in THAT jurisdiction before being handed off to other agencies. It is off topic from your question, but there may be a violation of rights here that can tangle things up. You should talk with an attorney.
     
  8. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Yeah, I was looking for an arraignment, and never found one.

    No charges or docket entries in any of the jurisdictions.
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    This looks like a civil rights case.
    It could also be a false arrest.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    It "could" be many things. If the suspect feels he was violated in some way, he can hire an attorney to sue whomever might be at fault for whatever happened.

    No one is obligated to report a medical condition concerning an adult to anyone. The hospital might have liked that info - and possibly had it - so that they can find out about any medical history. It is also possible that the suspect did not want anyone contacted. We do not know.

    And since he is currently NOT in custody, they are certainly under no obligation to do anything as he has now the problem of the hospital - and they have to be concerned with HIPAA.

    Best guess is that he was released and then fell ill and was taken to the hospital, or fell ill at the jail then released and transported.
     
  11. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    We have certainly considered that possibility. Like, oh well, whatever happened happened. :rolleyes:

    He certainly cannot/does not recal.

    The missing week and not knowing what went on is aggravating.

    Even if no one is obligated to report what happened, it seems a tad suspicious. From experience, you know how it is when someone refuses to talk, or tells stories that prove to be false. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  12. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Which brings up another question . . .

    If someone admitted to a hospital is in a condition where they are unable to grant permission, is no attempt made to contact family?
     
  13. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    On third thought, if that was the case wouldn't the law enforcement agency tell the wife, "He was released on Sunday . . . . ," or, at the very least, "We don't have him and we don't know where he is."

    Why all the stories about transferring him to other agencies, being guarded by deputies, etc.?

    Are you saying a law enforcement agency is not obligated to tell a wife they have released her husband? Or they have not?
     
  14. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Baby steps . . .

    One of the stories is that the local county sheriff transferred him to a nearby city agency with a warrant.

    I called that city police department. After considerable delay, the spokesperson said that yes, in fact, the neighboring sheriff's office had transported him and turned him over to them. Nothing said past that.

    She said the jail Lt. would be calling me with more information. He has not, yet, but he is busy.

    Seems like easy questions . . . did you have him and how did he get to the hospital . . . but I guess not.

    Anyway, one fact established, and that eliminate other stories.
     
  15. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    Never mind . . . I found out what I needed to find out.

    Thanx
     
  16. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    So, what did happen?
     
  17. Adverse

    Adverse Law Topic Starter Member

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    The local county sheriff's office transported him to the nearby city police department January 31, about 11 AM. That evening he became ill. An ambulance was called and they said he did not need to be transported to the hospital by ambulance, so the police department took him.

    He got worse in the hospital.

    HIPAA rules intervened.

    I also learned that law enforcement's database is different than the general public, that I cannot see on case.net what they can see on MULES.

    http://ucr.mshp.dps.mo.gov/ucr/ucrhome.nsf/
     
  18. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    That's kinda what I expected.

    HIPAA can be an annoying thing for hospitals, though the police are generally not bound by it. I can understand the frustration, but I can also understand the confusion and lack of communication between the agencies and even within the agency if trying to track down a detail from a previous shift.

    Hope he is all right.
     

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