Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Will Facebook cough up requested records in court?

Press release from local attorney Albert "Never a Dull Moment" Watkins.


Edwardsville, Illinois. - Officer Bryan Pour, a former St. Louis Metropolitan Police Officer facing a Class X Felony charge of Aggravated Battery with a Firearm and up to thirty years of incarceration, has served a subpoena on Facebook seeking disclosure of profiles and correspondence exchanged through the popular on-line social networking site by and between individuals involved in or witnesses to an assault of Pour leading up to the shooting and a number of law enforcement officers intimately involved in the investigation of the shooting, commonly referred as the “Pontoon Beach Shooting.”

Facebook has refused to produce or release the requested evidence, citing the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, a federal law passed in 2000.

Officer Pour has filed with the Madison County, Illinois Circuit Court a Motion to Compel Facebook to produce the evidence.

“A person charged with a crime is categorically entitled under the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Illinois to access and use exculpatory evidence,” said Albert S. Watkins, legal counsel for Officer Pour.

“To the best of our knowledge, this issue has never before been addressed by the Courts. It is respectfully suggested that Constitutional rights trump a hastily created federal statute,” concluded Watkins.
The State of Illinois has taken no public position in connection with the Motion to Compel.
The Motion is scheduled to be heard before the Honorable James Hackett in Room 0214 of the Madison County, Illinois Criminal Justice Center at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17, 2010. Legal counsel for Facebook is scheduled to appear at the Motion.

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