Friday, June 23, 2006


That's 'I am not a lawyer', rather than, well, what you were probably thinking.

I read Slashdot every day and there's usually one or two stories on there each day that I find interesting. The one I read today that provoked the biggest response was one about a library manager - Michele Reutty - who, when asked by the police to provide her customer records, refused to do so until they had presented her with a warrant. They went and got the warrant and she gave them the information. So far, no story of any great interest.

Then the lawyers get involved and it all gets a bit political.

Ms Reutty has been completely unsupported by her boss, the Mayor Ron Jones, and has been told by borough labor lawyer Ellen Horn, who also represented the library trustees, that Reutty was 'more interested in protecting' her library than helping the police. 'It was an absolute misjudgment of the seriousness of the matter,' Horn said."

Hang the fuck on for a moment, and let's think this through shall we?

If Reutty had given the records to the police without them providing a warrant, then any criminal caught because of the information found would be perfectly entitled to say that the information was obtained illegally AND Reutty could be charged with breaking privacy rules. The police have no right to demand this sort of information from anyone unless they have a warrant. There is no misjudgement on Ms Reutty's behalf, it's due process.

Ellen Horn, who represents the library trustees remember, is now slating Reutty for following procedures. Reutty is, you grandstanding lawyer asshole, protecting the library from multiple claims from the registered members of said library about how their personal information is being given to anyone who demands to see it - contrary to the law and the library's own terms and conditions.

Slashdot has the email address of Ms Reutty - and I've sent her an email congratulating her on her actions. Unfortunately, there isn't one for Ellen Horn, who I would dearly love to send an email to.


Blogger kingoftheforks said...



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