Category Archives: Legal

18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

Here is the federal statute of primary bearing in the Hilary Clinton personal e-mail investigation: 18 U.S. Code § 793 - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information18 U.S. Code § 793 - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information Current through Pub. L. 114-38. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.) (a) Whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, goes upon, enters, flies over, or otherwise obtains information concerning any vessel, aircraft, work of defense, navy yard, naval station, submarine base, fueling station, fort, battery, torpedo station, dockyard, canal, railroad, arsenal, camp, factory, mine, telegraph, telephone, wireless, or signal station, building, office, Read more

Guest Opinion by Judson Bennett on recent Elting v. Shawe

Are American Freedoms being compromised by an omnipotent judicial system? Do arrogant judges set legal precedent that affect the American dream? Chief Chancellor Excuses Potential Fraud and Could Force a Sale of a Viable Multi-million Dollar Company? Delaware's rookie Chief Chancellor, Andre Bouchard, is casting a dark shadow over his 2-year run as the Chief Chancery Court Judge. This was evident in one of his most recent decisions where he ignored overwhelming evidence and a pattern of behavior that I wonder could border on the illegitimate? Instead, he chose to rule in favor of a single party (Elizabeth Elting) who happened to be represented by his buddy Kevin Shannon. This culminated in a decision that has the potential to ruin a company and destroy the jobs and careers of 4,000 hardworking employees worldwide, 2,300 of them in the United States, nearly 1,000 in the northeast, Read more

City of Dover Accepts Resignation of Former Officer Webster

Resignation of Cpl. Thomas Webster 2-23-16 Posted on February 23, 2016 by Dover Police Department FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE In accordance with a negotiated separation from employment, former Dover Police Cpl. Thomas Webster IV submitted his resignation from the Dover Police Department, and the resignation was accepted on February 23, 2016. Cpl. Webster was found not guilty by a 12 member jury on December 8, 2015 on a charge of felony assault resulting from an arrest that occurred in August 2013 while Cpl. Webster was on duty. Following his acquittal, the City and then Cpl. Webster entered into discussions concerning the continued employment of Cpl. Webster. Those discussions resulted in an amicable end to Cpl. Webster’s employment relationship with the City, and he submitted his voluntary resignation to the Dover Police Department. While the resignation was immediately Read more

Governor Vetoes HB 130: Sexual Contact Legislation

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Delaware Governor Jack Markell, on strongly-worded legal and constitutional grounds, has vetoed HB 130, bill that would have made sexual contact between consenting adults a felony level offense, earlier today. The bill specifically applied to health care professional/patient relationships during the course of treatment, but it failed to differentiate between consensual and non-consensual sex. It would have made it a Class F felony, punishable by a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment with an automatic loss of professional license upon conviction. The Governor , in support of his veto, has issued the following statement: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ August 17, 2015 TO THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 148th GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Pursuant to Article Read more

Experts File Amicus Brief in Marshall Islands Nuclear Non-Proliferation Case Against the U.S.

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer On 4/24/2014, the Republic of the Marshall Islands filed an Application Instituting Proceedings Against the United States before the International Court of Justice in the Hauge. Four recognized American nuclear experts have filed a judicus amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in support of the Marshall Islands effort to compel the United States to meet its requirements under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), ratified by the US Senate in 1970. Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists; Dr. James Doyle, a nuclear nonproliferation expert fired by the Los Alamos national lab after publishing a study arguing for nuclear weapons abolition; Robert Alvarez, a former Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Energy, now at the Institute for Policy Studies; and Jay Coghlan, director Read more

Governor Markell Signs Locomotive Idling Regulation Bill

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Delaware Governor, Jack Markell, has signed SB-135, a bill aimed at restricting nonessential locomotive idling into law, earlier this afternoon.

The Governor’s Press Secretary, Kelly M. Bachman, confirmred that the bill was enacted, but was not at liberty to comment further in light of Norfolk Southern’s federal challenge to the jursitiction, intent, scope and effect of the legislation.

Norfolk and Southern, a major interstate Class I railroad serving large portions of the South, Northeast and Midwest regions of the U.S., filed an acclelerated motion for declaratory judgement with the US Surface Transportation Board on August 4, 2015 contending that state and local regulations of raiload operations are explicitly precluded by the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA).

Norfolk Southern Opposes SB-135

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer In light of increased rail shipments of Canadian crude oil to the Delaware City refinery, the Delaware General Assembly has passed SB 135, designed to limit “non-essential” locomotive idling between the hours of 8pm and 7am. Fines would range from $5,000 to $10,000 for a first offense, with $10,000 to $20,000 fines for repeat violations. It is not clear to what degree that the statute would actually be enforced if Governor Jack Markell signs it into law. The controversy pits the quality-of-life interests of nearby residents against the interests of Delaware’s railroads and petroleum industry in the greater context of economic and environmental concerns. Additionally, a complex legal technicality has emerged : EPA/federal preemption of state regulation of locomotive environmental impact, largely due to the interstate nature of railroads and Read more

First State Animal Shelter/SPCA Proposes Public Contract Extensions

Controversy Remains By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer In an apparent change of strategy, First State Animal Shelter/SPCA Director, Kevin Usilton, has proposed a one-year extension (to June 30, 2016) of all public animal control contracts in Delaware after previously announcing that they would be terminated by September 15, 2015. Currently, about 40 FSAS/SPCA animal control officers and other employees are scrambling to find new jobs in anticipation of the termination, as the State of Delaware moves to assume direct administration of animal control functions through the Office of Animal Welfare. Annual FSAC-SPCA annual contracts ranged as follows: Sussex County ($682,616), Kent County ($895,041.12), New Castle County ($1,035,000), Wilmington ($600,000), City of Dover ($40,000) and the Delaware Department of Public Health for rabies ($275,520) and cruelty reimbursement of ($106,000); Read more

First State Animal Shelter Terminates Public Animal Control Contracts

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer The Board of Directors of the First State Animal Shelter and SPCA (formerly known as the Kent County SPCA) has voted (14-1) on Monday, July 13 to terminate all public animal control enforcement contracts in Delaware, effective 15 September 2015. Instead, the organization (based in Camden, DE) will switch to an "animal rescue and no-kill shelter" operation. The board's decision potentially leaves a gap in related services in the event that various state, county and local officials do not formulate an alternative operational strategy. This includes setting up an animal shelter, training and outfitting of personnel, implementation of legal framework, administrative operations and soliciting bids. The Delaware Office of Animal Welfare recently announced that it would assume direct responsibility for animal control enforcement operations at an estimated Read more

USG Offers Redress for NO-Fly Listees

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer No longer will persons on the infamous DHS/TSA NO-Fly List be legally left "hanging in the air". The US Government, in response to legal challenges, has revised its redress procedures for persons placed on Department of Homeland Security's NO-Fly List, according to an article in FAS Roundup. The US Department of Justice announced in an April 13,2015 court filing that persons placed on the NO-Fly List will have new opportunities to challenge the denial of boarding on commercial aircraft. Before the ruling, the government steadfastly refused to confirm or deny that persons were placed on the list for reasons of national security. Challengers argued that the procedures were constitutionally deficient or otherwise improper. The entire article by Steven Aftergood can be read here: http://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2015/04/no-fly-redress/ Read more

Dog Panel Hearing Raises Legal Issues

ANALYSIS by: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Major legal issues regarding the policies, operating procedures, standards, training and powers of Delaware Animal Control officers were raised at the 4/13/2015 Dog Panel Hearing held in Sussex County Council chambers in Georgetown, DE. The attorney for Milton-area residents John and Nancy Smith, Michael Abram, vigorously cross examined a contingent of Delaware Animal Control officers during their testimony in the case of “Millie”, a brown and white mixed Jack Russell Terrier, recently quarantined by Delaware Animal Care and Control (DEACC), an instrumentality of the First State Animal Center and SPCA, a private nongovernmental organization located in Camden and incorporated in Delaware. Contrary to their appearance, Delaware Animal Control officers are not state government employees, per se, but act instead as contract agents of Read more

“Millie” is Spared Execution

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer After a highly pitched two-hour hearing of the Delaware Dog Panel and an additional hour of decision, The life of "Millie", a brown and white mixed Jack Russell Terrier, owned by Milton area residents, John and Nancy Smith was conditionally spared at meeting in Sussex County Council Chambers, last night. While she potentially faced the canine "death penalty", for having recently bitten a neighbor's dog and its owner, animal control officers did not ultimately recommend euthanasia and the panel instead classified her as "potentially dangerous" dog, subject to yard confinement and strict leash control when off-premises, under 9 Del.C. sec.926 b (c). Both the dog, "Spike" ( a Yorkshire Terrier ) and owner, Michelle Keck have recovered from injuries sustained in a 3/16/2015 incident in the Woodgate development. "Millie" should be reunited Read more