Daily Briefs

Foremer prosecutor becomes new federal magistrate judge

Former federal prosecutor Jonathan Grey has officially become a federal magistrate judge in Detroit, Chief U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood of the Eastern District of Michigan announced Tuesday. He will serve an eight year term that will end Aug. 23, 2029.

 Grey, 39, a former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio in Columbus, obtained his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College in 2004 and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 2007.
He clerked for Judge W. Louis Sands of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia from 2009-10 and the late U.S. Appeals Judge Damon Keith from 2010-11. He served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Detroit from 2012-16 before transferring to Ohio.

Grey’s selection was announced in April pending an FBI background check. The check was completed, and his appointment became official on Tuesday. He will sit in Detroit, where he will fill the upcoming magistrate judge vacancy created by the retirement of then-Executive Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen.


Michigan motorist wins appeal over tickets

DETROIT (AP) — A woman with 14 tickets has won a major decision in a dispute over whether a Michigan city violated the U.S. Constitution by chalking her car tires without a search warrant.

It’s a novel argument. Alison Taylor’s lawyer said the Fourth Amendment’s ban against unreasonable searches was triggered when a Saginaw parking enforcer applied chalk marks and returned two hours later to see if the car was still there.

Saginaw cited an exception to the Fourth Amendment, but a federal appeals court said it doesn’t fit.

“For nearly as long as automobiles have parked along city streets, municipalities have found ways to enforce parking regulations without implicating the Fourth Amendment,” Judge Richard Griffin said in a 3-0 opinion Wednesday.
“Thus, tire chalking is not necessary to meet the ordinary needs of law enforcement, let alone the extraordinary,” he said.

Parking enforcer Tabitha Hoskins would take notes and sometimes chalk tires in areas where there was a time limit but no meters. The city said chalking was a signal to motorists that vehicles were being watched.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a ruling in favor of Saginaw and sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Thomas Ludington for the next steps. It was Taylor’s second trip to the appeals court.

Attorney Philip Ellison wants to make the lawsuit a class-action open to other drivers who were ticketed in Saginaw.

“We have all the records of every tire she chalked,” Ellison said.

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