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States brief ~ NJ high court orders assessment of financial privacy protections

[JURIST] Leading Monday's states brief, the Supreme Court of New Jersey [official website] ordered its criminal practice committee to assess whether financial records should be given more protection as a matter of public policy. In upholding the conviction of a woman whose bank records were subpoenaed and shown to a jury, the Supreme Court found that privacy protections are sufficiently protected by existing subpoena procedures where no notice to the bank account holder is required when the bank is ordered to turn over its records. In the court's opinion [PDF text], the court said that "although notice to account holders is not constitutionally required, additional protections may be desirable as a matter of policy." The committee is to recommend whether the court should consider "additional safeguards for account holders." AP has more.

In other states news ...

  • A Kentucky law setting new requirements for the purchase and dispensing of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in methamphetamines, took effect Monday. The law [bill summary] requires that all cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine be kept behind pharmacy counters and only be dispensed by pharmacists or pharmacy technicians. The measure signed by Governor Ernie Fletcher [press release] earlier this year also requires anyone purchasing such cold medicine to provide their name, address, date of birth, photo identification, and signature. According to the state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet [official website], police found 579 meth labs in the state last year. AP has more.

  • For the first time, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals [official website] has recognized a gay or lesbian parent's standing to seek recognition as the parent of a child in a custody case. In its decision [text], the Supreme Court found that the child's biological mother's partner did have standing as the child's psychological parent and awarded her custody. The decision stated that a "psychological parent may be biological, adoptive, or foster parent, or any other person" as long as the parental relationship began with the consent of the legal parent or guardian. The child's biological mother died in 2002 and her family sought custody of the child. AP has more.

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