Friday, September 03, 2010

No property interest in jail booking documents

Washburn student intern Joshua Mikkelsen and I won in State v. Rodriguez, No. 102,449 (Aug. 20, 2010), vacating a Seward County forgery conviction. The prosecution stemmed from Mr. Rodriguez allegedly signing jail intake documents with a false signature. In Kansas, forgery requires intent to defraud, which in turn requires "an intention to deceive another person, and to induce such other person, in reliance upon such deceiption, to assume, create, transfer, alter or terminate a right, obligation or power with reference to property." The COA agreed that a prior case, State v. Fisher, 24 Kan. App. 2d 103, 942 P.2d 49 (1997), held that although the state has an administrative interest in accurate fingerprint records, it does not constitute a property interest:
In sum, the State failed to establish it had a property interest that was harmed by Rodriguez' act of signing a false name to the booking documents; thus, the State failed to prove an essential element of forgery.

[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued September 23, 2010.]

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