Court order in Kraft case did not expressly allow video recording

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With Patriots owner Robert Kraft entering a not guilty plea and requesting a jury trial on charges of soliciting prostitution at a Florida day spa, there’s a chance the prosecution of Kraft and many others won’t have enough evidence to even go to trial.

As explained by WPTV.com, the court order authorizing video surveillance at the spa did not expressly permit recording of activities.

“The [search warrant applications] that the police filed with the judge was to monitor and record what was happening the spa,” Jordan Wagner, a partner at the law firm representing more than a dozen of the defendants told WPTV.com. “But in the judge’s order, he only put the word monitor, not monitor and record.”

WPTV.com confirms that the applications “clearly ask” for permission to “monitor and record,” and that the court orders permitting surveillance uses only “monitor” and not “monitor and record.”

“We checked the paperwork,” WPTV.com writes. “The search warrant applications clearly ask for monitoring and recording permissions in the title of the document. However, the judge’s order granting those permissions only uses the word ‘monitor,’ not ‘monitor and record.'”

Martin County sheriff Bill Snyder, who told WPTV.com that law enforcement officials posing as repairmen installed the hidden cameras, insists that the activities were legal and complied with the court orders.

“I can say this unequivocally,” Snyder said. “We followed every protocol that the State Attorney and the judge required.”

The argument apparently will be that Snyder and his associates did not follow “every protocol” because the they exceeded the plain language of the court order allowing video surveillance when monitoring of the cameras became monitoring and recording.

The response surely will be, “Monitoring implies recording.” The response to that surely will be, “Why did you ask for monitoring and recording if monitoring implies recording?”

“We feel if you ask for A, B, and C, and you only get A and B, logic would tell you that you weren’t allowed to get C,” Wagner told WPTV.com. “In this case, they asked for monitoring and recording and the judge’s order only says monitoring. . . . The sheriff’s office has all the reason in the world to say that they did everything by the book because I think that they know that they violated a lot of peoples’ rights, people who were arrested and people who weren’t arrested as well.”

It’s an issue that will be resolved long before Kraft or any of the other defendants will be required to stand trial, and if this argument based on plain language and basic logic prevails, there will be no trial at all, for any of the men charged with soliciting prostitution as part of this specific “monitoring” exercise that became “monitoring and recording.”

86 responses to “Court order in Kraft case did not expressly allow video recording

  1. Well, it’s too bad for Robert Kraft that the NFL offers no such protections. To the NFL, evidence is not tainted and there is a presumption of the worst here for Kraft. He’ll be looking at a minimum of a 1/2 season suspension and surely the NFL will ask him to transition the CEO role to Jonathan Kraft. Jonathan is seasoned and 55-years old and capable of that role and also replacing Robert on committees. There has to be a sense among the league and also the Kraft family Robert has gone off the rails, not just in this, but also in his running around with celebrities and being a little too much out there.

    The Krafts, including and particularly Myra when she was alive, were incredible benefactors of the region and beyond. It’s just time now for the league and family to enter a period of transition.

  2. From the way I understand things, the stop of Kraft in the car was an illegal stop. So that will be thrown out which means any 100% positive ID of Kraft from that stop gets thrown out. So it comes down to whether Kraft is 100% the man identified in the video? Can a jury watch that video and determine without any reasonable doubt that it’s Kraft? But if the video is deemed as not something the judge authorized that too gets thrown out. Correct?

  3. What is the legal definition of “peer” in seating a jury? Out of a typical jury pool in that Florida county could there even be one person?

  4. oscarxray says:

    March 27, 2019 at 9:31 am

    What is the legal definition of “peer” in seating a jury? Out of a typical jury pool in that Florida county could there even be one person?
    —-
    Peer would be a fellow citizen. I think you have to also be a non-felon.

  5. jonathankrobinson424 says:
    March 27, 2019 at 9:05 am
    THAT’s why lawyers can charge $500.00 a hour…to FIND the ommited word or words in a leagl document that can get you off! Money well spent Kraft.
    ————————————————-
    More likely $1500.-$3000. per hour.

  6. Keystone Cops time.

    Do they have audio? Without that, you don’t have him offering her money beforehand. THat is the heart of “solicitation”. Without that, no case.

    No video, no case.

    AS for the NFL, they punish when they have “facts”. Looks like they’ll have none, other than that he made an apology and there was an “arrest” (which will be later dismissed).

  7. The law is based on precise language. Clearly the authorities made a colossal mistake by assuming the judge was permitting something he never specifically approved. It’s pretty open and shut, the tapes should not be allowed as evidence.

    As far as the “rich getting away with it”, this discovery makes sure all the accused will “get away with it”. And we all should be happy about that because allowing the government to use whatever methods they want to without specific court approval is the definition of a police state.

  8. The easiest way to figure this out would be for the justice that granted the court order to provide testimony of their understanding of what they granted. The ability to record activities or not. If their intention was to allow the recording, then it would explain why the police did. If not, then it’s a no-brainer. Evidence would not be admissible. I doubt that will happen, but it would be logical.

  9. darthobama says:
    March 27, 2019 at 9:17 am
    If you got $$$ you can get away with anything…

    —————

    A court appointed public defender could find that one.

  10. If this is true, Kraft could bankrupt with entire county with a defamation suit.

    WOW

    He probably won’t, but this is what was suspected. They leaked his name, and only his name to smear him for no reason over a misdemeanor.

  11. For the league’s purposes none of this matters. There is absolutely zero chance that video isn’t leaked.

  12. another way to say that the RICH can and do get away with almost anything.
    ————————

    Are all the other defendants going to trial rich as well? It seems pretty clear that “monitoring” does not include recording. An attorney appointed by the court would have found this language as well in the search warrant. Bring on the faux outrage over misdemeanor charges.

  13. If I was Bill Snyder or worked under him right about now and had access to these videos I’d be releasing it to the media ASAP because everyone is about to be fired there.

  14. And now you know why the prosecutors were so quick to offer that deal. They know there is a good chance the video evidence is going to get thrown out.

  15. They are talking about how they setup the cameras in Martin County.

    The extreme they went to to install cameras in the AMP Kraft was caught in is being ignored and is very disturbing. Hope they have to explain it in court.

  16. geobh says:
    March 27, 2019 at 9:10 am

    another way to say that the RICH can and do get away with almost anything.

    ——————–

    You lost me. IF the judge rules that the police violated the warrant and tosses the evidence, ALL the defendants will benefit. Rich and poor. Did I miss your point?

  17. billzbubb says:
    March 27, 2019 at 9:41 am

    The law is based on precise language. Clearly the authorities made a colossal mistake by assuming the judge was permitting something he never specifically approved. It’s pretty open and shut, the tapes should not be allowed as evidence.

    As far as the “rich getting away with it”, this discovery makes sure all the accused will “get away with it”. And we all should be happy about that because allowing the government to use whatever methods they want to without specific court approval is the definition of a police state.

    ******************

    You nailed it exactly.

    As for the comment about this being a loophole, it’s exactly the opposite. In law, every word has meaning, and the lack of a word has meaning too. If WPTV has the facts right, those videos are going bye-bye for all the defendants and local law enforcement is going to be exposed as a bunch of Keystone Kops.

  18. Do the other defendants even need and attorney? Can’t they point to Kraft’s legal team and say, “Yeah, what they just said.”

  19. kenberthiaume said:

    AS for the NFL, they punish when they have “facts”. Looks like they’ll have none, other than that he made an apology and there was an “arrest” (which will be later dismissed)…

    *******************************************************
    Well, not really. They had no facts when it came to “Deflate Gate” for example….

  20. Proof positive that laws are only made for non-rich people. Rich People can do whatever they want to.

    The Golden Rule: The one with the Gold makes all the rules.

  21. But – does the fact that they are questioning the legality of the tape now make it part of the official court record, and if so, does that mean it can now be requested via the open records act?

  22. Well, it didn’t expressly prohibit it, either. Sometimes you get a sleepy judge or judge’s clerk who makes a typo.

  23. Stop with the rich buying justice angle. They are buying legal work and a lot of orginary middle class men stand to benefit from the high-priced legal work here (paid for by Kraft and many others).

  24. Not a fan of Kraft or the Patriots but I’m less of a fan of law enforcement that views the Constitution as a pesky document that you have to have to circumvent.

  25. It’ll get tossed out due to the legality of it all.

    However, it doesn’t change the fact of what happened.

  26. finzfan49 says:
    March 27, 2019 at 9:07 am
    More loopholes in the justice system… too funny!!

    38 7 Rate This

    ———————–

    How is law enforcement breaking the law a “loophole”?

    Note every time people have gone after the NE hierarchy, whether it be BB, brady or now Kraft, they’ve all been caught red handed lying or doing something sinister, framing, once the smoke clears.

    As I said. this was very suspicious.

    They only did this for notoriety.

  27. This is what happens when you get overzealous law enforcement and DA, looking to get a splashy story to pretend like they are tackling crime. There is almost zero risk of injury, most John’s won’t fight back due to money or shame, and they can get the nice press to get them re-elected. Except this fishing expedition caught a big whale, that will mostly likely take down their ship. Flushing all the tax dollars they wasted for a big return of nothing. For that, I say good job.

  28. You can stop cars to ID someone IF they commit a traffic incfraction.

    I worked on a federal task for (for a major city PD) and we had to ID people all the time.
    Once you ID them, they usually know, even if you do it right. You follow them for 3 minutes and no infraction, you wait until another day. Anything longer and you will never see them again.

    The police just had to ‘run’ the plates on everyone involved and then time (more money) investigating who was who. You can take photos etc. Yes, it costs more investigating (the right way) but why sabotage an investigation that any 3rd rate lawyer could beat? EVERY cop in the USA knows you can’t just pull someone over, unless a certain set of rules apply and one of those rules is NOT to ID someone.

    Shortcuts are so easy for lawyers to spot and beat. They beat you up in court on height and weight that are off an inch or 5 LBS, imagine a questionable car stop or wiretap?

    In Kraft’s case: I don’t know where to begin with the ineptness. Makes the rest of us, who did it the right way, look bad.

  29. The term “monitoring” has broad meaning and recording is simply a tool used for monitoring. So the judge likely viewed “record” as redundant and therefore unnecessary when he worded the warrant since monitoring would include recording. Doubtful this will be an issue.

  30. It’s sad that how you find the truth is more important than the truth itself. Technicalities have let a lot of guilty people go free.

  31. “This call may be monitored for customer assurance.”

    Everyone has heard this phrase. It is fully legal to use this phrase to inform callers that their phone call may (is) being recorded. It allows companies to introduce the recording in court as evidence if necessary. This is specifically important for states where both parties must be informed that the call might be (is) recorded.

    Vaguely written law? Perhaps. But if they win by arguing that monitoring does not mean recording, they may open a huge can of litigations nationwide.

  32. J K says:
    March 27, 2019 at 9:51 am
    For the league’s purposes none of this matters. There is absolutely zero chance that video isn’t leaked.

    —————-

    If someone illegally video taped him doing something not deemed to be illegal it will be pretty hard for the NFL to punish him regardless of the video’s release. It may be embarrassing but it won’t be punishable.

  33. Interesting test for Godell. He has always stated that a
    guilty finding, or lack of one,is irrelevant. It also,seems as if
    he has applied the same standards to owners, front office
    and NFL personal.
    If he lets Kraft walk he will look like a hypocrite.

  34. What is the point of surveillance if you can’t record and use the evidence to prosecute? It’s amazing that anyone gets prosecuted anymore when there are a million technicalities that can get someone off the hook even in the face of blatant guilt. The court of public opinion knows Kraft is guilty, and so does he, no matter what the kangaroo court says.

  35. And just like that, the case is over. Kraft wins in court but already lost in public opinion. He can now sue for serious damages of being illegally wiretapped.

  36. Monitoring someone and recording someone is clearly different.

    Let’s monitor and record everything of people in here.

    Doesn’t sound right, does it ?

  37. Topsy-turvy justice system. Smollett got off. Will Kraft? The book of revelations prophesied that in the end times wrong will be right. We are there…….

  38. The court of public opinion knows Kraft is guilty, and so does he, no matter what the kangaroo court says.
    ________________________

    Guilty of what exactly? Just curious.

  39. The 4th amendment violations that Kraft will be suing them over will pretty much ensure that the video never comes out. He will be able to seize all evidence and have it destroyed. Any copy that is made will be illegal and will result in serious jail time for whomever tries to sell it to TMZ. (And TMZ will be given notice by Kraft’s attorneys – think Gawker case -)

  40. This is why murderers walk. Regardless of the outcome, it doesn’t change the fact that these absolute scum of the earth did it.

  41. When you go to court for a speeding ticket, the cops word reigns supreme. If the warrant only said monitor, and the cops say they saw this, why would it be any different just because it didn’t say record?

    I know the answer is $$$$$$$, but fundamentally it should be the same…

  42. backintheday99 says:
    March 27, 2019 at 11:10 am
    You can stop cars to ID someone IF they commit a traffic incfraction.
    ——————————
    Kraft was a passenger. He was under no obligation to identify himself…

  43. bguynn says:
    March 27, 2019 at 11:22 am
    It’s sad that how you find the truth is more important than the truth itself. Technicalities have let a lot of guilty people go free.
    ——————————————————————————————-
    So would you rather see some guilty people exploit the system and get away with it or have some innocent people jailed for a crime they didn`t commit? It`s never going to be perfect either way so the system is to protect the innocent as much as possible because we`ve seen how bad some police are at their job so without those technicalities you could find yourself being arrested for no reason too. Just think about how much power a corrupt cop would have without the safeguards.

  44. We all know he was there no matter what. If it’s not embarrassing to him, it certainly should be.

  45. Video or not, he has already made a public Apology for his actions ( a admission of guilt )

  46. I’m curious about all of the people who expect the book to be thrown at Kraft bc, how will that work? This is a soliciting prostitution case. There’s no evidence that Kraft knew anything about trafficking or should have been expected to know. No way that case will be made. So people think they’re going to suspend him for 6 months? Will that then become the norm? You think they’re going to start suspending players 6 months for soliciting prostitution?

  47. mlhigh says:
    March 27, 2019 at 1:30 pm
    Pretty simple, just get sworn testimony from the employees at the Spa.
    —————————–
    Because they are going to just get on the stand and admit to performing prostitution?

  48. Rules of procedure exist for a reason. They protect all of us.

    Besides, none of this matters. We all know Bobby did it. I don’t need court sanctioned evidence to come to that conclusion. He’s already apologized. He’s ashamed and embarrassed. That’s good enough for me.

    And still the only NFL franchise to have had two murderers on their roster.

  49. And there ya go. Kraft getting off on technicality of a one word omission. Appropriate…I guess the judge was Goodell when that warrant was signed.

  50. If the judge did not want them to Record the video, would he not have specifically stated in the warrant that they MAY monitor, but NOT record?

    Also, logically, What good would the warrant be to begin with if they can monitor but not record since there’d be no usable evidence it would be a waste of tax payer dollars and I don’t see a judge signing off on that.

    What happened was that a stickler for the rules “Requested” Monitor and Record” and the Judge was of a mind that the two are synonymous, as most of us would assume, so granted it without considering the word choice would be challenged.

  51. “There is absolutely zero chance that video isn’t leaked.”

    If illegal video of a billionaire gets leaked, the sheriff can kiss his career good-bye and possibly go swimming with the fishes in cement shoes.

  52. “What happened was that a stickler for the rules “Requested” Monitor and Record” and the Judge was of a mind that the two are synonymous’

    No one above Junior High level does not know the difference between monitoring and recording something.

  53. This is EXACTLY why the prosecutors wanted to offer Kraft a plea deal to drop the charges. They know the “evidence” that their cases rely on was obtained illegally. They didn’t want to face Kraft in court or go against HIS attorneys because honestly, this po dunk town in Florida can’t match his budget. They were hoping that he would take the easy way out so they wouldn’t have to throw away all of the other cases they have. I think “big brother” already intrudes on our lives WAY too much. They constantly use threat of terrorism as excuses for obtaining evidence that prior to 911, they were not allowed to gather. I’m glad Kraft was able to help out his fellow man for doing something that should be legal anyway.

  54. bentedges says:
    March 27, 2019 at 2:08 pm
    And there ya go. Kraft getting off on technicality of a one word omission. Appropriate…I guess the judge was Goodell when that warrant was signed.
    ________________________

    Are you really trying to say Goodell gives the Pats preferential treatment? This planet that your are from, how close to the Sun are we talking?

  55. You Delusional Patriot homers act like Kraft was framed, railroaded and unfairly treated. Kraft was the one that decided twice to break the law.

    He’s guilty of breaking the law and in the court of public opinion despite if the evidence gets throw out.

    And no one really cares about the punishment. Kraft proves again he and his coach and QB don’t care about the rules. Just like Spygate and Deflategate. Guilty

  56. captainobvious says:
    March 27, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    This is EXACTLY why the prosecutors wanted to offer Kraft a plea deal to drop the charges. They know the “evidence” that their cases rely on was obtained illegally.

    ========================

    They offered a standard plea deal that they offer to everyone in this situation. It has no bearing on the strength of the case.

  57. It’s going to get dropped. The county does not want the expense or time of a jury trial.

  58. William Friedrich says:
    March 27, 2019 at 1:37 pm
    Video or not, he has already made a public Apology for his actions ( a admission of guilt )

    ——————————

    Uh, no. There are laws that state an apology is not an admission of guilt.

  59. The warrants authorized installing “video surveillance cameras” and to monitor them for no longer than 30 days. That language doesn’t prohibit recording. What does a camera do? Record. Inherent in virtually every type of video surveillance camera is video recording. The warrants will stand.

  60. cooljjj says:
    March 27, 2019 at 4:37 pm
    The warrants authorized installing “video surveillance cameras” and to monitor them for no longer than 30 days. That language doesn’t prohibit recording. What does a camera do? Record. Inherent in virtually every type of video surveillance camera is video recording. The warrants will stand.
    ——————
    Said no person who’s ever studied law.

  61. cooljjj says:
    March 27, 2019 at 4:37 pm
    The warrants authorized installing “video surveillance cameras” and to monitor them for no longer than 30 days. That language doesn’t prohibit recording. What does a camera do? Record. Inherent in virtually every type of video surveillance camera is video recording. The warrants will stand.

    ————-

    The cameras I have mounted around my house that don’t record a thing and they are marketed as “video surveillance” cameras. I get motion alerts and check in periodically with a live view feature. You see, a video camera that does record does exist. Is it possible the judge expected the police to do live monitoring, just as store security watches monitors throughout the store to stop thieves?

  62. Seems the judge issuing the order could clear this up quickly by explaining what his/her order meant.

    I don’t really care if this goes to court or not. Mr Kraft is embarrassed, as he should be, but no harm has been done.

    Let’s talk about the upcoming draft!

  63. tylawspick6 says:
    March 27, 2019 at 9:48 am

    They leaked his name, and only his name to smear him for no reason over a misdemeanor.

    —————————————————————–

    It was a list of 25 names. (Kraft is roughly on the middle of the page alphabetically)
    It’s publicly available information.

    This is all easily Googled by anyone except Pats fans it seems.

  64. cooljjj says:
    March 27, 2019 at 4:37 pm
    The warrants authorized installing “video surveillance cameras” and to monitor them for no longer than 30 days. That language doesn’t prohibit recording. What does a camera do? Record. Inherent in virtually every type of video surveillance camera is video recording. The warrants will stand.

    Audio is relevant as well. Absent the recording of an agreement to pay for sex, it can’t be proven.

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