P.O. Box 2105, Napa, California 94558 — 707.224.6675
NEWS RELEASE February 9, 2009
Contact: Allison K. Aranda, Staff Counsel
(951) 541-9327


SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.—The Life Legal Defense Foundation is pleased to announce that the Superior Court of San Bernardino, Appellate Division, has granted their appeal in the matter of People v. Cox, ACRAS 800100. The appellate ruling reverses the trial court’s decision denying the defense’s motion to suppress evidence. In a unanimous decision, the appellate court has ordered that the Chaffey College Campus Police had no lawful reason to detain and search Mr. Cox. Dana Cody, Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, commented on the appellate court’s decision stating, “The judges are to be commended for following the law and denouncing the police misconduct.”

The charges against Mr. Cox stem from a visit to Chaffey College back on November 13, 2007. Mr. Cox, along with other members of the Survivor’s Campus Life Team, went to Chaffey College to peacefully exercise their free speech rights by holding signs and handing out literature on the public college campus. The pro-life demonstrators were told that all eight of them, including their signs and literature tables, were restricted to an area on campus too small to even contain the group and were required to remain there in order to stay on campus. When Mr. Cox went into the police station to ask who issued this unconstitutional demand, he was escorted behind locked doors, shoved against a wall, handcuffed, and searched by three campus police officers. During the search, the police discovered a digital recorder in Mr. Cox’s pocket. They immediately tried to delete the recording, knowing that it contained evidence of their illegal actions.

Later the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office charged Mr. Cox with six counts of unlawfully recording a private conversation. Ironically, at the time Mr. Cox was accused of unlawfully recording a private conversation, he was standing next to a sign in the police station that read “The conversation at this office is electronically monitored to assure quality service.”

Allison K. Aranda, who is defending the Survivors in the criminal trial, stated “It is reassuring to see such a radical abuse of police power condemned by our criminal justice system.” The matter returns to court on February 27, 2009 for a pre-trial hearing. Ms. Cody stated, “We look forward to the trial court dismissing the meritless charges against Mr. Cox in light of the appellate court’s ruling rebuking the police illegality in this matter.”

Life Legal Defense Foundation, one of the organizations partnering to defend the Survivors in this litigation, is a non-profit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens, committed to giving helpless and innocent human beings of any age, and their advocates, a trained and committed voice in the courtrooms of our nation. For more information call Allison K. Aranda at 951-541-9327.


Read the Court’s opinion here