I started this post before a “glitch” in my computer knocked me off line – but I was thinking at the time about how much more mirrored servers can do that just backup files. Those thoughts, in turn, led me to think about the third floor of the River Birch building and the various entities claiming separate offices there – which reminded me of “association-in-fact enterprises” – something I learned in researching Shows v State Farm, the Katrina RICO case:
Association-in-fact enterprises are probably the most useful and abundant forms of RICO enterprises, but they are also the most difficult to grasp on an analytical level.
Such a group need not have a hierarchical structure or a chain of command; decisions may be made on an ad hoc basis and by any number of methods-by majority vote, consensus, a show of strength, etc. Members of the group need not have fixed roles; different members may perform different roles at different times. The group need not have a name, regular meetings, dues, established rules and regulations, disciplinary procedures, or induction or initiation ceremonies. While the group must function as a continuing unit and remain in existence long enough to pursue a course of conduct, nothing in RICO exempts an enterprise whose associates engage in spurts of activity punctuated by periods of quiescence.
After two days off-line, I might have let this post linger in “drafts” had it not been for the United States’ Motion for Leave to File Reply Memorandum to Petitioners’ Opposition to Government’s Motion for Reconsideration – a pleading filed today in Heebe-Ward-River Birch v USA. (full motion in Scribd format below the jump)
The petitioners contend that the search warrant signed by the Magistrate in this case “clearly limited the Government’s search to the offices of River Birch.” Rec. Doc. 42, p. 2. However, the search was not limited only to the offices of River Birch. The search warrant and its attachments authorized the search of 2000 Belle Chasse Highway, which contains the office of River Birch Landfill. Rec. Doc. 3-3, pp. 1-2. Attachment B to the search warrant clearly contemplated that documents related to the business and business practices that are found at 2000 Belle Chasse Highway are within the scope of the search warrant and therefore were permissibly seized. Rec. Doc. 3-3, p. 3-4. “The scope of a lawful search is defined by the object of the search and the places in which there is probable cause to believe that it may be found.” Maryland v. Garrison, 480 U.S. 79 (1987). (emphasis added) Continue reading “Mirror, mirror on the wall server, was it one enterprise office after all?”