Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rivera v. County of Los Angeles (9th Cir. - March 12, 2014)

Thinking of what name to give to your newly born child?  Here's something to think about.  Because if you give them a common name -- one that's common enough so that other parents might also give it to their children on the same day (e.g., "Santiago Rivera" or "William Smith") -- your child may one day find himself in jail for an extended period of time.  Picked up on a warrant that was issued for someone entirely different, but with the same name and date of birth.

And there will be nothing at all he can do about it.

Don't think that giving the kid a weird middle name will solve the problem.  It won't.  The Santiago Rivera here had a different middle name than the guy on the warrant.  Didn't matter.  Same first and last name.  Same date of birth.  That means jail.  At least for the couple of weeks it takes to search the files and see that the prints and picture don't at all match.

Suddenly that "crazy" name your parents gave you doesn't seem so absurd, eh?